Zachary Rolfe on leave as NT police investigates internal disciplinary matters

Constable Zachary Rolfe is on leave as the Northern Territory police investigates internal disciplinary matters, only days after he was found not guilty of murdering Kumanjayi Walker.

Rolfe, 30, has been told to take leave as the force investigates several internal matters unrelated to the shooting, Guardian Australia has confirmed. It is unclear what those investigations concern.

Walker died after he was shot three times by Rolfe during an attempted arrest in November 2019. Rolfe was acquitted after arguing at trial that he shot Walker to protect himself and his colleague after Walker stabbed him with scissors.

The NT police association (NTPA) confirmed Rolfe had been asked to take leave because of disciplinary investigations, but declined to comment further.

NTPA president, Paul McCue, said at a press conference on Monday that Rolfe’s suspension ended at the time the verdict was handed down, but he was “taking a breath” and the union expected to be served with paperwork from police “in relation to him taking some leave to determine what the next steps will be”. He said there was “no indication around what that paperwork specifically says”.

“We’d be extremely disappointed if there was any further action pursued against him, but that would be up to the police force, and if that happens, we’ll be there to support him again.”

A union spokesperson declined to comment on Tuesday about whether the paperwork had been served and the nature of the disciplinary investigation.

Rolfe’s legal team referred queries about the internal investigations to the union.

The NT police force did not respond to a detailed request for comment.

Rolfe had been asked outside court on Friday whether he intended to return to the NT police, but did not respond.

Rolfe told the Australian in an interview published this week that he had been cleared over a handful of complaints made against him during his career.

On Friday, a jury reached a unanimous decision that Rolfe was not guilty of the murder of Walker, a 19-year-old Warlpiri man, or of two alternative charges.

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