Honour Their Names: highlighting lives lost to police violence

Friends and family of those who lost loved ones in the presence of police gathered in Vancouver Wednesday to commemorate The International Day Against Police Brutality (IDAPB).

Mar. 15 marks the 26th annual IDAPB, and this year’s “Honour Their Names” event is an art exhibit highlighting Indigenous lives lost to police.

Meenakshi Mannoe is with the Pivot Legal Society who helped organize the event. She says IDAPB is really about centering the truth around families and what they’ve had to go through in the aftermath of losing their loved one.

“Really clearly talking about the ways this ripples out into communities, nations and into their families,” said Mannoe.

Honour Their Names pushes forward a campaign called #JusticeForJared. The campaign is led by a woman named Laura Holland, whose son, Jared Lowndes, was killed by a Campbell River RCMP officer Jul. 8, 2021.

“Our hope is that the IIO will find the RCMP involved criminally responsible for the sudden and untimely death of Jared, a father of two. It is time for police officers to be held accountable for the unnecessary use of force that too often results in the death of Indigenous community members,” reads a Pivot Legal Society release.

“Regardless of the Chief Civilian Director’s final decision, #JusticeForJared and its supporters will continue mobilizing to bring attention to the urgent crisis of police violence that targets Indigenous communities throughout BC and Canada.”

A woman named Claudette tells her story.

Claudette told the story about how her daughter’s live was lost in front of a crowd at Honour Their Names. (CityNews Image)

A woman named Claudette attended the event to tell the story of how she lost her daughter in May of 2020. She says her daughter fell from the balcony of her 24th story Toronto apartment while police were in the home.

“It’s very, very sad. I made a stupid phone call, my daughter was having a seizure and I made a call,” she said. “That day my daughter died.”

Claudette claims a police officer responded to her call and showed up with a rifle on his shoulder. Shortly after the officer’s arrival, Claudette was told her daughter was now on the ground.

She says she would like to see the community come together to make change before things like this happen, and stresses the importance of coming out and fighting for change.

“We need the help of the community now. Not tomorrow, it starts today.”

Honour Their Names runs every day until Mar. 24, and will continue to highlight those who have lost their lives to police violence.

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