Five months after the police shooting death of Jared Lowndes in Campbell River, defenders hope to prevent his memory from becoming another statistic.
Every month on the 8th, Lowndes family and supporters post a lawsuit on justiceforjared.org to advocate for an end to police killings, police disarmament, ‘still active’ body cameras, an end to the use of police dogs and the transformation of the IOI (Independent Investigations Bureau).
The website is supported by Pivot Legal Society, a Vancouver-based legal advocacy group that works with marginalized people to “challenge laws, policies and practices that undermine human rights, intensify poverty and perpetuate stigma.” . The website was set up to keep Lowndes’ name from becoming another statistic.
“Once people are lost to police violence, the story often disappears in the government or IOI bureaucracy where people are not able to get regular updates and lots of information. are under embargo, ”said Meenakshi Mannoe, criminalization and police activist for Pivot. “For Laura (Holland, Lowndes’ mother), I think it’s important that Jared Lowndes name stays out there, that people don’t forget and that it doesn’t become a statistic.”
Actions posted to the website so far include a letter-writing campaign to the Attorney General and the IOI calling for Indigenous participation in the investigation, calling for an end to the use of police dogs and a campaign. to hang banners in various locations across the province.
the Mirror spoke at the IOI in October for a response to the letter writing campaign. At the time, IOI Director Ronald MacDonald said that while some of the requests were beyond the IOI’s scope, “there are still lessons to be learned and things to change. Of course, as society changes, all institutions must change. These types of recommendations are useful for these reasons.
However, Lowndes’ family and supporters believe more needs to be done.
“I’m very cynical about the involvement of the IOI because… they almost want to be rewarded for doing what is effectively the minimum to expect from a watchdog charged with investigating incidents involving police and reduce harm. A public report? said Mannoé.
A letter was written in October draw attention to the use of police dogs in these situations. Mannoe said that “indeed, these dogs are trained to be used as weapons.”
“If you are genuinely concerned about animal welfare, the continued use of dogs in this way conflicts with that,” she said. “After Jared died, it became clear that dogs should not be used as weapons in this way. It is a risk for the animal as well as for the people involved.
January 8 will mark six months since Lowndes’ death. Although Mannoe does not know what was planned for the January action, she said the actions will persist to ensure victims of police brutality are not forgotten.
“There are disproportionate rates of Indigenous people killed by police across Canada. Even over the past year, a number of aboriginal people have been killed on Vancouver Island alone, ”Mannoe said. “What (Hollande) has told me a lot is that it’s not just about Jared, it’s about all of the Jars, all of the people who have been lost… to police violence.”