AFN National Chief supports call for a Public Inquiry into the shooting death
of John Simon

MONCTON, NB, May 19 /CNW Telbec/ - Today, Assembly of First Nations National Chief Shawn A-in-chut Atleo joined Regional Chief Rick Simon and Wagmatcook First Nation Chief Lester Peck in calling for a public inquiry into the death of John Simon, who was shot in his home by an RCMP officer in December 2008.

"The death of John Simon and the subsequent report about police conduct and the death justifies the need for a full and independent public inquiry. The family and the community will never have closure until an open and transparent process can provide a full understanding of the circumstances surrounding this tragic death. We are hopeful that the Premier and other officials will reconsider their decision and answer our call for a public inquiry," said National Chief Atleo.

"We need to establish exactly what happened, or else the family and the community's confidence in law enforcement officials and the legal system will never be restored," said Regional Chief Rick Simon. "I commend the perseverance and courage of Mr. Simon's family in their search for the path of truth."

Both the Wagmatcook Band Council and Simon family have repeatedly called for a provincial public inquiry into the incident. More than a year after John Simon's death, Chief Lester Peck said, "We still have more questions than answers."

A report into the incident by the Halifax Regional Police Services, which took more than a year to complete, found that an RCMP officer who shot Mr. Simon contravened established RCMP policy and the instructions of his supervisor when he entered Mr. Simon's home without permission.

Concerns have also been raised concerning the role of the RCMP in the preparation of the Halifax Regional Police Services report.

The Assembly of First Nations is the national organization representing First Nations citizens in Canada.

SOURCE Assembly of First Nations

For further information: For further information: Alain Garon, Bilingual Communications Officer, (613) 241-6789, ext 382, (613) 292-0857 or agaron@afn.ca


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