Inquest on RCMP Killing of Gitxsan Man in Northern BC
RCMP shooting inquest revelations shock victim’s family
CBC News, Sept. 13, 2011
The family of a man shot dead by B.C. RCMP officers in 2009 is reeling from new details revealed at the inquest into his death.
Rodney Shayne Jackson, 35, was killed by the RCMP’s Emergency Response Team in northwestern B.C. several months after he failed to show up for court on criminal charges.
On Monday, the inquest was told Jackson was shot in the back by an RCMP member at a remote aboriginal hunting camp in the First Nations village of Kisgagas, north of New Hazelton and about 1,200 kilometres north of Vancouver.
Jackson’s family, as well as Gitxsan chiefs and elders, heard for the first time how an RCMP team wearing camouflage and face paint, armed with M16 assault rifles, headed to the cabin to arrest Jackson for failing to appear in court.
The inquest heard the officers drove an unmarked Department of Fisheries and Oceans pickup truck to evade detection.
Police say Jackson was carrying a long gun when he was shot but a federal fisheries officer who was at the scene testified he saw Jackson holding a garden rake – not a rifle.
Jackson was shot in the back and died later in hospital, and it was revealed at the inquest Monday that the RCMP did not bring an ambulance or first aid kit to the scene.
Family weeps in court
Aubrey Jackson, the victim’s uncle and the family spokesperson, wept over the testimony.
“This is how they treat an innocent man,” he said. “They shoot him in the back.”
He said the victim’s seven children have now been left without a father.
“They’re struggling, they’re grieving. They want their dad back.”
Earlier Monday, an RCMP reconstructionist who worked on the case testified he was not informed Jackson was shot in the back before he reconstructed the shooting scene.
The inquest is scheduled to continue at B.C. Supreme Court in Terrace until Sept. 16.