NT Corruption Commissioner Recuses Himself After Saying “Black Lives Matter”
Last week we reported the killing of Aboriginal 19-year-old Kumanjayi Walker at the hands of Northern Territory police in Australia who shot the teen and essentially left him to die in a jail cell from his gunshot wounds. Based on the police We were under the impression that the authorities were going to take the case seriously after it was announced that the police officer responsible had been charged with murder.
Unfortunately, we now have to press pause on our optimism.
According to The Guardian, the commissioner of the Northern Territory’s Independent Commission Against Corruption (Icac), Ken Fleming, will recuse himself from the case for saying the following at an Alice Springs protest rally:
“One of the most important messages today is ‘Black Lives Matter’. Anybody who says contrary to that is guilty of corrupt behaviour.”
Right on, Ken Fleming! It seems that some salty soup cookies down under have taken umbrage with Fleming’s zeal for justice on behalf of Black people. It appears that Icac inspector Bruce McClintock advised Fleming that his statement lent itself to a perception of bias and thus should step down from overseeing the investigation.
“My intention when participating in the community meetings in Central Australia was to explain our ability to independently look into these matters to the communities who are upset and seeking the truth,” Fleming’s statement said.
“I accept that some of my comments have led to the perception among some observers that I am closer to one side than another on this matter, and so I will no longer be involved in it.
“The public must trust in the Icac’s ability to provide independent oversight of public bodies and public officers.”
Apparently, acknowledging that the killing of Black people at the hands of the state rarely receives justice is a bridge too far for folks in the NT.
“I think anyone looking at this independently would say ‘how can this man be independent’ and seen to be independent, which is more important, because it’s the perception that really counts,” Manzie, the Country Liberal Party vice-president and a former police officer, said.
Hope a kangaroo kicks the s#!t out of all these fools.