Family urges witnesses to come forward in shooting of man by RCMP officer
The family of a man who was shot by an RCMP officer in Thompson, Man., is asking any witnesses to come forward.
“We would like to encourage people to come forward that have witnessed the shooting of my brother, Little Ray,” said Kikiwani Mikisew Iskwew, the sister of the man who was shot, at an MKO news conference on Wednesday.
“Your interpretation of what you’ve seen matters. We recognize that we must work collectively to make change.”
The incident took place on Monday afternoon when an officer was on Princeton Drive to serve legal documents.
Mounties said the officer encountered a 30-year-old man who they allege was armed with a knife. RCMP said the officer fired their gun.
The man was taken to the hospital with a serious injury and is now in stable condition.
Videos of the incident have been posted to social media, where a single shot can be heard.
The Independent Investigation Unit is investigating the incident.
Iskwew said she feels the incident could have been handled differently.
“There were other measures that could have been put in place to de-escalate the situation,” she said.
“The RCMP officer could have used nonviolent intervention strategies to de-escalate the situation by remaining calm and by using his voice.”
She noted there have been allegations of her brother having a knife on him, but says after reviewing the video she doesn’t see evidence of him having a weapon.
“We are also disheartened by the forceful handle of Ray from the officer on duty after the shooting,” Iskwew said.
“Also from the response time of the ambulance. But we noticed that there were seven cruisers on the crime scene that responded to Little Ray, who was already not a threat.”
Iskwew added that her family is still in shock over the video that is circulating online, noting they are traumatized.
“Our family loves each other,” she said.
“Ray is loved from each of us. Ray is a son, a brother, an uncle, and a father to five beautiful children.”
Iskwew said when reflecting on her brother’s approach, people need to remember not to judge him for the state he was in.
“This does not justify the actions taken,” she said.
“Ray is only human, and like all humans, we all make mistakes.”
Iskwew asks people to contact 431-374-9155 with their videos and eyewitness accounts.