It’s been four weeks and a day since Martha Martin received the call telling her that her daughter, Chantel Moore, had been shot dead by a police officer.
On Friday, Martin stood outside the Edmundston Police Force headquarters with her daughter’s ashes, expressing her outrage that the officer has returned to work on a desk-duty basis.
“The fact that this guy is still working is appalling,” Martin told CBC News.
“My daughter’s life mattered and it feels like, by them putting him back to work, it’s saying that you’re allowed to do what you want and get away with it.”
Moore, a 26-year-old Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation woman, was shot and killed by the unnamed officer during a wellness check in Edmundston on June 4. Moore grew up on Vancouver Island and recently moved to New Brunswick to be with her mother and six-year-old daughter, Gracie.
The officer was placed on paid leave following the incident, which is being investigated by an independent agency from Quebec, the Bureau des enquêtes indépendantes.
The police force confirmed Thursday the officer has returned to work and is “currently on administrative duties until we receive the results of the BEIQ independent investigation.”
Russ Letica of Madawaska First Nation joined the family and other supporters to hold a “call to action” outside the police station, calling for the officer’s removal.
Letica said they’re upset and confused as to how the system would allow the officer’s return to work.
“I’m upset that this man is back to work within 30 days of the murder of Chantel Moore,” he said.
“Take him out of the system. Take him out of the job.”
About 20 supporters gathered outside the station, holding signs, drumming and singing. Moore’s daughter walked to the demonstration holding a picture of her mother, and Martin was alongside with a box containing the ashes.
Emblazoned on the box, some signs and even Martin’s mask were the words “Stay Golden” — Moore’s favourite saying.