RCMP officers who shot and killed Wet’suwet’en man won’t face charges

Jared Lowndes

Jared Lowndes was shot and killed by RCMP officers on July 8, 2021.

Three RCMP officers who shot and killed Jared Lowndes won’t face charges says the B.C. Prosecution Service.

Lowndes, a Wet’suwet’en man and father of two, was shot and killed on July 8, 2021 in a Tim Horton’s parking lot.

After a lengthy probe, the province’s police watchdog, the Independent Investigations Office or IIO, asked the prosecution service to consider charges against them.

But on Tuesday, the Crown said “available evidence does not meet the BCPS’s charge assessment standard.”

“The BCPS [BC Prosecution Service] is not able to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the officers committed any offence in relation to the incident. As a result, no charges have been approved,” said the statement.

The family, who have waited years for a decision, was distraught.

“This doesn’t end here,” said Laura Holland, Lowndes’ mother. “It’s not over. It’s time for Canada to stop protecting their gunmen who have been slaughtering our people for decades, centuries, since contact.”

According to the BCPS, police tried to arrest Lowndes as he approached a drive thru window in Campbell River, B.C.

“Several officers exited their vehicles and approached with guns drawn and loudly instructed Mr. Lowndes to “show me your hands,” said the BCPS statement.

Two officers approached and “Mr. Lowndes discharged a large amount of bear spray through the open front windows, affecting officers on both sides and forcing them to retreat.”

A police dog and two officers were stabbed by Lowndes according to the release and a “taser was deployed” that had “no apparent effect.”

“Mr. Lowndes moved to the passenger side of his vehicle with the knife still in his hand. Officers shouted, ‘drop the knife, drop the knife.’”

The investigation found that Lowndes “emerged from the vehicle, still gripping the knife. Shots were fired almost simultaneously,” the report said hitting him in the back. Lowndes died at the scene.

In 2023, the Lowndes family filed a lawsuit against the province.

The family’s lawyer, Neil Chantler, said Lowndes’ death was a “senseless killing” and there were many unanswered questions about how police handled the

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