News

Police Shot and Killed Another Indigenous Person Over the Weekend

The man, identified as Julian Jones, is the second Tla-o-qui-aht person to be shot by an officer in under a year
Anya Zoledziowski
Toronto, CA
March 1, 2021, 4:07pm
RCMP police cruiser
B.C. RCMP shot and killed an Indigenous man from Opitsaht First Nation over the weekend. Photo by the Canadian Press/Jonathan Hayward

An Indigenous man was shot and killed by police in a village near Tofino, British Columbia, on Saturday night.

According to an RCMP statement, two officers visited a home in Opitsaht First Nation at about 9:30 p.m. on Saturday to “locate a woman in distress.” They found two men on scene. 

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“When they arrived an interaction took place and one male was shot and another was taken into custody,” the statement says. The woman was taken to hospital for assessment. 

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C., a civilian-run police oversight group investigating the death, said the man was “shot and killed by officers.”  

A man who said he’s the victim's brother took to social media to identify him on Sunday. 

“Last night my brother Julian Jones was shot and killed by the Tofino RCMP,” Leo Jackson’s Facebook post says. 

Jones is the second Tla-o-qui-aht person to be shot by an officer in under a year. Last June, Tla-o-qui-aht woman Chantel Moore, 26, was killed by Edmundston police in New Brunswick during a wellness check. Moore’s death prompted an independent investigation into its circumstances, which wrapped up in December. Her family was denied access to the findings in January. 

President of the Native Courtworker and Counselling Association of British Columbia, Hugh Braker, told CBC News the latest shooting is “causing a lot of profound shock in the community.”

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“This is the same First Nations community that lost a young woman last year to a fatal police shooting. And we're still not satisfied with the results of the inquiry into that death," Baker said. “We're sick and tired of police investigating police. We just don't trust investigations.”

Vancouver Island General Investigative Section (GIS) is investigating the initial call to police, “including allegations that the woman was being held against her will,” the RCMP statement says.

RCMP across Canada faced backlash in 2020 for several violent arrests involving Indigenous peoples. In Nunavut, an RCMP officer was videotaped ramming his car door into an Inuk man before making an arrest, while in Alberta, RCMP dashcam footage shows an officer jump tackling and punching Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation Chief Allan Adam.

Last April, three Indigenous peoples were killed within 10 days in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

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