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

Prince Rupert Fire Rescue attend an apartment fire on the morning of April 11 in a building at 521 Fulton Str. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
Sunday morning fire rouses tenants

Prince Rupert Fire Rescue attended an apartment fire at 521 Fulton St.

Bears are waking up hungry and starting to forage, Conservation Officer Service said on April 9. Prince Residents are advised to keep garbage in sealed containers to lessen bear attraction. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
Keep bears wild – they are not teddy bears

Conservation Officer Service warns bears are waking up hungry

Prince Rupert couple Alvin Tait and Loni Martin have postponed their wedding two times due to COVID-19 affecting the marriage rates in Prince Rupert. (Photo: supplied/L.Martin)
No marriages in Prince Rupert in 2021 so far

Weddings down 23.9% in P.R. since COVID-19 with B.C. wedding industry loss at $158 million

Three North Coast organizations are granted funding to promote multiculturalism and support anti-racism, Jennifer Rice MLA announced on April 8. Conrad Elementary School students recognized the first Black Shirt Day on January 15, 2021, to advocate for anti-racism. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
North Coast organizations to benefit from anti-racism funding

$944,000 granted in provincial funding to aid multiculturalism

Restaurant patrons enjoy the weather on a patio in Vancouver, B.C., Monday, April 5, 2021. The province has suspended indoor dining at restaurants and pubs until at least April 19 in B.C. due to a spike in COVID-19 numbers. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. sets new COVID-19 daily record with 1,293 cases Thursday

New order allows workplace closures when infections found

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

RCMP display some of the fish seized from three suspects who pleaded guilty to violating the Fisheries Act in 2019, in this undated handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - RCMP
3 banned from fishing, holding licences after overfishing violations near Vancouver Island

Mounties seized the group’s 30-foot fishing vessel and all equipment on board at the time

B.C. Premier John Horgan responds to questions during a postelection news conference in Vancouver, on Sunday, October 25, 2020. British Columbia’s opposition Liberals and Greens acknowledge the COVID-19 pandemic has presented huge challenges for Horgan’s government, but they say Monday’s throne speech must outline a coherent plan for the province’s economic, health, social and environmental future. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Horgan’s NDP to bring in throne speech in B.C., Opposition wants coherent plan

Farnworth said the budget will include details of government investment in communities and infrastructure

FILE - An arena worker removes the net from the ice after the Vancouver Canucks and Calgary Flames NHL hockey game was postponed due to a positive COVID-19 test result, in Vancouver, British Columbia, in this Wednesday, March 31, 2021, file photo. As vaccinations ramp up past a pace of 3 million a day in the U.S, the NHL is in a tougher spot than the other three major North American professional sports leagues because seven of 31 teams are based on Canada. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP, File)
Vancouver Canucks scheduled to practice Sunday, resume games April 16 after COVID outbreak

Canucks outbreak delayed the team’s season by eight games

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod, seen here on April 9, 2021 with four-year-old sister Elena and mom Vanessa, was born with limb differences. The family, including husband/dad Sean McLeod, is looking for a family puppy that also has a limb difference. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. family looking for puppy with limb difference, just like 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy McLeod born as bilateral amputee, now her family wants to find ‘companion’ puppy for her

A vehicle that was driven through the wall of a parkade at Uptown Shopping Centre and into the nearby Walmart on April 9 was removed through another hole in the wall later that night. (Photo via Saanich Police Department and Ayush Kakkar)
Vehicle launched into B.C. Walmart removed following rescue of trapped workers

Crews cut new hole in parkade wall to remove vehicle safely

Four members with Divers for Cleaner Lakes and Oceans were out at Cultus Lake on March 28 and 29 hauling trash out of the waters. (Henry Wang)
PHOTOS: Out-of-town divers remove 100s of pounds of trash from Cultus Lake

Members of Divers for Cleaner Lakes and Oceans hauled out 470 pounds of trash over two days

As of Saturday, April 10, people born in 1961 are the latest to be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine. (Black Press files)
B.C. residents age 60+ can now register to get their COVID-19 vaccine

Vaccine registration is now open to people born in 1961 or earlier

Most Read