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

Castlegar Rebels hold three-day camp before upcoming season

The camp looked a little different this year due to COVID-19 protocols

City of Rossland looks to secure $4M in funding for major infrastructure projects

The funds would help city complete museum renewal and Second Ave. project

Totem pole considered cultural appropriation removed from Nelson’s Hume School

The pole had also become rotted and was seen as dangerous to students

Innovative Kootenay Boundary study augments care for renal patients

Project called the Lung Ultrasonographic Assessment of Volume Status in Hemodialysis Patients

Kootenay mom turns COVID lockdown into positive action

Take a Hike runs from the Kootenay Columbia Learning Centre in East Trail

B.C. reports 91 new cases as officials remain worried over ‘clusters of COVID-19

There have now been a total of 8,395 cases in B.C. since the pandemic began

B.C. Green leader says NDP abandoning environmental plan

Horgan’s claim of unstable government false, Furstenau says

Province’s response to old growth forest report falls short, says Nelson scientist

Rachel Holt says province is saving areas that don’t need protection, ignoring those that do

Kootenay yearling released into northern wild

Photos: Scroll to the bottom of the story to see Kenzo’s release

Transgender B.C. brothers debut fantasy novel as author duo Vincent Hunter

‘Transgender people are being misrepresented in popular fiction and media, and we aim to change that’

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

‘Won’t be gathering for Thanksgiving:’ Trudeau says COVID-19 2nd wave underway

In all, COVID-19 has killed about 9,250 people in Canada

Four more cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

There are 31 active cases in isolation in the health region

Canada’s active COVID-19 cases top 10,000 as daily new cases triple over the past month

Dr. Tam repeated her warning to young people, who have made up the majority of recent cases

Most Read