Northern Territory police officer Zachary Rolfe has been committed to stand trial for allegedly murdering Warlpiri man Kumanjayi Walker at Yuendumu, 300 km west of Alice Springs, last year.

Walker died after Rolfe shot him three times during at attempted arrest on November 9, 2019. Walker was just 19 years old.

While Rolfe was charged with murder at the time, his lawyers argued there wasn’t enough evidence to go to trail. Their argument was rejected by Alice Springs Local Court Judge John Birch on Monday, although the exact details of his reasoning are under a suppression order.

It marks the first time a Northern Territory police officer will stand trial over an Indigenous death in custody.

The officers, who were dispatched to Yuendumu from Alice Springs, entered Walker’s family home in order to arrest him for returning to the remote Aboriginal community, which as against a previous court order.

Rolfe allegedly disregarded an arrest plan developed by Yuendumu Sgt Julie Frost before a fight broke out between the two.

The decision for Rolfe to stand trial has been welcomed by many community members who chanted “justice for Walker” outside the court, according to the ABC.

“We gotta speak up no matter where we come from, what language we speak,” Walker’s grandmother Monica Napaltjarri Robertson told NITV.

“We gotta open the hearts and… we gotta fight. We will be fighting forever.”

Walker’s death sparked mass protests across the country last year, being one of the most prominent in a long line of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander deaths in custody.

Rolfe is currently suspended form the police force without pay, and appeared via video link from Canberra, where he’s at his family’s home on bail.

The trial is expected to take place next year. Rolfe previously indicated he would plead not guilty.