Family of Ojibway man shot dead by Vancouver police calls for investigation

Family of Ojibway man shot dead by Vancouver police calls for investigation

The family of Chris Amyotte, shot by Vancouver police with a bag shotgun on August 22, 2022, is calling for a public inquiry into his death.

The family of Chris Amyotte an Ojibway man from Manitoba, who died on August 22 after being repeatedly hit by a bag gun by Vancouver police, is calling for an investigation into police practices.

Chris Amyotte, an Ojibway from Winnipeg, died Monday, August 22 after being stopped by police in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside.

The British Columbia Independent Investigations Office (IIO) is investigating the death of the 42-year-old man.

His family is calling for a public inquest to be held and also calls for a change in policing practices, especially how people are treated in this neighborhood.

The family urges the police department to urgently address their biases systems towards Indigenous peoples.

At a press conference Thursday, Samantha Wilson said the death reveals flaws in police strategy.

“Shooting someone shouldn't be the first deterrent. The pellet bag gun should be declared as a lethal weapon or firearm.

— Samantha Wilson, cousin of Chris Amyotte

The system must change in order to be able to defuse situations like these in a different way, she added in a press release published the same day.

For her part , Sgt. Steve Addison of the Vancouver Police Department confirmed last week that a bag shotgun had indeed been used.

The bag shotgun pellets can be used against a person who acts violently and aggressively. It was used as an alternative to a lethal force option, says Steve Addison in a statement.

The family of Chris Amyotte, shot dead by police in Vancouver, demands that the officers involved ''take their responsibilities ''.

Samantha Wilson explains that according to eyewitnesses, Mr. Amyotte was distraught after being sprayed with tear gas, before the police arrived on the scene.

Chris Amyotte then asked passers-by to call 911 and when paramedics arrived he ignored their request to lie down. That's where the police came in. Shots rang out and he lost his life, says Samantha Wilson.

“You are supposed to protect people. Instead, you shot my cousin and ended his life.

— Samantha Wilson, cousin of Chris Amyotte

Congress of Aboriginal Peoples National Vice-Chief Kim Beaudin calls for independent review.

The federal government must take the lead and institute a comprehensive review of all police brutality involving Indigenous people across the country, he pleads.

Indigenous people are losing their lives for no reason and this case is a clear example.

With information from The Canadian Press and Eva Uguen-Csenge

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