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Anishinabek Police Services (APS) Constable Chantal Larocque couldn’t believe what she was seeing when video of the killing of George Floyd began rotating on news channels worldwide on May 25. The handcuffed and immobilized black man died while Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes, while three other officers on scene did nothing to intervene. While the officers have been fired from their jobs and charged criminally, the murder has sparked outrage and mass protests, calling for an end to systemic racism and police brutality against black Americans.
Larocque shares the shock and outrage.
“It made me so mad. It was horrible, and couldn’t be further from the truth of who we are as police, who we work with, who we work for and it was so frustrating to see that happen. I am glad it was video taped and that people will be held accountable.”
Larocque recognizes that Chauvin was no isolated incident, and that discrimination has been an issue in Canada as well, particularly with the deplorable record in dealing with missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. It’s what her service, dedicated to serving First Nation communities, is intent on changing.
“With First Nation policing, racism is here. I took it to heart. I’m always very careful commenting on anything, or the videos we see on Youtube, because often you don’t see before and after. But what we saw there was pretty clear. A man lost his life. Regardless of what he did, or didn’t do. I’ve had to use force many times… it’s just a reality of our jobs. But the most important tool we have is communication. It’s the most important tool I carry. And you just don’t see that in the video.”
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