Constable Zachary Rolfe arriving at Canberra Airport on Thursday night.
Constable Zachary Rolfe arriving at Canberra Airport on Thursday night.

Police officer flies out of NT as boss calls for calm

ACCUSED murderer Zachary Rolfe is today in his hometown of Canberra.

The police officer charged with the murder of Yuendumu teenager Kumanjayi Walker will "vigorously" defend himself against the charge.

Rolfe on Thursday flew from Darwin to Canberra, where his parents own an Audi dealership. He was greeted at the airport by his mum.

NT Police Association president Paul McCue told media in Darwin Rolfe would plead not guilty to Mr Walker's murder.

Rolfe, 28, is alleged to have shot Mr Walker three times at his Yuendumu home when he and his partner went to arrest the 19-year-old for breaches of his suspended sentence.

Rolfe was bailed in Darwin on Wednesday evening.

He has been suspended from the force with pay.

Mr Walker's death has inflamed tensions between indigenous Territorians and police.

At a rally in Alice Springs, thousands of protesters vented their anguish and frustration in a demonstration which wound its way past the town's police station.

Officers stood guard at the station's front door.

When the rally moved on to the lawns opposite the station, the police presence dissipated.

NT Police would not comment on reports several Alice Springs officers had refused to show up to work as a sign of support to their accused colleague.

But speaking in Darwin, Police Commissioner Jamie Chalker had a clear message, imploring officers to "remember the oath they took".

"My police force's strength is as strong as my weakest link," Mr Chalker said.

"I need more than ever all my officers to step to the fore, to trust in one another, to trust in the process, to remember the oath they took and the importance of integrity, ethics and fairness."

Mr Chalker - in the job since Monday - called on Territorians to "forget the hate".

"The NT is renowned for how we support one another; for how we embrace one another in times of tragedy, and we have had many," he said.

Questions about how and why Mr Walker died would be answered through the court process "without emotion and with objectivity", Mr Chalker said.



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