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Hundreds Plan Protests Calling For Cop Who Stoned A Wombat To Death To Be Fired

by : Cameron Frew on : 08 Dec 2019 10:16
Waylon Johncock Wombat ThumbWaylon Johncock Wombat ThumbWombat Awareness Organisation/Waylon Johncock/Facebook

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. 

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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.

Waylon Johncock Wombat 4Waylon Johncock Wombat 4Wombat Awareness Organisation/Facebook

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.’

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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.

Waylon Johncock Wombat Protest.jpgWaylon Johncock Wombat Protest.jpgPROTEST FOR PROSECUTION/Facebook

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.

Waylon Johncock Wombat 2Waylon Johncock Wombat 2Wombat Awareness Organisation/Facebook

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.’

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Waylon Johncock Wombat 3Waylon Johncock Wombat 3Wombat Awareness Organisation/Facebook

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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Cameron Frew

After graduating from Glasgow Caledonian University with an NCTJ and BCTJ-accredited Multimedia Journalism degree, Cameron ventured into the world of print journalism at The National, while also working as a freelance film journalist on the side, becoming an accredited Rotten Tomatoes critic in the process. He's now left his Scottish homelands and took up residence at UNILAD as a journalist.

Topics: Animals, Aboriginal, Australia, South Australia Police, Stoning, Waylon Johncock, Wombat

Credits

ABC and 2 others