Media Release: Vigilante attack on children in Alice Springs.
Mparntwe (Alice Springs) 25th October 2017
On Friday 13th of October two 13 year old boys were assaulted with bats outside ANZ in Todd Mall Alice Springs. They were walking home when a ute pulled up and at least four men jumped out and chased them. They were with other children who ran up the road. The two boys were caught. One was beaten unconscious, with injuries to his head. The other young boy tried to shield his cousin from the blows and was kicked and beaten as he lay on top of him. Both children were later taken to hospital.
The same ute had been seen for the previous two nights following groups of young people in the street. Their families are calling for justice.
Police did not follow procedure in responding to the case. “We fear for our lives and the police give us no answers. The police have misconducted themselves: they haven’t kept us informed of the case, they did not attend the hospital after the incident to take statements, they did not take photos of the injuries for 2 days, they didn’t let me, the mother and rightful guardian, enter the interview room, and they refused us entry to the courthouse to follow the case.” said Jakita Palmer mother of one of the children, and daughter of Felicity Hayes Traditional Owner of Mparntwe
“We are concerned that it is a vigilante attack. Who gives them the right to bash our kids? We have to put a stop to this. We don’t want to wait until one of our kids dies.” said Bob Palmer, Grandfather of both boys and Arrernte Traditional Owner of Yamba station
Family are concerned over racist facebook posts and youtube videos claiming to “take Alice Springs back” and death threats against children. Vigilante groups have been organising online – with names such as the Nightwalkers and the Vigilant Group. See screenshots attached from the ‘Alice Springs Community Open Forum’ also at 3.28 in this youtube video from Alice Springs News Online https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LxoujEIGIVw