Hundreds Plan Protests Calling For Cop Who Stoned A Wombat To Death To Be Fired
A South Australian police officer laughed as he stoned a wombat to death. However, after authorities said he won’t be charged, furious animal lovers are ready to protest.
The horrific footage emerged in October this year, showing Senior Community Constable Waylon Johncock running down a road topless, throwing large stones at the defenceless animal.
While Australian Police Commissioner Grant Stevens initially called the officer’s actions ‘totally abhorrent and unacceptable’, an internal investigation by the Department of Public Prosecutions ruled on Friday, December 6, that Johncock will not be charged.
However, people haven’t taken well to the news: two protest events have popped up on Facebook, both set to take place Adelaide. One is titled: ‘PROTEST FOR PROSECUTION’, the other is called: ‘Justice For Wombats. Protest Against Waylon Johncock Outcome.’
They’ve attracted a surge of members, with people from as far as Queensland and Newcastle (in New South Wales) offering their help, whether it be via posters or contacting their local MPs.
One angry user wrote: ‘There are 300+ members here. Who will protest Sunday 15th/ Monday 16th at midday? City police HQ.’
While Stevens conceded that the footage will be distressing to viewers, an Aboriginal leader said Johncock didn’t do anything wrong, explaining that throwing rocks at wombats was ‘one of many methods’ locals people used to kill them for food.
Wirangu-Kokatha Aboriginal elder Jack Johncock told ABC:
It’s easy for people to sit back and judge people. This has been part of our culture and the way we’ve gone about it for thousands of years.
For the people of the west coast of South Australia, the wombat is a big part of their diet and they’ll get wombat any way they can.
Yet, in the footage, there’s no indication the officer planned on actually consuming the animal. Ngarrindjeri elder Major Sumner told the MailOnline that the officer’s method was ‘wrong’, saying: ‘We didn’t hunt like that. We still don’t hunt like that.’
As the video spread like wildfire online, Stevens explained that ‘South Australia Police received an unprecedented number of telephone calls, emails and social media comments demanding a response to this issue’.
However, while the clip is ‘disturbing’, Stevens told 7News:
Whilst distressing to many who viewed the video, it has been established the Senior Community Constable’s actions were not inconsistent with traditional hunting practices.
It is clear from the outpouring of emotions that some may question the outcome of this investigation. I can reassure everyone that the most thorough of investigations has been undertaken in this matter.
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