A photo of Jared Lowndes, flowers, posters and cards around the street lamp across from where Jared Lowndes was killed

Key questions in the shooting of Jared Lowndes

Cortes Currents exclusive

There are several key questions that shape how people perceive the death of Jared Lowndes, at the hands of the Campbell River RCMP, on July 8, 2021.

Lowndes fled after police attempted to serve him with an outstanding warrant. The RCMP caught up with him at the WIllow Point Tim Hortons and boxed him in. (Police vehicles allegedly slammed into Lowndes car from three sides.) Then the police sent a police dog in. Lowndes drew a knife and killed the dog, at which point the RCMP gunned him down.

Firstly, what is your attitude towards the RCMP (trust or mistrust)? And how do you perceive First Nations people? Your answer to those questions will shape your interpretation of why Jared Lowndes fled.

Then there is the warrant the RCMP were pursuing Lowndes for. The National Police Federation said the outstanding warrant was for weapons offences. https://tinyurl.com/4mk35xfj

Assuming it was a first offence, the minimum penalty for possession of an unauthorized firearm is one year in prison. https://tinyurl.com/6zk3we8

Lowndes family confirmed the idea the warrant was related to a weapons offence (possession of an unauthorized firearm) but added the case had already been to court and Lowndes was acquitted (someone confessed to planting the gun in his possessions). Do you believe them?

Now we come to the death of the police dog.

According to the RCMP news release, they had Lowndes ‘boxed in’ – i.e. he could not get away. https://tinyurl.com/app/myurls

Some ask why did Lowndes kill the dog? Others are asking why did the RCMP send a police dog in to attack a man who could not get away?

There are also questions about the six months of training the RCMP receive. https://tinyurl.com/4xrn8usr

Some point to the fact Lowndes is the fourth member of Vancouver Island’s Indigenous community that police have killed in a little more than a year. (3 were killed on the Island, 1 was killed in New Brunswick.) https://tinyurl.com/3upykn84

Have they received sufficient training in defusing rather than escalating situations like this?

How much training have they received in dealing with minorities? – especially minorities that may not trust the police?

It has been six years since RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson told the Assembly of First Nations, “I understand that there are racists in my police force. I don’t want them to be in my police force.” https://tinyurl.com/fn2fb4m6

What have the RCMP done to detect and weed out the racists in their ranks?

Lastly, was either the RCMP’s lack of training in de-escalating intense situations, or racism, a contributing factor in the shooting of Jared Lowndes?

Links of Interest:

Top photo credit: Street-side memorial for Jared Lowndes across from the Tim Hortons restaurant where he was shot. The RCMP had him ‘boxed in’ at the ‘Drive Thru Exit,’ which you see in the top right – photo by Roy L Hales

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