To: Federal, provincial & municipal governments
Demand an end to police violence & murder
Across Canada, Indigenous people have been targeted by police violence and murder, as part of the ongoing colonial project. Black & Indigenous people are targeted by police forces across Canada - through street checks, street sweeps, illegal arrest and detention, and lethal force. In response, families of Black & Indigenous people murdered by the police are coming together, fighting for justice.
These families and their Ancestors deserve justice, for beloved kin who were cruelly and needlessly murdered by police across so-called Canada. Families call on government to endorse all SIX demands:
(1) IMMEDIATE SUSPENSION OF ANY OFFICER AND/OR POLICE SERVICE DOG INVOLVED IN A POLICE-INVOLVED KILLING OR INCIDENT OF HARM.
The act of a police-officer killing, seriously injuring or otherwise harming anyone must be repudiated by all levels of government. Police officers who are subject to investigation must be immediately suspended. Police cannot return to work until investigation and prosecution is concluded, and they cannot have access to weapons during this time. This should be reflected in legislative changes.
(2) EVERY POLICE-INVOLVED KILLING MUST BE REFERRED TO PROSECUTION.
Currently, investigations cite “no reasonable prospect of a conviction” which allows police violence to run rampant. Even civilian oversight bodies, such as the IIO or SIU, have minimal rates of referral to provincial prosecution services.
(3) PROVIDE DEDICATED LEGAL AID FUNDING FOR ALL FAMILIES AND SURVIVORS OF POLICE VIOLENCE.
This includes funding police complaint clinics, including direct support for families and individuals who wish to bring a lawsuit against a police officer or police force, and ensure representation for families and/or victims in instances of police-involved serious injury or death in order to facilitate full participation in Coroners’ Inquests and civil actions. Survivors of police violence are currently navigating a confusing, inaccessible system without necessary legal support.
(4) MEANINGFUL OVERSIGHT
Every person killed by the police is part of a family, a community, and a kinship network. The deaths of Indigenous people at the hands of police are part of a genocidal system. Indigenous, Black and racialized communities must have oversight and control during any investigation, disciplinary proceedings, and prosecution of killer cops.
(5) NO MORE SECRECY, NO MORE SILENCE!
Families are demanding surveillance of police - always on bodycams, logs & notebooks must be part of the public record. Any police officer who interferes with this must be publicly sanctioned.
(6) DEFUND TO DISMANTLE & INVEST IN COMMUNITIES
Police should no longer be first responders to mental health calls, including wellness checks. All too often, and especially for Black, Indigenous and other People of Colour, police presence further escalates people, and police officers are quick to use lethal force as a means to gain compliance and control. Instead of funnelling millions into policing, these funds could go to root-cause solutions, such as culturally safe and response mental health care, affordable housing, safe supply, and community-led crisis intervention. Rather than fund the police system, we need to train our own people - those who are willing to take on this work and already have expertise.
“Help all of the families to get up & stand up.” - Gracie, Chantel Moore’s daughter
THIS PETITION HAS BEEN ENDORSED BY THE FOLLOWING FAMILIES:
* Martha Martin, mother of Chantel Moore & Mike Martin
* Joy Crawford, mother of Clayton Crawford
* Nicole Gladue-Weesemat, sister of Randal Waylon Matthew Gladue
* Laura Holland, mother of Jared Lowndes
* William Hudson & Cheyenne Ducharme, parents of Eishia Hudson
* Family of Rodney Levi
Why is this important?
Police violence changes the lives of every parent who loses a child, child who loses a parent, family who loses kin, and community members who lose friends and comrades. They all deserve justice. Every level of government must assume responsibility for making changes, in recognition of the Indigenous and Black people whose lives have been lost due to police murder or whose lives are permanently changed due to police violence.
We honour the names of those we have lost, and fight to end this violence.
We call for a future where no one has to worry about their child being lost or harmed by police violence. Ending police violence protects Black & Indigenous youth and creates a future where they don’t fear for their lives. Endorse these demands and support all families grieving their loved ones, all of those killed by police!
ABOUT CHANTEL MOORE
On June 4, 2020, Chantel Moore a Nuu-chah-nulth woman and member of the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation was killed during a police wellness check. Chantel was living in Edmunston, New Brunswick, where she had moved to be closer to her daughter, Gracie, and mother, Martha Martin. Shortly after making this move, Chantel lost her life during a police wellness check.
The officer who shot and killed Chantel, Jeremy Son of the Edmundston Police Force, was not charged. In response to this injustice, the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council condemned this failure:
"This reality is reflective of Canada’s persisting colonization and genocidal practices. No one deserves to be gunned down on a wellness check. We demand Canada to do more to end the violence and killing of our people, particularly our women and girls, who are grossly overrepresented as victims of violence. Canada states time and time again that reconciliation with First Nations and Indigenous peoples is a top priority and mandate yet when one of our own is gunned down and killed on a 'wellness check,' there is no accountability and Justice."
ABOUT JARED LOWNDES
On July 8, 2021 Jared Lowndes, Laksilyu of the Wit’suwit’en Nation, was shot & killed by the Campbell River RCMP. His family continues to fight for justice. In March 2022, Laura Holland, Laksilyu of the Wit’suwit’en Nation, mother to Jared Lowndes, organized the art show Honour Their Names, commemorating the lives of over 80 Indigenous people shot and killed by the police. Each month, more names are added, more beloved kin are killed.
How it will be delivered