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A Call to Action: Statement about Coroner's Inquest Regarding Rodney Jackson

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  • Don Bain
    For your information, follow-up and/or further distribution From: Beverley Clifton Percival [mailto:gwaans@gitxsan.com] Sent: Wednesday, September 28, 2011
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 28, 2011
      For your information, follow-up and/or further distribution

      From: Beverley Clifton Percival [mailto:gwaans@...]
      Sent: Wednesday, September 28, 2011 11:47 AM
      Subject: statement about coroner's inquest re: Rodney Jackson
      Importance: High

      Here is the latest media statement from the Jackson Family and Elmer and I will be following up with the family please circulate to contacts thanks.

      (Beverley Clifton Percival)
      Negotiator, Gitxsan Hereditary Chief's
      Box 229
      Hazelton, B.C. V0J 1Y0
      Phone: (250)842-6780 loc370 Fax: (250)842-6709 Cell (2350)847-0603

      "To live content with small means; to seek elegance rather than luxury, and refinement rather than fashion; to be worthy, no rich; to study hard, think quietly, talk gently act frankly....to listen to stars and buds, to babes and sages, with open heart; await occasions, hurry never...this is my symphony." William Henry Channing


      A Call To Action

      At 9:30 A.M. on September 26th 2009, Rodney Shayne Jackson was shot in the back and killed by the RCMP Emergency Response Team (SWAT), with a M16 semi-automatic rifle. These trained officers were in full camouflage gear, with a police dog and the element of surprise going for them.

      Rodney was living alone in his late grandfathers' cabin which was located in Kisagas, a remote village on ancient Gitxsan laxyip (sacred traditional land). He loved Kisegas and often spent time there. Like any other intelligent person living within grizzly bear habitat he carried a rifle. He helped out with the summer culture camp in many ways. By the grace of God the children departed the camp the day before the shooting. Rodney was not a threat to anyone.

      What was the emergency that warranted such a heavy handed response to outstanding warrants? The allegations when compared to those against dangerous criminals including white collar criminals were minor.

      During the Coroner's inquest held in Terrace, B.C. on September 12th to the 16th/11, sworn evidence given by 3 separate RCMP systems: local detachment, SWAT, and Major Crimes Investigative Unit, tells a story of a poorly planned, poorly executed and poorly investigated operation. Basically, the local detachment wanted to get on with the "fun stuff" and this had to be "done before winter". The local protocol with the Gitanmaax Band Council and the National Justice Protocol recently signed between Government and several Aboriginal Leaders, were not even considered. Some witnesses said they had not heard of these documents. The SWAT team didn't consider negotiations, or the use of a taser and/or gas. Was the intent to kill? It certainly looks that way to us. These actions are made easier when driven by racism, classism and ethnocentrism. It is clear that some or all of the RCMP witnesses committed perjury which is a criminal offence. These 3 teams are not above the rule of law. This file needs to be reviewed by the Department of Justice. Duplicity must stop.

      At a societal level RCMP arrogance and incompetence are compelling issues given that Canada is becoming a police state. Prime Minister Harpers' "GET TOUGH ON CRIME ATTITUDE AND PENDING LEGISLATION" gives a false sense of security; will be expensive; and sadly, will be borne on the backs of marginalized peoples.

      People, we urge you to support the work of Amnesty International and the BC Civil Liberties. Your children and families rights and privileges may be next. We as a society are becoming so disconnected, desensitized and apathetic. The impoverished, the oppressed and the mentally ill have neither the voice nor the will to protect themselves. We must act now while we still can! What will become of the next generation? We are all part of a diverse human family.

      We must hold Canada and all her agents responsible and accountable for behaviour such as this. The honor of the Crown is at stake; public safety is at stake; justice is at stake. It's time to overhaul the Canadian Justice system. Injustice to one is injustice to all. Call or write to your MP or MLA.

      Indigenous, Aboriginal, First Nations and Metis leadership needs to mobilize and support their citizenry in a more comprehensive and holistic way. We must all hold Canada accountable for the full implementation of: historic Crown promises; international covenants and conventions; national, provincial and local memorandums of understanding, protocols and other tools of governance and relationship building. Youth leadership needs support.

      Our family and the Huwilp of Haxbagwootwx and Yal hold the local detachment in Hazelton primarily responsible for this deadly chain of events. We are considering legal, political and social action. We are done paying the price of colonization. It's time to be compensated. We need your support.

      We thank our lawyer Cameron Ward for helping us get to some of the truth: he put a dent in their script. We thank Grand Chief Stewart Phillip for his call of support. We thank the other Gitxsan Chiefs and Wilp (House) members and the Gitxsan Treaty Society for their various supports. We thank our friends and supporters who stood by us. We thank the Skeena Diversity Society for their generosity and hospitality. We thank CBC, Global and other media who covered this story and exposed the mess. We thank the Coroner and Jury. Most of all we thank God.

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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