Chantel Moore’s mom calls for the end of police brutality in memorial walk

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Chantel Moore’s mother, Martha Martin, is calling for the end of police brutality during a memorial walk.

The ‘Honouring Our Children: Remember Their Names’ walk, in collaboration with the Support Network for Indigenous Women and Women of Colour, started in Tofino on May 29th, ending at the foot of the B.C. Legislative building on Saturday.

Martin said she decided to embark on this walk to spread awareness of her family’s story, adding it has been a long few days.

“It’s been an emotional journey and we’ve had a lot of love and support,” she said.

Two years ago, Martin’s daughter Chantel Moore was shot and killed by a police officer during a wellness check at her home in Edmundston, New Brunswick, on June 4, 2020.

Her brother Mike Martin died in police custody five months later.

On May 19, the jury — in an inquest into Moore’s death — ruled the police shooting a homicide. The family said it would not file a civil suit against the Edmundston police following the incident.

On Saturday, Martin was joined by approximately nine other families from across Canada with similar stories of their Indigenous, Black or person of colour children being killed during police encounters or during wellness checks.

“We shouldn’t be doing these gatherings,” Martin said. “We should be celebrating our children’s successes, not honouring their names when they’ve passed on through the death of a cop.”

The families have come up with a list of recommendations they plan to send to police forces across the country to end police brutality and people of colour dying during police operations. Some of the recommendations include all officers wearing a body camera at all times and mental health checks for officers who discharge a weapon during a wellness check.

“Removing police officers from wellness checks, and using tasers,” Martin added to the list. “We need to start looking at different avenues.”

One of Martin’s friends has also created a “phone tree” called ‘Chantel’s Tree of Hope’. This is a list of contacts of people across the country who have volunteered to do a wellness check, so people don’t have to call the police.

“So we can keep our own people safe because clearly calling upon our police isn’t working. We are going to keep ourselves safe within our community,” Martin said.

The creator of ‘Chantel’s Tree of Hope’ told the crowd that it has been activated across the country, with someone in Eastern Canada already taking advantage of it.

Martin thanked all the families for participating in the walk and anniversary of her daughter’s death, calling the event a source of support and comfort.

She added she plans to make the ‘Honouring Our Children: Remember Their Names’ walk an annual event, being hosted in different cities across the country every year.

Mackenzie ReadMackenzie Read

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