A man holds a picture of Chantel Moore during a healing gathering at the B.C. Legislature in Victoria on June 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito

A man holds a picture of Chantel Moore during a healing gathering at the B.C. Legislature in Victoria on June 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito

B.C. First Nation demands transparency in probe into second fatal RCMP shooting

‘Police have killed more Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation members than COVID’

A Vancouver Island First Nation has issued a stinging rebuke to the RCMP in the wake of the second death of a member at the hands of a police officer in less than a year.

The Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation released a statement March 3 questioning the RCMP’s use of deadly force in the case of Julian Jones, a 28 year-old Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation man shot and killed on Feb. 27.

“It is incomprehensible to see such unnecessary loss of life at the hands of the RCMP,” the statement reads. “It is obvious that the RCMP need more social service resources and community-based responders to assist them when interacting with those members of the society that have mental health issues, or whom are currently going through other trauma.”

“Nine months ago, our Nation put forward a list of recommendations to support better interactions with police and to reduce police brutality. To date, none of the recommendations have been followed up on and the RCMP/police have killed more TFN members than COVID has.”

RELATED: Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation man shot and killed by Tofino RCMP

RELATED: First Nation wants murder charge laid against police officer who shot Chantel Moore

Jones is the second Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation member to be killed by police in the past nine months. Chantel Moore, 26, was shot during a wellness check at her New Brunswick home on June 4, 2020.

Jones was killed when police responded to a report of a woman being held against her will in Opitsaht, located on Meares Island roughly two kilometres from Tofino.

The Independent Investigations Office of British Columbia, the civilian agency that investigates all police incidents resulting in serious harm or death, has appointed an Indigenous civilian monitor to the investigation.

“In the interest of a fully transparent investigation, the IIO commits to making the monitor’s final report available to the public,” an IIO statement reads.

The West Coast’s larger Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council had released a statement on March 1 demanding a “fully independent and transparent investigation” where it must be involved in every step. The NTC had also submitted a list of recommendations following the shooting of Moore and says they never received a response.

“We are devastated and angered that the RCMP did not and have not listened,” the statement reads. “The use of deadly force by Canadian police forces against Indigenous peoples is an epidemic in this country.”

Native Courtworker and Counselling Association of B.C. president Hugh Braker is also demanding a thorough and transparent inquiry.

“An investigation that drags on for a year or more or one that is not completely open to the public will make it even worse,” he said. “The RCMP are given the power, in some circumstances, to shoot and kill people. For the public to maintain confidence in the justice system, when these extraordinary powers are used, there must be an investigation that recognizes and reflects the need for public confidence.”

The Tla-o-qui-aht are requesting access to body camera footage as well as any 911 dispatch calls related to the Jones shooting.

“Our community has lost a nephew, a grandson, a brother, a friend. Our community is grieving this loss and ask for privacy during this time. This press release will be our Nation’s only statement regarding this tragedy, whilst we conduct our business of putting our community member to his final resting place.”

For more news from Vancouver Island and beyond delivered daily into your inbox, please click here.



andrew.bailey@westerlynews.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

IndigenousRCMPTofino,

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson outlines the province’s three-year budget in Victoria, April 20, 2021. (B.C. government video)
B.C. deficit to grow by $19 billion for COVID-19 recovery spending

Pandemic-year deficit $5 billion lower than forecast

A syringe is loaded with COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
67 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

Thirty people in the region are hospitalized with the virus, 11 of whom are intensive care

An animal carrier full of bullet holes and containing a dead animal was found near Castlegar. Photo: Colleen Schwartz
Castlegar woman finds dead animal inside carrier riddled with bullet holes

The remains were discovered near Syringa Creek Provincial Park

People are shown at a COVID-19 vaccination site in Montreal, Sunday, April 18, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
211 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health over the weekend

Currently, there are 875 active cases of the virus in the region

A nurse prepares a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in Kelowna on Tuesday, March 16. As of April 19, more than 230,000 doses have been administered across the Interior Health region. (Phil McLachlan/Black Press)
More than 230K doses of COVID-19 vaccine administered across Interior Health

A total of 220,216 first doses and 13,775 second doses have been given to residents across the B.C. Interior

Four homes in Johnson Flats were at serious risk of falling into a neighbourhood section of the Kettle River, according to capital project manager Justin Dinsdale. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Grand Forks shields riverside homes against erosion

Crews have built a modified dike along a section of the Kettle River in Johnson Flats

In this image from video, former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin, center, is taken into custody as his attorney, Eric Nelson, left, looks on, after the verdicts were read at Chauvin’s trial for the 2020 death of George Floyd, Tuesday, April 20, 2021, at the Hennepin County Courthouse in Minneapolis, Minn. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Court TV via AP, Pool
George Floyd’s death was ‘wake-up call’ about systemic racism: Trudeau

Derek Chauvin was found guilty Tuesday on all three charges against him

Former University of Victoria rowing coach Barney Williams is photographed in the stands during the Greater Victoria Invitational at CARSA Performance Gym at the University of Victoria in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, November 29, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Rowing Canada sanctions former head coach of B.C. varsity women’s team

Suspension of Barney Williams would be reversed if he complies with certain terms

A man pauses at a coffin after carrying it during a memorial march to remember victims of overdose deaths in Vancouver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. announces historic half-billion-dollar funding for overdose crisis, mental health

Of it, $152 million will be used to address the opioid crisis and see the creation of 195 new substance use treatment beds

Children’s backpacks and shoes are seen at a CEFA (Core Education and Fine Arts) Early Learning daycare franchise, in Langley, B.C., on Tuesday May 29, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. budget to expand $10-a-day child care, but misses the mark on ‘truly universal’ system

$111 million will be used to fund 3,750 new $10-a-day spaces though 75 additional ChildCareBC universal prototype sites over the next three years.

The IIO is investigating after a police dog bit a man during a traffic stop near Ladysmith on April 17, 2021. (Black Press Media stock photo)
Man arrested in incident at Canada-U.S. border near Roosville

A man who crossed the border illegally was apprehended by U.S. officials

Mak Parhar speaks at an anti-mask rally outside the Vancouver Art Gallery on Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020. Parhar was arrested on Nov. 2 and charged with allegedly violating the Quarantine Act after returning from a Flat Earth conference held in Geenville, South Carolina on Oct. 24. (Flat Earth Focker/YouTube.com screenshot)
Judge tosses lawsuit of B.C. COVID-denier who broke quarantine after Flat Earth conference

Mak Parhar accused gov, police of trespass, malfeasance, extortion, terrorism, kidnapping and fraud

Most Read