RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)

New Brunswick Indigenous man is victim of RCMP-involved fatal shooting: Chief

Man identified as Rodney Levi of the Metepenagiag Mi’kmaq Nation

The regional chief of the Assembly of First Nations for New Brunswick has confirmed that the man who died in an RCMP shooting Friday night was Rodney Levi of the Metepenagiag Mi’kmaq Nation.

Roger Augustine, the regional chief representing New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island, said Saturday that Levi was shot near the community, about 30 kilometres west of Miramichi. He added that Levi was a relative, saying he has a grandson in the area who shares Levi’s last name.

The RCMP said officers responded to a complaint about an “unwanted man” in a home near the community at 7:40 p.m. local time

“When police arrived, they were confronted by a man who was carrying knives,” said RCMP Cpl. Jullie Rogers-Marsh.

She said officers used a stun gun several times but were unable to subdue the man.

An officer then discharged a firearm. The suspect was declared dead in hospital around 9 p.m.

The shooting marked the second time in less than a month that police have killed an Indigenous person in New Brunswick.

On June 4, Chantel Moore, 26, died after being shot by an Edmundston Police Department officer. Moore, from a First Nation in British Columbia, had moved to the community to be near her mother and six-year-old daughter.

Police have said an officer performing a wellness check allegedly encountered a woman with a knife.

“It’s an international disaster when you talk about racism,” Augustine said in an interview.

ALSO READ: Shooting victim Chantel Moore remembered as ‘the sweetest soul’

“Racism is everywhere. It’s like a virus, like COVID-19. That’s how I see racism. It just seeps through the communities and kills the young people, and the old people.”

Quebec’s independent police investigation agency, the Bureau des enquetes independantes, is investigating both shootings.

Chief Bill Ward of the Metepenagiag Mi’kmaq Nation confirmed in a Facebook message to CBC News that the latest victim was a member of his First Nation.

“I’m so mad and sad, I don’t know what to think,” Ward said in a message on his Facebook page that elicited scores of posts offering condolences.

The victim has also been identified by friends as Rodney Levi.

“My bro Rodney Levi, my childhood friend … Got tears in my eyes thinking how this happened,” wrote Dwayne Everett Ward.

“Shot twice by the police … I pray for all your family, I know they’re hurting right now … I’m overwhelmed with sadness about all this.”

There have been calls since for a broader inquiry to examine systemic bias against Indigenous people in the province’s policing and criminal justice systems.

Jake Stewart, New Brunswick’s minister of Aboriginal affairs, has said he supports the call, saying the province has a problem with systemic racism toward Indigenous people.

On Friday, the commissioner of the RCMP, Brenda Lucki, issued a statement saying it is her responsibility to ensure the RCMP is free of racism, discrimination and bias.

She also said she struggled with the concept of systemic racism when asked about the issue.

“I did acknowledge that we, like others, have racism in our organization, but I did not say definitively that systemic racism exists in the RCMP,” she said. “I should have.”

“As many have said, I do know that systemic racism is part of every institution, the RCMP included. Throughout our history and today, we have not always treated racialized and Indigenous people fairly.”

Augustine said “systemic racism is not owned by the RCMP.”

“And it’s not owned by any government in any country. Systemic racism is something that has to be addressed by the community itself, and in this case it’s New Brunswick. Racism exists in all peoples. Racism is about judging people. When (you) walk down the streets and you see someone you don’t like, you judge their clothing, the colour of their skin …. that’s racism.”

Meanwhile, marches have been organized for cities across the Maritimes in memory of Moore.

Indigenous groups have planned healing walks to take place simultaneously in Edmundston, Fredericton and Moncton, N.B., as well as Halifax and Membertou, N.S.

The groups organizing the walks say they should be described as Ikatomone, meaning “let’s guard.”

“People will be saying things at those rallies and it’s important that people like you and I pay attention,” said Augustine.

“They are doing it the right way. You have to calm your mind and calm your heart. That is the only way you can move on. I truly admire the resilience of our people.”

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

RCMP

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

QUIZ: How much do you know about British Columbia?

On this B.C. Day long weekend, put your knowledge of our province to the test

Nanaimo-Ladysmith students will be going back to school full time in the fall in ‘learning groups’

Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools to submit back-to-school plan to ministry in August

LMS hosts virtual Kids’ Pirate Event in late August

Kids’ Pirate Event will feature five days of online content

Milestone Equipment Contracting on the job of Chemainus Road Corridor Upgrade

Project intricacies will now start to take shape in the weeks ahead

Starvation claims Great Blue Heron in Crofton

No other contributing factors found in death during a necropsy

Crews work overnight to try to put out wildfire on Pender Island

Fire department and B.C. Wildfire Service crews extinguishing fire in ‘extremely difficult terrain’

Cooler days help crews fighting fire on mountainside southwest of Nanaimo

Firefighters making progress, but it’s ‘slow-going,’ says B.C. Wildfire Service

Crews work overnight to try to put out wildfire on Pender Island

Fire department and B.C. Wildfire Service crews extinguishing fire in ‘extremely difficult terrain’

Michael Buble among 13 British Columbians to receive Order of B.C.

Ceremony will be delayed to 2021 due to COVID-19

U.S. border communities feel loss of Canadian tourists, shoppers and friends

Restrictions on non-essential travel across the Canada-U.S. border have been in place since March 2`

Rollout of COVID-19 Alert app faces criticism over accessibility

App requires users to have Apple or Android phones made in the last five years, and a relatively new operating system

Alleged impaired driver sparks small wildfire near Lytton after crash: B.C. RCMP

Good Samaritans prevented the blaze from getting out of control

Most Read