Please note, this story contains the name of someone who has died.
A police officer has been charged with the murder of Yamatji woman, Joyce Clarke, after being arrested in Geraldton on Thursday morning.
The officer was originally arrested by WA Police’s Major Crime Division as a suspect in relation to the fatal shooting, however after appearing at Perth Magistrates Court, the officer was charged with murder.
The male officer’s identity was suppressed by the court due to safety concerns for him and his family.
He later appeared in WA Supreme Court and was granted bail of $100,000.
A young mother of one, Joyce Clarke was fatally shot in the street on September 17 2019 in the Geraldton suburb of Karloo.
The 29-year-old Yamatji woman was taken to Geraldton Regional Hospital where she later died of her injuries.
Clarke’s death triggered mass protests in Geraldton and sparked outrage across the state.
“This matter will have a profound impact upon Ms Clarke’s family, the officer, his family and colleagues,” Commissioner Chris Dawson said on the unidentified officer’s arrest.
“Senior officers have been working closely with community leaders and with officers across the State … and will continue to do so.”
Commissioner Dawson said it’s been 93 years since a WA Police officer was charged with murder while in the line of duty.
“This is a very sad and difficult day for everyone.”
Clarke’s family members and WA Police staff have been advised of the investigation’s developments and support services have been offered to those involved.
Director of the National Suicide Prevention and Trauma Recovery Project (NSPTRP) and proud Menang Noongar yorga, Megan Krakouer, said she and her organisation have been supporting 31 members of Clarke’s family since the shooting.
Krakouer said she was pleased with the investigation’s developments this week.
“I have nothing but respect for the Commissioner and the way he took leadership over [the situation],” she said.
“There has to be some kind of closure … so people can move on with their lives.”
Krakouer said Clarke’s foster mother, Anne Jones, is refraining from speaking to the media as the case is ongoing.
“Aunty Anne has conducted herself with so much dignity, and right now she has to put her trust in the justice system, and that’s exactly what she’s doing,” Krakouer said.
“We need to ensure that justice is served.”
By Hannah Cross