FREDERICTON — The Edmundston, N.B., police officer who shot an Indigenous woman during a wellness check in 2020 has been cleared of a code of conduct complaint after the New Brunswick Police Commission found there was insufficient evidence to support it.
The commission released a statement Thursday saying its investigation included interviews with more than 20 witnesses, a re-enactment of the scene and a review of documents, including the findings of a probe by Quebec's independent police watchdog.
"The investigation was thorough, and its findings are based on facts provided by evidence," commission chairman Marc Léger said in a statement Thursday.
"We were able to bring in experts in forensic identification, use of force, a national expert in the conduct of unbiased oversight investigations, and legal counsel," the statement added.
Twenty-six-year-old Chantel Moore was shot by police during a wellness check in the early hours of June 4, 2020, and investigators at the time said Moore had approached the officer with a knife.
Moore was a member of the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation in British Columbia who had recently moved to New Brunswick to be closer to her family.
New Brunswick's Public Prosecutions Services announced in June that no criminal charges would be filed against the officer.
Léger said due to the Police Act and the Right to Information and Protection of Privacy Act, he is unable to release the investigation report, but he says the decision and summary of findings have been sent to the complainant and the police officer.
He noted that investigators flagged unspecified issues during the review that were outside the commission's mandate. When questioned Thursday, the commission would not reveal what those issues were.
"The investigation identified operational issues that require review by the chief of police; however, the commission cannot speak to the specific issue," a spokesman responded in an email.
Léger said the commission will fully co-operate with the coroner's office, which has scheduled an inquest into Moore's death in February 2022.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 18, 2021.
Kevin Bissett, The Canadian Press