The Nova Scotia government has rejected calls for a public inquiry into the death of an aboriginal man shot by police in his own home, the province’s justice minister said yesterday after meeting with John Simon’s family.
Simon, 44, was shot three times on Dec. 2, 2008, after an RCMP officer climbed through a window and confronted the allegedly drunk and suicidal fisherman. A Halifax police investigation cleared the RCMP officer of wrongdoing, saying he shot Simon in self-defence.
“It may not necessarily address the emotional impact and some other issues within the community,” Ross Landry told CTV. “But I’m very prepared to work with the community to move forward.”
The Simon family was given a partially censored copy of the police report yesterday, but Simon’s widow, Patsy MacKay, said that wasn’t good enough.
MacKay said she will continue to push for an inquiry. “If they want to mend the community and have any kind of future working with the community, that’s the only way the answers will really come out,” she told CTV.
The Halifax police report confirms the RCMP officer who shot Simon did not have authorization to enter the home.
Brian Arbuthnot, senior adviser to the Wagmatcook First Nation, said the band is also upset with Landry’s decision.
“We’re quite surprised by the minister pulling the rug from out beneath us,” he told CTV.