‘Absolute mayhem in Wadeye’: Sources tell of community in violent crisis and a lack of information made public

by | Apr 26, 2022 | Cops | 0 comments

A man has been killed after being speared in the head, health clinic staff have been seriously injured, police officers have been told not to leave the station compound, and 36 houses have been set on fire during ongoing violence largely not made public by NT Police or the Gunner Government, sources have told the NT Independent.

One source, with knowledge of the situation in the remote community about 240km southwest of Darwin, said it was “absolute mayhem” in the town which has been the scene of violence and rioting for some time.

“Clinic staff have been seriously injured following riots, after someone speared another man through the head with a metal pole and killed him last week,” they said.

“Health advised one of the clinic staff was speared through the leg.

“(Police) members were also injured.

“No Territory Response Group deployed because they were doing CPP (close personal protection) for the Prime Minister who was here for the Anzac service.

“Police members have been told not to go out (of the compound).”

Several sources have told the NT Independent there have been 36 houses in the community burn, including ten newly built homes.

The first source said two council members had resigned this week because they felt the community was too dangerous.

“Police and the government will be desperate to keep that under wraps,” they said.

Former NT Police officer Carey Joy, who headed up the Immediate Response Team and was in the Territory Response Group, said police had “barricaded” themselves in the station and that ex-TRG member Sergeant Meacham King was being sent out to train officers in using riot control CS gas cartridges for shotguns or grenade delivery.

He said medical staff and council staff were resigning and had left the community.

“TRG should be there. The department is is not sending TRG as they are terrified, they will shoot someone, and they would rather a cop gets killed than another Indigenous person,” he said.

NT Police only issued two media releases about crime in Wadeye in the last two months, while media manager Rob Cross did not respond to the NT Independent’s questions.

The violence and house burning follows the death of a 32-year-old man on Tuesday April 19, after he was allegedly attacked by an 18-year-old man on the previous Saturday night. The teen was charged with manslaughter last Wednesday, with the information made public through a NT Police press release.

One source said the man who died was the one who was speared through the head with a pole.

In the statement last week, Acting Superintendent Bradley Fox said a 24-year-old man injured in the community on the same night was still in hospital.

“Ongoing disputes between family groups in the community have seen additional police deployed, including crime detectives and general duties officers,” he said.

“Last night, after news of the death reached the community, disturbances escalated. A 23-year-old man was subsequently injured by a projectile, and several disused vehicles and other household items were set alight.”

Supt Fox said police and Department of Chief Minister and Cabinet staff, local government staff and key Aboriginal organisations were trying to restore calm.

NT Police also issued a statement on April 8 about two officers who were assaulted in Wadeye the day before, while trying to arrest someone.

They said a 26-year-old man was to be arrested after committing several offences relating to recent community unrest but he resisted before a group of men began throwing rocks at the officers.

Another source said there were three Careflight flights on Saturday night with one person having an arrow through their leg, one person with a severe head injury, and one with a compound ankle break.

“Dynamics have changed, rock throwing and metal bars are 2021. Crossbows and other high powered weapons are the new norm now. The ambulance and health clinic have been attacked,” they said.

“Traditional owners and police have zero control at night, they don’t answer phones and only do patrols during the day,” another source said.

“Working residents have quietly had enough.

“It won’t be long before things turn into more deaths. ”

Careflight refused to say how many injured or sick people they had flown out of Wadeye.

 

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