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

Elvira D’Angelo, 92, waits to receive her COVID-19 vaccination shot at a clinic in Montreal, Sunday, March 7, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
110 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

Provincial health officers announced 1,005 new cases throughout B.C.

Kristian Camero and Jessica Wood, seen here, co-own The Black Cauldron with Stephen Barton. The new Nelson restaurant opened earlier this month while indoor dining is restricted by the province. Photo: Tyler Harper
A restaurant opens in Nelson, and no one is allowed inside

The Black Cauldron opened while indoor dining is restricted in B.C.

First-year Selkirk College student Terra-Mae Box is one of many talented writers who will read their work at the Black Bear Review’s annual (virtual) launch on April 22. Photo: Submitted
Kelowna General Hospital (File photo)
Interior Health hospitals not strained by rising COVID case counts

While provincial hospitalizations rise, health care systems in the B.C. Interior remain robust, say officials

School District 20 is advising the public there has been a positive case of COVID-19 at the Trail high school. Photo: Trail Times
District confirms positive COVID case at Trail high school

The person is at home self-isolating, administration advised on Wednesday

Rainbow trouts thrashing with life as they’re about to be transferred to the largest lake of their lives, even though it’s pretty small. These rainbows have a blue tinge because they matched the blue of their hatchery pen, but soon they’ll take on the green-browns of their new home at Lookout Lake. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
VIDEO: B.C. lake stocked with hatchery trout to delight of a seniors fishing club

The Cherish Trout Scouts made plans to come back fishing soon

Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops. (Dave Eagles/Kamloops This Week file photo)
RCMP intercept vehicle fleeing with infant taken from Kamloops hospital

The baby was at the hospital receiving life-saving care

Vancouver Police Const. Deepak Sood is under review by the Independent Investigations Office of B.C. after making comments to a harm reduction advocate Sunday, April 11. (Screen grab)
VIDEO: Vancouver officer convicted of uttering threats under watchdog review again

Const. Deepak Sood was recorded Sunday saying ‘I’ll smack you’ and ‘go back to selling drugs’ to a harm reduction advocate

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry prepares a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic, April 21, 2020. (B.C. Government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate persists, 1,005 new cases Friday

Hospitalization up to 425, six more virus-related deaths

Premier John Horgan receives a dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine at the pharmacy in James Bay Thrifty’s Foods in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, April 16, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. Premier John Horgan gets AstraZeneca shot, encourages others

27% of residents in B.C. have now been vaccinated against COVID-19

The Nautical Dog Cafe at Skaha marina is getting its patio ready in hopes Mother Nature will provide where provincial restrictions have taken away indoor dining. (Facebook)
‘A lot of instability’: B.C. restaurants in layoff limbo

As COVID-19 cases stay high, restaurants in British Columbia are closed to indoor dining

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau looks on as Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Expectations high as Trudeau Liberals get ready to unveil first pandemic budget

The Liberals will look to thread an economic needle with Monday’s budget

Since April 4, 38 flights with COVID-19 cases have departed from Vancouver International Airport, while 23 arrived. (Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
Vancouver the largest source of domestic flights with COVID-19 cases: data

This month alone, 38 flights with COVID-19 cases have departed from Vancouver International Airport, while 23 arrived

Most Read