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Group of N.B. chiefs step up call for independent inquiry into deaths, racism
Rodney Levi and Chantel Moore are pictured in this composite image. The Indigenous man and woman were both shot and killed by police officers in separate incidents in New Brunswick in June 2020. (Facebook)
FREDERICTON -- The six chiefs of the Wolastoqey Nation in New Brunswick are stepping up their call for an independent inquiry into systemic discrimination and bias.
The chiefs, along with leaders from the Mi'kmaq Nation, met with the premier last week, but Blaine Higgs said he preferred a task force to review previous reports and recommendations.
The Wolastoqey chiefs say an inquiry has more teeth, and note that in 2017, Higgs himself called on a former government for an inquiry because it had more power than a task force.
They say an inquiry has the power to force government, prosecutors and police to fully co-operate in its study.
Specifically, the chiefs want a commission of inquiry to investigate the fatal shootings of Chantel Moore and Rodney Levi -- both of whom were killed by police earlier this month.
They say the inquiry should be Indigenous-led and the terms of reference developed by Indigenous nations.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 24, 2020.