Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller listens to chiefs as they line up to speak during a session at the AFN Special Chiefs Assembly in Ottawa, Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller did not parse words on police violence against Indigenous people, after two officer-involved incidents this week – one with a man in Nunavut, the other the fatal shooting of B.C. woman Chantel Moore in New Brunswick.

While the news conference on Friday (June 5) was intended to be an update on COVID-19 cases in Indigenous communities, Miller was questioned by reporters about the two recent incidents and racism.

The minister said that he “watched in disgust” a graphic video showing an RCMP officer in Nunavut ramming his car door into a 22-year-old Inuk man walking along a road on Monday evening.

The young man, who has not been identified by police, was arrested for domestic assault and failing to comply with probation orders and taken into police custody. The video shows him notably intoxicated. He was later beaten by another man in the same holding cell and had to be airlifted to hospital.

Miller said he had also been briefed on the the fatal police shooting of Moore, a member of the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation near Tofino on Vancouver Island. The 26-year-old mother had recently moved to Edmundston, N.B. to be closer to her daughter.

READ MORE: Alberni Valley, West Coast First Nations gather to remember woman fatally shot by police

Her boyfriend, who lives in Ontario, called Edmundston Police early Thursday morning to conduct a wellness check on Moore. She ended up being shot and killed. Police said in a statement that Moore was holding a knife and making threats.

Moore’s family has said that she was shot five times by the officer.

“I don’t understand how someone dies during a wellness check,” Miller said. “When I first saw the report I thought it was some morbid joke.”

The family of Moore and the young man deserve answers, the minister said.

“Frankly along with many Canadians, Indigenous Peoples living in Canada, politicians in Canada, I’m pissed, I’m outraged,” he said. “There needs to be a full accounting of what has gone on. This is a pattern that keeps repeating itself.”

The two incidents are being investigated separately by out-of-province civilian watchdog agencies.

Miller also spoke on the idea of making body cameras mandatory for police forces – saying that he is open to the idea but noted such measures haven’t stopped police violence over the border. Instead, Miller pointed to proper training and recruitment as necessary steps to end these incidents.

On Thursday, BC RCMP released a statement saying that the force is “deeply saddened by the anguish expressed by so many in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death in Minnesota.”

Deputy Commissioner Jennifer Strachan detailed a number of steps taken to “ensure biased-free policing,” including a dedicated hate crime team which provides advice and guidance on how to investigate hate crimes.

Last week, the Independent Investigations Office in B.C. forwarded a report to BC Prosecution Service for the consideration of excessive-force related charges against five RCMP officers to Crown counsel after an Indigenous man who was believed to be casing cars was killed during an arrest in 2017.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

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

Just Posted

Cancelled shows and slow reopening for Revelstoke Art Gallery

The gallery has been closed since March due to COVID-19

Pure magic: live performances revived in Revelstoke

Revelstoke Arts Council hosting Guerrilla Gigs on Wednesdays all summer long

Glimpses of Revelstoke’s past for July 9

Jack Snoddy Archive assistant, Revelstoke Museum & Archives 120 years ago: Revelstoke… Continue reading

VIDEO: Teaching the next generation of skaters in Revelstoke

‘There’s very few sports out there where adults and children can play together’ says Adrian Giacca

Revelstoke’s City Hall wrapped in plastic

Revelstoke’s City Hall is wrapped in plastic for the time being. The… Continue reading

B.C. identifies 20 new COVID-19 cases, travellers specified in count

Pandemic total 3,028 cases, 51 people from outside Canada

Kelowna taxpayers could pay $90K for losses caused by cancelled Memorial Cup

$135,000 would be put aside for a potential bid for a future opportunity to host the tournament

Canadian policing organization calls for decriminalization of simple illicit drug possession

Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police want policing focus of opioid crisis to be replaced with a health one

Motorcycle rider seriously injured in collision with vehicle on Highway 97 west of Pritchard

Chase RCMP report that motorcycle was attempting to pass when crash occurred

Predator mutilated cats in Kelowna: BC SPCA

The BC SPCA confirmed a mutilated cat was killed by a predator

LETTER: Former Summerland mayors speak out on solar project

Five former Summerland mayors sign name to short letter

Emergency crews conduct CPR on unresponsive person in Okanagan Lake

West Kelowna emergency crews are on scene at the shores of Jubilee Mobile Home Park

Filing deadline in RCMP sexual-harassment class-action extended due to COVID-19

Plaintiffs now have until January 2021 to submit claims for up to $222,000

Jamie Bacon pleads guilty to charge in Surrey Six case

The plea brings an end to a complex legal case that has spanned more than a decade

Most Read