Quebec watchdog to probe fatal RCMP shooting of N.B. Indigenous man

Published June 12, 2020 11:57 p.m. ET
Updated June 13, 2020 1:49 p.m. ET

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MONTREAL -- Quebec’s police watchdog will investigate a fatal RCMP shooting involving a Mi’kmaq man in New Brunswick on Friday night.

In a statement issued in French, the Bureau des enqutes Indepantes (BEI) said that RCMP officers were responding to a report of a “disturbed person” who was possibly armed with a knife in the Miramichi, N.B., area at around 8 p.m. local time.

The police watchdog says officers found the man armed with a knife in a building where they allegedly used an electric pulse weapon several times to detain him without success. It’s alleged the man then charged at police before being shot by one of the officers. 

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The man later died in hospital.

The regional chief of the Assembly of First Nations for New Brunswick Roger Augustine identified the man to The Canadian Press as Rodney Levi of the Red Bank First Nation.

Augustine added that Levi was shot in the community about 30 kilometres west of Miramichi. Red Bank is a small community right next to Metepenagiag Miꞌkmaq Nation.

The RCMP didn't respond to requests for comment Friday night. 

REACTION TO THE SHOOTING

People in the community erupted with grief and anger on social media on Friday, with many posting memories of a man they described as outgoing.

One recalled how he made up goofy nicknames for his friends.

“This breaks my heart,” wrote another man. "My son’s best friend…has lost her dad.”

SECOND DEADLY POLICE SHOOTING THIS MONTH

The fatal shooting Friday night comes just eight days after the death of 26-year-old Chantel Moore. On June 4, an officer from the Edmundston Police Force shot the First Nations woman while doing a wellness check at her apartment.

The Edmundston police force says the officer was defending himself, alleging Moore was armed with a knife and was making threats.

There will be a coroner’s inquest and independent investigation into Moore’s death.

RCMP across Canada have been under intense scrutiny this week after a string of violent incidents involving Indigenous people.

Police dashcam footage emerged Thursday that appears to show an RCMP officer punching and tackling an Alberta First Nations chief during an arrest in March.

Last week, another video surfaced showing a Mountie in Kinngait, Nunavut hitting an Inuk man with a car door.


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