NT cop's fatal shots not necessary: expert

A Northern Territory police officer didn't need to fire the gunshots that killed an Indigenous teenager, an expert witness has told an inquest.

Constable Zachary Rolfe shot Kumanjayi Walker, 19, three times during a bungled arrest in Yuendumu, northwest of Alice Springs, on November 9, 2019.

An Alice Springs inquiry was told Const Rolfe's second and third shots into Mr Walker's torso were not reasonable or necessary.

"He went from being standing up to laying on the ground, with (another police officer) restraining him," NT Police use-of-force expert Andrew Barram said on Friday.

Const Rolfe's first shot hit Mr Walker in the back before he and the other officer fell to the floor.

His right hand and a pair of scissors he used to stab Const Rolfe in the shoulder seconds earlier were beneath his body.

The inquest heard that during Const Rolfe's criminal trial, which concluded with the officer being acquitted of murder, he told the jury the teen's arm was moving and able to stab the policeman on top of him.

Acting Superintendent Barram told the coroner it wasn't possible and he stood by his assessment during Const Rolfe's trial that the second and third shots were excessive and other tactical options were available.

"Had Rolfe holstered his firearm he had all the other accoutrements available and 'empty hand tactics' assisting his partner with controlling Kumanjayi," the former officer-in-charge of NT Police operational safety said.

Supt Barram, a veteran with 25 years on the job, also analysed for the trial Const Rolfe's actions in the minutes before he shot Mr Walker.

The court heard he found Const Rolfe's decision to forcefully enter and "militarily clear" the house where they found Mr Walker was risky, against orders, potentially dangerous and contrary to policy.

"Neither (Const Rolfe or the officer he was working with) appeared to notice (Mr Walker) in the front room had his hand in his pants pocket, possibly already holding a weapon," Supt Barram said in a report read to the court by Dr Dwyer.

They also failed to keep a safe distance between themselves and the man they suspected was Mr Walker, which allowed the teen to to stab Const Rolfe in his left shoulder.

Supt Barram concluded Const Rolfe wasn't in danger when he drew his gun and fired his first non-fatal shot because Mr Walker had his back to him.

However, the decision to employ the weapon put the other officer wrestling with Mr Walker at greater risk, he said.

"Const Rolfe (then) stood over (the other officer) and Kumanjayi, placed his left hand onto (the officer's) lower back, and fired shot two into Kumanjayi's left side," Supt Barram wrote.

"Less than a second later, Const Rolfe fired shot three into Kumanjayi's left side, in close proximity to shot two ... Const Rolfe did not say anything and fired both shots in rapid succession."

He agreed with lawyer Gerard Mullins that if the coroner found Const Rolfe didn't believe the other officer's life was at stake then the first shot he fired was also unreasonable.

Meanwhile, the inquest has been shown a video of Const Rolfe's interview with Channel 7's Spotlight program where he criticises Supt Barram's analysis, saying he was "out of his depth".

He also alleged Supt Barram altered his conclusions due to pressure from the NT police executive but this was denied.

"Aligns with other conspiracy theories," Supt Barram said when asked about the assertion.

Earlier, Const Rolfe's lawyer Luke Officer expressed his frustration with commentary about traditional payback and spearing his client.

He also drew the coroner's attention to comments outside court calling Const Rolfe a coward for asserting his legal right to privilege when he refused to answer questions on Wednesday.

The inquest continues on Monday.