News Release: UBCIC and BCCLA Call for an End to Unacceptable Police Violence
- NEWS RELEASE
March 14, 2013
UBCIC and BCCLA Call for an End to Unacceptable Police Violence
Tsimshian Traditional Territory - Terrace, BC - The Union of BC Indian Chiefs and the BC Civil Liberties Association are joining forces today to call for an end to police violence in the north and across British Columbia. Representatives from both organizations are travelling to a rally in the city of Terrace, where the public and First Nations people have reported some of the most troubling issues with police of any community in B.C. The rally was organized by Heather Prisk-Wright, the wife of Robert Wright, a local First Nations man who has been permanently and seriously disabled by injuries received while in police custody in the city. While New Westminster police recommended charges be laid against the officer involved, the provincial Crown declined to prosecute the officer.
"Policing in this province has to change. Whether it's the assaults and discrimination that have been experienced by First Nations and other people at the hands of police, or the tragedy of police inaction on murdered and missing women along the highway of tears, we cannot accept this ongoing violence against our people," said Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs. "So many of our communities have lost confidence in the ability of law enforcement to protect them. The relationship needs rebuilding from the ground up."
Grand Chief Phillip will join Josh Paterson, the Executive Director of the BC Civil Liberties Association. The BC Civil Liberties Association released a report in 2011 documenting unsettling allegations of police racism, excessive use of force, abuse of authority, and reckless and negligent police searches in Terrace and the surrounding area.
"Report after report has drawn attention to the problem of police violence, lack of accountability, and deaths in police custody in BC," said Paterson. "While many officers are out there trying to do a good job, we see far too many examples of unacceptable police violence against First Nations and non-First Nations people resulting in injury and death and that needs to stop."
For more information, please contact:
Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, UBCIC - 250-490-5314
Josh Paterson, BCCLA - 604-630-9752
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