FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wellness Within, an Organization for Health and Justice, responds to the shooting death of a one year old child during a police intervention in Kawartha Lakes, Ontario
Wellness Within is a registered non-profit organization working for reproductive justice, prison abolition, and health equity in K’jipuktuk, Mi’kma’ki (Halifax, Nova Scotia). We are angered and deeply saddened by the news that police appear to have taken another innocent life, this time a one year old baby in Kawartha Lakes, Ontario. Wellness Within sends our deepest condolences to this child’s family and community. Reproductive health and justice require the abolition of policing and prisons so that we can parent our children in safe and sustainable communities. Once again, we call for the urgent defunding of police before one more family is forced to endure a horrific loss of this kind.
Few details have been made public about the circumstances that led up to this tragedy, but a family was in crisis, and that crisis likely did not develop in one day. This story may have turned out differently if robust social supports were in place before the situation reached a boiling point on November 26th. This is what is meant by defunding police: to withdraw resources from an institution that has proven time and time again that it is not equipped keep children, women, those with mental illness, or Black and Indigenous people safe, but in fact puts their safety and lives at risk. Defunding police would allow us to put resources into violence prevention, to give community organizations the resources they need to step in to help families before things spiral out of control. Defunding the police allows public investment to ensure that every family has economic security to meet their needs with dignity.
We urge all levels of government to join us in re-imagining how we can create safety for families and communities through defunding of police agencies.