Back in 2018, Tafari Walton was serving a two year sentence. While in gaol, this ‘damaged child’ threatened to cut his de-facto partner Gabriella Thompson’s tongue out of her head, and (just for the lulz) stabbed another inmate. Despite this, our justice-for-criminals system gave him parole and let him out on bail.
Tafari immediately started using MDMA and smoking ice. This fact was known to his parole officer, Geoffrey Bradley. Despite being a clear violation, no breach report was filed with the police because the parole officer felt it would be ‘counterproductive to the relationship we’re building‘.
Tafari’s stepfather knew the relationship between his step-son and Gabriella had been ‘toxic‘ from the start. He’d seen the bruises on Gabriella, but did nothing. In March 2019, Tafari’s stepfather went to the house and found Gabriella tied up and covered in blood, begging for help. Instead of calling police, he went outside to get Tafari’s mummy to ‘de-escalate the situation.’
Gabriella later died from 16 stab wounds to the head, neck and chest. Tafari didn’t quite cut her tongue out of her head as promised, but he came close. Her murderer then committed ‘suicide by cop’ the next day by lunging at his arresting police with a knife. Apparently his motive for butchering his partner was: “If I can’t have her, then nobody will.”
The NSW Coroner, Magistrate Teresa O’Sullivan down her findings today. She blames police. A friend of Gabriella’s had rung police to say she was ‘concerned‘, so police in turn called Gabriella, who told them she was fine. Not good enough! “Police should have gone to the house” says a woman who has never met an angry man in her life, let alone a domestic violence victim in denial.
But, Your Honour, how about your mate Magistrate Brett Thomas, for granting this psychopath bail? Not guilty.
How about the parole officer Geoff Bradley, for failing to report the breach of parole and drug use? Not guilty.
How about step-daddy for not intervening years ago, or for failing to call police immediately on the day? Not guilty.
No, the verdict is in — the NSW Police are to blame. Again. Again, again, again.
Who would be a cop.
Imagine going to work one day. You’re tasked to attend the murderer’s mum’s house, just in case he’s there. You find him in the backyard. He’s armed with a knife and comes at you, so you shoot him. Two years later, you’re in the witness box being cross-examined about why in that split-second you reached for your gun and not your spray. Or why you didn’t treat a ‘concern for welfare’ call as a domestic violence incident.
Who would be a cop.
Only one article of the five I’ve read even names the officers who risked their lives to stop this killer. Senior Constables Chris Fullick and Nathan Webb. Both believed Tafari was about to stab them. Webb is now out of the job, with PTSD and major depressive disorder for the rest of his life.
But screw him — screw them both — the cops are to blame!
We see what’s happening to police forces around the world. Don’t tell me crime isn’t on the rise in New York, for example, with one-billion slashed from the NYPD budget. LESS cops equals MORE crime. We put men and women into blue shirts to make hard decisions for us, and their reward? Silent scapegoats. Silent, because their own organisations forbid them uttering a single word in public in their own defence.
But yeah, go ahead. Keep kicking the sheepdog. Just don’t expect him to be there when the wolves come.