Coroner visits NT town where cop shot teen

Song, dance and sorrow have greeted a coroner visiting an outback community where a Northern Territory policeman shot dead an Indigenous teenager.

Community members say the justice system failed the Warlpiri people and eyewitnesses would reveal the truth to Judge Elisabeth Armitage.

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

Judge Armitage travelled to the tiny town of about 800 on Monday to meet community members and hear firsthand how the 19-year-old's death had affected them.

She was formally welcomed by senior Warlpiri elders during two ceremonies before visiting the house where Mr Walker was shot in the back and torso.

Flanked by legal representatives involved in the long-running inquest, the coroner first walked across the community to meet a group of men - Mr Walker's cousins, uncles and grandfathers - sitting in the heat and dust under a eucalyptus tree.

The men with painted faces, spears and boomerangs sang and danced on the ochre earth for Judge Armitage before she was escorted in a procession to dozens of women dressed in black clothing.

During the second ceremony the group of women wailed in grief and softly sang a song described as Kumanjayi's Song while onlookers stood in silence.

A senior woman explained the haunting song and welcomed the coroner before painting her face and that of counsel assisting Peggy Dwyer.

Judge Armitage and the other guests to the town then toured house 511, now known as Memory House and adorned with Aboriginal flags, where Const Rolfe shot Mr Walker in a darkened room as he resisted arrest.

The coroner then returned to the women and quietly spoke to each while holding their hands.

Afterwards, the group moved to Yuendumu's undercover basketball court, for a truth-telling session for community members to air their feelings and talk about the impact of Mr Walker's death.

Elder Robin Japanangka Granites told a gathering of community members, legal representatives, media and the coroner that the "shooting was captured on (police body-worn camera) video for the world to see and today they are now watching".

"The shooting also caused harm and suffering to us as Warlpiri people," he said.

Mr Japanangka Granites said much had been said about Mr Walker and Yuendumu in court "but we are here to tell you the truth".

"There were eyewitnesses and they are here to tell what happened," he said.

"It wasn't those speeches that you heard in the court ... It wasn't anything to do with the truth that's been coming out from all those lies.

"This is the first time that we are telling the truth about what happened to Kumanjayi ... We are the ones that really knew him and loved him."

He said the justice system had failed the Warlpiri people and Mr Walker but people had marched across the nation in support of Mr Walker and the remote community.

"This brought hope ... when we heard we had support not by the government system but by the Australian people," he said.

The coroner had planned to start the inquest with a visit to Yuendumu in early September but it was scrapped after some in the community objected.

More than two months on, her presence and that of the legal parties, including Const Rolfe's lawyer, Luke Officer, was welcomed.

The trip will conclude late on Tuesday, with the inquest resuming in Alice Springs on Wednesday to hear Const Rolfe's evidence.

He was charged with Mr Walker's murder four days after the shooting and acquitted in March following a Supreme Court trial.