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'Where is the hope?' B.C. First Nation president upset after officer cleared in shooting death of Chantel Moore

Victoria -

There’s renewed anger over the death of a First Nations woman, originally from Vancouver Island’s west coast, as the New Brunswick Police Commission finds the officer who killed her didn’t breach his professional code of conduct.

Chantel Moore was shot and killed by a member of the Edmunston Police Force during a wellness check in the early hours of June 4, 2020. Investigators said at the time that the shooting happened after the 26-year-old approached the officer holding a knife.

He was cleared of criminal wrongdoing earlier this summer – and today under a separate probe, the New Brunswick Police Commission is backing his professional conduct.

"We are convinced that the officer did not breach the code of conduct," said commission chair Marc Leger.

"This is the most intensive and thorough investigation the commission has ever done," he added.

Moore was originally from the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation in the Nuuh-chah-nulth territory near Tofino, B.C. The tribal council president says she’s outraged by the decision.

"That he can shoot a young Indigenous woman four times and it’s OK,” said council president Judith Sayers. "It blows my mind that there’s that kind of standard out there for our police."

While the commission is boasting the scope of its investigation -- which included more than 20 witnesses, document reviews, the independent criminal investigation findings, and a re-enactment of the scene – Sayers is criticizing the complaint process, partly for its lack of Indigenous representation.

"It’s all (a) colonial process," she said. "People who come from a policing background will always defend police."

She’s also been talking to Moore's family following the release of the commission’s findings. She says Moore’s mother is devastated by the commission’s results.

"I can’t blame her," said Sayers. "Where is the hope? Where is the justice for Chantel? There has been none."

It’s anticipated the family will be bringing forward a civil suit – and a coroner’s inquest is set for February, 2022. Top Stories

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