Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller strongly condemned recent acts of violence perpetrated by police against Indigenous people, including the fatal shooting of a New Brunswick woman during a wellness check on Thursday .
Miller said he thought the initial report of Chantel Moore’s death at the hands of Edmundston, N.B., police was some kind of “morbid joke.”
“I’m pissed, I’m outraged. There needs to be a full accounting of what has gone on,” Miller said at a news conference on Friday.
“This is a pattern that keeps repeating itself.”
A spokesperson said police went to Moore’s apartment at 2:30 a.m. after her boyfriend asked for a wellness check. Edmundston Police Insp. Steven Robinson told reporters Thursday that Moore was wielding a knife and was intent on “attacking” the responding officer.
“He had no choice but to defend himself,” Robinson said.
WATCH | Marc Miller says he’s ‘pissed’ and ‘outraged’ at police violence
On Moore’s death, Miller said, “Obviously something went wrong and someone died. And that’s unacceptable…. I want answers.”
Miller said he also “watched in disgust” a video that appears to show an RCMP officer using the door of a police pickup truck to run down an intoxicated man late Monday night in the Nunavut hamlet of Kinngait.
The RCMP officer was responding to a call that the man was “fighting with others.” The officer opened the door of the moving vehicle as he approached the man, who was knocked down. The RCMP has removed the officer from the community and has placed him on administrative leave.
“A car door is not a proper police tactic. It’s a disgraceful, dehumanizing and violent act,” the minister said.
“Police serve Canadians and the Indigenous peoples of Canada — not the opposite. It’s something that we need to reckon with as a society as we look towards the south and the disgraceful acts that are occurring down there.”
WATCH | Door of RCMP vehicle knocks down man being taken into custody:
The violence comes as the U.S. grapples with the fallout of the death of George Floyd, a black man, while in the custody of four Minneapolis police officers.
People have staged protests in Canada and the U.S. to demand greater accountability from police, with calls to “defund” law enforcement.