indigenous police brutality

Justin Trudeau to investigate reports of police brutality against Indigenous people

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that he will speak with his cabinet and the RCMP commisioner on Friday following recent reports of police brutality against Indigenous Canadians.

Speaking outside of Rideau Cottage, Trudeau called the recent videos and reports from across the country showing violence against Indigenous people "disturbing."

"We need to ensure that each of these individual cases is investigated properly," he said, "but we also need a larger reflection on changing the systems that do not do right by too many Indigenous people and racialized Canadians."

When asked by a reporter what he would say to Indigenous Canadians that feel fear when police officials show up outside their doors, Trudeau said that "far too many Canadians feel fear and anxiety" at the sight of law enforcement officers.

"Indigenous Canadians, racialized Canadians, are vulnerable in these situations," he said. "This is not something that is new."

"But over the past weeks, we've seen a large number of Canadians suddenly awaken to the fact that the discrimination that is a lived reality for far too many of our fellow citizens is something that needs to end. And that is what we are working on."

Trudeau says that the federal government only has jurisdiction over the RCMP, but he will be discussing the issue with Canadian provinces and municipalities in the next few days.

Some of the more publicized cases that Trudeau was addressing include the death of Chantel Moore, a 26-year-old woman in New Brunswick that was fatally shot while police were performing a wellness check.

In a statement, the Edmundston Police Force said officers were called to do a wellness check on a woman in an apartment in the city. When they arrived, she emerged with a knife and attacked an officer, according to Inspector Steve Robinson.

"He had no choice but to defend himself," Robinson said.

Footage of Nunavut police officers using the door of an RCMP truck to knock over a man before arresting him has also recently surfaced, sparking outrage on social media.

On Friday, Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller condemned the recent acts of violence by police against Indigeneous Canadians.

"I don't understand how someone dies during a wellness check," Miller said. "I'm pissed. I'm outraged. There needs to be a full accounting of what has gone on."

Lead photo by

Hector Vasquez

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