unceded territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm, səlilwətaɬ  and Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Nations – On Tuesday 23 Apri 2024, the BC Prosecution Service (“BCPS”) rendered its final decision regarding potential charges against three Campbell River RCMP officers, following the July 8, 2021 killing of Jared “Jay” Lowndes (Laksilyu Clan, Wet’suwet’en Nation).

The BCPS informed Laura Holland (mother of Lowndes), her family and supporters that their office will not be proceeding with charges against 3 Campbell River RCMP officers.

Alunaye Laura Holland (Laksilyu Clan, Wet’suwet’en Nation), her family and supporters shared their reaction to the final decision of the BCPS. They have waited an agonizing 1,020 days for this decision.  

Laura Holland, mother of Lowndes, reflects on the fateful day her son died:

“I don’t know where to start: I have relived the day my son died, replayed what I’ve heard and been told secondhand. Over and over, I’ve been told that the police were ‘fearful for their lives.’

They were fearful when they rammed into his vehicle, they were fearful when they released a Police Service Dog into his car, they were fearful when they shot my son repeatedly. I’ve held the clothes he wore that day, I’ve seen the bullet holes. Every step of the way, I’ve had to fight. To hold those clothes. To hold police and government accountable.

That fight won’t stop today.”

In October 2023, BC’s Independent Investigations Office (“IIO”) referred their file to BCPS, after more than 2 years of investigating the details of Lowndes’ death. The final decision, made by the IIO’s Chief Civilian Director, Ronald J. MacDonald KC, was based on his determination that reasonable grounds existed to believe that three Campbell River RCMP officers “may have committed offences in relation to various uses of force.”

Despite the investigative findings of the IIO, BCPS informed the family of Lowndes that they will not be pursuing any charges against the 3 Campbell River RCMP officers, none of whom have ever been publicly identified.

The decision of BCPS cannot be decontextualized from the broader impacts of police brutality. In BC alone, there have been at least 22 police-involved deaths of Indigenous people, based on data compiled by Tracking (In)Justice, a Living Data Set Tracking Canadian Police-Involved Deaths & Deaths in Custody. That is at least 22 families whose realities have been forever altered by fatal police violence.

Jeff Shantz, critical criminologist, notes the systemic injustices of police accountability in BC:  

“It is all too rare that there is even minimal accountability for police officers who kill in Canada.  According to a 2020 report, charges were laid or forwarded to Crown prosecutors for consideration in only three to nine per cent of the cases undertaken by the provincial agencies. The situation in BC reflects this inadequacy of oversight. Between 2012, its first year, and early 2023, the IIO has investigated 220 deaths and recommended that charges be laid in only 14 cases. In fiscal year 2021-2022, the IIO received a total of 323 notifications, for all incidents, but referred only 12 to Crown. Even worse is the record of the Crown in BC, where they have only actually taken one case to trial so far, declining charges in almost every case the IIO has brought to them. By contrast, more than three quarters of charges recommended by police last year were approved. We know that prosecutors develop close relationships with and become dependent on police. This must change.”

Earlier this month, the BCPS announced  a stay of proceedings  relating to charges arising out of the death of Dale Culver Victoria. Dale Culver (Gitxsan and Wet’suwet’en) was killed by Prince George RCMP on  July 18, 2017, in Prince George. While charges were initially against 5 RCMP officers, the charges against 2 officers were abruptly dropped, leaving Culver’s family to continue to put together the pieces.

Mabel Nipshank (Cree) is Matriarch and community member who watched Laura Holland’s family grow up. As a grandmother herself, she shares her perspective,

“These killings are not anything new. There have been many police killings of Indigenous people, done with impunity. As a community, we watch these police officers defend each other, use their resources to shield themselves from accountability, and cover up their crimes. We, as mothers, come into this fight with our heart and we are armed with words of  our truth. We all know what the truth is – even the police know it – regardless of whether it ever surfaces in public.”

Lowndes’ mother, Laura Holland, has been steadfast in her commitment to this fight – for her son Jared, and for all the families that have been affected by fatal police violence. She continues to advocate for defunding, demilitarizing, and dismantling police forces that routinely criminalize, maim and kill Indigenous people across so-called Canada.

Holland and Lowndes’ two surviving daughters previously filed a civil suit against the Campbell River RCMP. That civil suit is effectively on hold until the criminal proceedings conclude. No inquest has been scheduled at this time.

– 30 –


About Jared Lowndes & #JusticeForJared

Jared “Jay” Lowndes, Wet’suwet’en of the Laksilyu Clan, was killed by Campbell River RCMP on July 8, 2021. The Independent Investigations Office of BC (“IIO”) opened an investigation into the officer-involved shooting and in December 2022, the Chief Civilian Director of the IIO announced that he would be filing a report with the BC Prosecution Service for consideration of charges against at least 3 Campbell River RCMP officers. Since Jared’s death, his mother Laura Holland, his family, and a community of supporters and allied organizations have been working on a public advocacy campaign to bring attention to the killing of Jared, as well as all Indigenous people killed by police and in police custody across Canada. For more information visit:

2023 IIO Report to Crown Counsel

On October 27, 2023 the Independent Investigations Office (IIO) of BC submitted a report to the BC Prosecution Service for consideration of charges regarding IIO file 2021-179, the police-involved death of Jared Lowndes.

Facebook post / X post