Chantel Moore's family demands change to policing, plan lawsuit after officer cleared in shooting death
Coast to coast, the family of Chantel Moore is calling for change to how Canadian police services operate.
"How do we start to mend bridges with policing? There is so much distrust," said Moore's mother, Martha Martin.
The outcry comes one day after an independent report cleared an Edmundston, N.B. police officer in Moore's shooting death.
The 26-year-old mother was shot and killed during a wellness check on June 4, 2020.
Chantel Moore was originally from the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation near Tofino, B.C. before moving across the country to be closer to family.
The New Brunswick's Public Prosecutions Services released its report Monday outlining its reasons against charging the officer.
The inquiry concluded that Moore was intoxicated and in destress when an officer came to check on her.
The Edmundston officer told investigators that Moore came to the door of her apartment with a knife and began advancing on him.
Despite having pepper spray and other non-lethal weapons, the officer drew his gun and fired four times into her chest, according to the independent report.
"It just seems like they are too quick to pull their guns out," said Tla-o-qui-aht family member, Joe Martin.
The family now is calling on police to require body cameras and train officers in better de-escalation tactics, including specific training for interactions with Indigenous Canadians.
The report, first authored by Quebec's investigations office, found that there was no video or recorded evidence of the early morning shooting.
The findings mainly rely on forensic evidence and officer testimony.
At a rally in Fredericton, N.B. on Tuesday, Chantel's mother called for change and said that it remains difficult for Indigenous people to trust police and their investigations.
"You know I have a little granddaughter who is terrified when she sees a cop car or anyone in a uniform," said Martin.
"So, how do we make changes to make the little girl feel safe?"
Wrongful death lawsuit
Chantel's family may not get murder changes against the officer involved, but they could still see a day in court.
The lawyer for the family of says he plans to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the City of Edmundston and the police officer who shot and killed Chantel last year.
"We intend to file that complaint in the coming weeks," T.J. Burke said in an interview Tuesday, one day after prosecutors ruled out criminal charges against the officer.
Burke said Quebec's watchdog probed the shooting because New Brunswick doesn't have an independent police oversight agency.
"Now that we have the foundation of the basis for a civil claim, the family has instructed us to move forward with it, and we intend to pursue it," Burke said about the reports from the Quebec watchdog and the prosecutions services.
Officials for the city declined comment Tuesday.