5 arrested after liquid poured on B.C. police chief at memorial for Chantel Moore

Victoria police say five people were arrested after the chief of the department had liquid poured on him while attending a ceremony for an Indigenous woman killed during a wellness check.

Victoria police say Chief Del Manak was attending an event at the B.C. legislature organized to pay tribute to Chantel Moore, an Indigenous woman from British Columbia who was killed by New Brunswick police during a wellness check in 2020.

The police department says the incident occurred after a traditional blanketing ceremony, with one suspect, a woman, pouring liquid on the police chief.

Police say Manak was unharmed and had been invited to the ceremony by Moore’s mother.

The department says several other people were arrested as officers went to arrest the initial suspect.

“Those who were involved are not believed to have been involved in organizing the Chantel Moore memorial event,” said a release from Victoria police.

Later on Saturday, police said the five people arrested were released from custody with future court dates. Police said charges have not yet been sworn.

‘Terrible, unacceptable’

A Twitter post from the force said Moore’s mother, Martha Martin, described the incident as “terrible and unacceptable.”

Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps and Esquimalt Mayor Barbara Desjardins, who are co-chairs of the Victoria-Esquimalt Police Board, released a statement denouncing the incident.

It said that they recognize the long history of mistrust between police in Canada and Indigenous communities.

“We know that there is a lot of healing to do. That is precisely why the chief was invited by Moore’s family to participate in the memorial; he has been working closely with them since her death,” it said.

The statement listed work that police have been doing with local Indigenous communities over the past few years to try and rebuild trust and understanding.

“We call on everyone in the community to stand down from attacks and to express differences of opinion respectfully and in a way that will help to build understanding and allow much needed-healing to happen,” said the statement from Helps and Desjardins.

Police said the incident was captured on video. They are asking anyone with information about the incident to call (250) 995-7654 extension 1.

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