Part of: Race and Inequality
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Trudeau says discrimination by Canada police must end, after indigenous woman killed

by Reuters
Friday, 5 June 2020 18:35 GMT

Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wears a mask as he takes part in a rally against the death in Minneapolis police custody of George Floyd, on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada June 5, 2020. REUTERS/Blair Gable

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Justin Trudeau calls for end to police discrimination in Canada amid protests, after Canadian police killed an indigenous woman and drove into an indigenous man

By Moira Warburton

June 5 (Reuters) - Discrimination by Canadian police against indigenous people and people of color "needs to end," Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Friday, after police officers shot and killed an indigenous woman and video showed police appearing to purposely drive into an indigenous man.

The comments came amid protests against police brutality, sparked by the death of an unarmed black man in Minnesota who was in police custody.

"Far too many Canadians feel fear and anxiety at the sight of a law enforcement officer," Trudeau told reporters in Ottawa. "Over the past weeks we've seen a large number of Canadians suddenly awaken to the fact that discrimination is a lived reality for far too many of our fellow citizens.

"It is something that needs to end, and it's something we're working on," he said.

Local police officers shot and killed Chantel Moore, 26, when they went to her home on Thursday to conduct a wellness check in the Atlantic province of New Brunswick.

In a separate incident, a video shared on social media showed a Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer driving into an indigenous man, appearing to purposely use a car door to knock the man down before arresting him. The officer is now facing an independent criminal investigation.

Indigenous leaders expressed outrage and a lack of surprise at the incidents.

"Racism is here and has been for more than 200 years," Grand Council Chief Glen Hare of the Anishinabek Nation, a political organization representing 39 First Nations in Ontario, said in a statement.

Trudeau said the issue will by discussed by cabinet.

"I don't understand how someone dies during a wellness check," Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller said. "There needs to be a full accounting of what has gone on. This is a pattern that keeps repeating itself."

(Reporting by Moira Warburton in Toronto; Editing by Leslie Adler)