Probe of fatal police shooting of Rodney Levi complete

·2 min read

Quebec's police watchdog agency says it has completed an investigation into the fatal shooting of Rodney Levi by an RCMP officer near Miramichi in June.

The Bureau des enquêtes indépendantes, or BEI, said in a statement Thursday afternoon that it forwarded its investigation to the New Brunswick public prosecution service on Dec. 16 for review and to determine if charges are warranted.

The Office of the Attorney General in a statement says the public prosecution service will "thoroughly review the findings to determine the next steps. Examination of the information set out in the report is anticipated to take several weeks."

Levi, a 48-year-old man from Metepenagiag First Nation, died June 12. He was the second Indigenous person killed by police in New Brunswick within a two-week period.

Alisa Lombard, a lawyer representing Levi's family, declined to comment Thursday, saying they had yet to receive a copy of the BEI report.

The BEI says it won't publicly release its report. It says the report contains "sensitive information," statements by witnesses, as well as evidence.

In the statement, the BEI said its investigation found that around 7 p.m., two 911 calls were made by people requesting police help for a man who was in their home in the community of Boom Road, about 30 kilometres from Miramichi. The statement says the man had knives and didn't want to co-operate.

The statement says that two officers went to the scene and found the man, who the statement doesn't name, outside the home with other people. It says the man didn't want to give up the knives or comply with the officer's requests.

The BEI says an officer used an electric pulse weapon without success. It says the man walked toward a second officer, who shot him.

The statement says police began first aid until paramedics arrived, but the man died in hospital.

Const. Hans Ouellette of the New Brunswick RCMP said it would be "inappropriate" to comment on the BEI findings while the public prosecuction service is still reviewing the case.

Levi's death occurred eight days after Chantel Moore was fatally shot by a municipal police officer in Edmundston during a wellness check.

Shane Magee/CBC
Shane Magee/CBC

Their deaths took place during international protests against police brutality in the weeks after the killing of George Floyd in the United States.

Moore and Levi's deaths sparked calls for an inquiry into systemic racism in New Brunswick, calls that the province has so far brushed off.

The announcement that the BEI had concluded its investigation was issued just over 24 hours after it said it had completed the investigation into Moore's death.