Women’s Wellness Within (WWW) is a registered non-profit organization working for reproductive justice for women, trans and nonbinary people who experience criminalization. Today we mourn Chantel Moore, a 26-year old mother from British Columbia who was shot to death by police in Edmundston, NB this morning.
Moore’s neighbours called the police to conduct a “wellness check.”
During the COVID-19 pandemic, police have been mis-identified as essential workers. Police brutality has harmed and killed countless Black and Indigenous people in Canada/Turtle Island and around the world. On Monday, police in Kinngait, NU deliberately hit an Inuk man with their truck. Last week Regis Korchinski-Paquet, a 29-year-old Afro-Indigenous woman with Nova Scotian roots, fell from a balcony to her death after police showed up at her home in Toronto during a wellness check. In early May, Caleb Tubila Njoko, a 27-year-old Black man also fell from a balcony after police were called to “help” him at his home in London, ON. In April, D’Andre Campbell, a 26-year old Black man, was shot and killed by police in Brampton, ON during a wellness check. That same week police in Winnipeg killed a16-year old Indigenous girl named Eishia Hudson and a 36-year old Indigenous man named Jason Collins, in separate incidents. A week later, Winnipeg police shot and killed another Indigenous man, 22-year old Stewart Kevin Andrews.
We demand the abolition of policing. The provision of health is not something police can do. All dispatchers need to understand this and stop sending police. Harsha Walia, Executive Director of the BC Civil Liberties Association, reports 42% of police-involved deaths are people in mental distress. Police must be defunded and public investment redirected to appropriate health-affirming services, community organizations, housing and supports.
As reported June 3, 2019 by the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls National Inquiry, police violence against Indigenous women is a continuation of colonial violence and an act of genocide. One year since this report was released, Indigenous women are calling out inaction in response. The criminalizing, surveillance and policing of Indigenous women lies behind the gross overrepresentation of Indigenous women in jails and prisons here. Moore’s killing is another act of state violence directed at Indigenous women. We join calls from Indigenous and Black women across Canada/Turtle Island for justice and police abolition.