Dozens gathered for a rally at Victory Square in Vancouver on Monday, to protest police violence against Indigenous people.
“We want justice for Jared,” said Laura Holland, Jared Lowndes’ mom.
The 38-year-old father of two, Jared Lowndes, was shot and killed at a Campbell River Tim Hortons parking lot by RCMP.
It happened after he fatally stabbed a police dog when his car was boxed in by RCMP vehicles at 9 a.m. on July 8. An officer was also injured in the altercation.
“Justice for Jared means justice for him, it means justice for all First Nations people who have been killed and it also means justice for three First Nations people who have been shot on Vancouver island in just five months,” said Holland.
About 50 people came together, with lots of hugging and emotion as they remembered the man who brought them together. After listening to speakers, the group then marched to the Vancouver provincial courthouse.
“I want people to know that my son was a good man, he was a good father, he was a good friend, and he certainly was a good son,” said Holland.
According to the RCMP, they attempted to conduct a traffic stop that day, but instead of stopping the driver fled. RCMP said an officer had attempted to stop a vehicle for an outstanding warrant.
“Having an arrest warrant out for you shouldn’t be a death sentence,” said Sarah Ng, who taught Lowndes’ brother and sister in school.
“Being Indigenous should not be an excuse for the police to hunt you do. And I think Canada can do better.”
Last week Holland attended a rally outside the RCMP detachment where she questioned if Lowndes, whose car had been rammed by police, could even exit the car if ordered to do so.
During Monday’s rally she said the way her son’s car appeared to be boxed in, there’s no way he could have opened the door.
“They had to eventually pry that door open, it couldn’t just be opened,” said Holland. “I see this as a revenge shooting, I see this as a revenge killing.”
Holland wants to see the police stop using dogs in their service and is calling for police to be defunded and disarmed.
“This has to stop. Dogs do not sign up to be in the line of service. Some person signed them up,” she said.
Others in attendance were family, friends and supporters.
Lowndes’ sister told CTV News she hasn’t been handling the loss of her brother very well.
“I cried myself to sleep for two nights straight,” said Chenoa Holland. “It just comes randomly and I’ll cry.”
Simon Currie said Lowndes was a friend of his for 20 years.
“Jay took me in when nobody else really would,” he told CTV News. “The police need to stop killing Indigenous people.”
The incident is now under investigation by the Independent Investigation Office, IIO, which investigates all officer-related incidents that result in serious injury or death.
Holland said she asked the IIO if they have any Indigenous staff, to which they told her no.
"Not one person who catch the racism. Not one person to catch the biases, and there’s no one,” she told CTV News. “There’s no one who can help us. So we’re at a point where all we’ve got is the IIO. That’s the only thing we’ve got right now and I have to put my faith in them.”
She is also calling for a change to the entire policing system.
“We need a new system where the police are held to a higher standard of law. They need to go to school longer,” said Holland. “They need a year of de-escalation training, never mind a year in school.”
The IIO had no update on the case as of Monday afternoon.