Brydon Whitstone’s family is speaking out after the 22-year-old man was shot and killed by the RCMP Sunday in North Battleford, Sask.
Whitstone was a “good uncle, brother, father, and Mosom,” niece Brandy Whitstone-Waskewitch told APTN News.
RCMP said in a media release after the shooting they had pursued a vehicle following reports of being chased and shot at.
The police chase ended shortly after the suspect rammed a cruiser and officers opened fire.
Regina Police have been called in to look at several questions, including how the RCMP handled the encounter and how many shots were fired.
A woman who was in the vehicle and an RCMP officer also suffered minor injuries.
Whitstone was from Onion Lake Cree Nation about 200 km northwest of Battleford.
Whitstone leaves behind a son and daughter.
Whitstone-Waskewitch said he will be missed.
“He had a good heart, he was always with his friends or with his kids or family.”
Brydon Whitstone’s sister Tammy Whitstone said he was always there for people.
“He was loving, caring, funny,” she said. “If anyone was in trouble or had trouble he was there to talk to.
“ He will always be in our hearts, loved and never forgotten,” Whitstone said in an interview via social media.
A review of the fatal shooting will be overseen by the provincial Justice Ministry.
Bobby Cameron, chief of the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations, says he’s been getting calls and messages questioning the details around the 22-year-old man’s death.
Cameron said the shooting furthers the mistrust First Nations people have toward the justice system, and he adds there is also a lack of trust in the independent investigation that has been called.
He said the FSIN has long wanted to see First Nations represented at such investigations.
“The majority of people that are incarcerated are First Nations people. Wouldn’t it make sense to have one of our own First Nations legal experts involved in all these processes?” he asked.
Cameron suggested involving First Nations people would be a step toward rebuilding trust in the justice system.
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