RCMP shooting: Did racism, fear play part in death of Paul Duck, family asks

The family of a Manitoba man fatally shot by an RCMP officer say they’ve been denied justice and don’t have closure five years after his killing.

Duck, 52, was fatally shot by RCMP in God's Lake First Nation in 2011

Paul Duck was shot and killed by RCMP on God's Lake First Nation in 2011. (CBC)

The family of a Manitoba man fatally shot by an RCMP officer say they've been denied justice and don't have closure five years after his killing.

Paul Duck was shot to death on God's Lake First Nation in 2011 after firing a shot into the air to break up a fight between children who were vandalizing his sister's home.

Duck's gun was empty when he was shot by officers two times. The 52-year-old man bled to death, leaving behind four children and five grandchildren.

An inquest report into his death was released last week, and Judge Murray Thompson found RCMP were not at fault. Thompson made no recommendations in his report.

On Tuesday, Duck's family members released a statement.

"We found out through media the judge had no recommendations. Our family is still looking for closure, we still have a lot of unanswered questions and we can't stress enough that this travesty could have been avoided if the officer had not been so fearful during the line of duty and too quick to use his revolver," said Tom Duck, Paul's brother. "To believe my brother died needlessly because the value of life did not take precedence by the officers involved is beyond my understanding. His wife and children are still grieving."

The chief of God's Lake First Nation said moving the inquest hearings from their community to Winnipeg took the community's healing process away.

Chief Gilbert Andrews also questioned whether the shooting was motivated by racism.

"Our members still question if this tragedy was motivated by racism, not valuing the life of an Indian, or is it that officers who come to our communities are genuinely scared of our people and are too quick to use excessive force?" he said in the news release.

The chief and council also recommended that more band constables work with RCMP in the policing of communities.

RCMP respond to concerns racism played role in shooting

The RCMP released the following statement released Tuesday afternoon.

"While we are not in a position to comment on the inquest itself, we recognize that this tragedy has been extremely difficult for the family and for the community of Gods Lake First Nation. The RCMP has been working closely with the affected community to maintain and enhance a partnership built on trust, mutual respect and open communication. The concerns raised by the community however signal that we need to do more, as such, the RCMP in Manitoba will work towards an even stronger relationship so that it can better serve the people of Gods Lake First Nation."