Police shot and killed a 26-year-old Indigenous woman in Edmunston, New Brunswick early Thursday morning, her family says.
The Vancouver Sun is reporting that family members have confirmed that the woman killed by police is an Indigenous woman named Chantel Moore. Nora Martin, Moore's aunt, told the Sun Moore, who she described as a "kind, gentle and loving” person, had recently moved to the north New Brunswick town from Port Alberni. Martin said police were called when Moore's boyfriend contacted authorities saying that Moore was complaining of being harassed by someone.
At a press conference, Edmundston Police spokesperson Insp. Steve Robinson claimed that an officer encountered Moore brandishing a knife and making threats. He said the officer fired and killed her when she allegedly attacked him. Police have not released the name of the officer. Robinson said he does not believe the officer attempted to use non-lethal force.
Martin told the paper she has trouble believing police's description of events leading up to the killing of her niece.
“It’s very out of character. Chantel didn’t have a mean bone in her body,” said Martin. “As far as I’m aware of, she never had any trouble with law,”
Martin said the family was told the officer fired five times at Moore but doesn't know if all bullets connected. Moore died at the scene, the officer who killed her has not been identified. VICE has reached out to family members but has yet to hear back.
The killing comes during a time of intense scrutiny over police killings of people of colour and the overuse of force. In Toronto, protesters held a large rally last weekend after Regis Korchinski-Paquet, a young Black woman, died after police were called by her family to assist a situation. Korchinski-Paquet fell 24-storeys to her death and the circumstances surrounding how she died are disputed. In the United States, there has been mass unrest and protests across the country following the killing of George Floyd by Minnesota police officers on May 25.
The Edmundston police department is requesting a third party investigate if the killing of the young woman was justified.
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