EDMONTON — An Alberta aboriginal leader wants an agency that investigates police shootings to determine whether racism was a factor in a weekend traffic stop that ended with two men being shot.
Muriel Stanley Venne, chairman of the Aboriginal Commission on Human Rights and Justice, says the incident may be another reminder of the discrimination against aboriginal people by the justice system.
Lance Cutarm, 30, died while his brother, Larron Cutarm, 41, suffered chest wounds after the vehicle they were riding in was stopped Saturday by a Mountie at Pigeon Lake.
Their father, Larry Cutarm, says he was driving his three sons and his brother to a home after stopping to buy liquor when they were stopped.
He says he was placed in handcuffs as soon as he got out of his truck and the others in the vehicle tried to prevent the officer from beating him when the shooting happened.
The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team is investigating.
“The Aboriginal Commission on Human Rights & Justice is gravely concerned after an incident that began as an impaired driving investigation ended with the shooting by an RCMP officer leaving one aboriginal man dead and another wounded,” Stanley Venne said in a news release Tuesday.
“This incident may be another reminder that aboriginal people are often the targets for police brutality which is a reflection of the racism that exists within society and manifests itself at different times within the RCMP.”
Stanley Venne says this case “moves the Aboriginal Commission on Human Rights and Justice towards developing our own monitoring of such events.”