'No justice' for Indigenous woman shot dead by cop

The deep suffering caused when a police officer shot dead an Indigenous woman in Western Australia has been laid bare at an inquest into her death.

Ngarlawangga Yamatji Martu woman JC was shot in a Geraldton street in September 2019 by then-Constable Brent Wyndham as she held a knife.

Const Wyndham was charged and later found not guilty of murder and manslaughter of the 29-year-old, who had previously been diagnosed with drug-induced psychosis and schizophrenia.

Bernadette Clarke says "no family should go through what we've been through."

Her older sister Bernadette Clarke on Wednesday said she had fought for her "to stay alive" during her "traumatic life".

"JC meant so much to me," she said in a statement read to the coroner on the last day of the inquest.

"When I heard JC had died the world went so blank.

"No family should go through what we've been through."

Ms Clarke described her sister as a "good girl", who was strong-minded and a talented artist.

"She was well known around Geraldton, a lot of families welcomed her and she had a lot of respect," she said.

The inquest has been told concerned members of the public called triple zero after spotting JC with a knife near their homes.

Eight police officers responded and ordered JC to drop it but she ignored them and kept walking up the street. 

Const Wyndham fired a single round that hit her in the abdomen. She died about an hour later in hospital.

JC image on T-shirt (file image)
JC died in hospital after a single shot hit her abdomen.

In the days before her death, JC had been released from prison and admitted to hospital after making threats to self-harm.

She was transferred to Perth and admitted to the psychiatry division of Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital where her health was assessed.

She was found to be at risk of fatally self-harming and potentially violent.

Her methamphetamine use, depressed mood and distress, and homelessness were all noted by the hospital.

She was released several days later and returned to Geraldton.

On the day she was shot she allegedly stole a four-pack of a pre-mixed vodka drink from a bottleshop and told family members "she was going to die that day".

Outside the court, Ms Clarke said the nine-day inquest had been tough.

"(JC) gave me the strength for me and my children and hopefully my brothers and sisters to move on in life," she said crying.

"The hardest part is to walk away with no closure, no justice, no peace.

"I don't cry on the outside anymore, instead I feel guided by JC in spirit, in cultural ways, physically, mentally, emotionally."

13YARN 13 92 76

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