'Enough is enough': Winnipeggers rally for justice for Indigenous lives in name of 16-year-old shot by police
Eishia Hudson was shot by Winnipeg police in April after allegedly being involved in a Liquor Mart robbery
Hundreds came out to the Manitoba legislative grounds Friday evening for a rally demanding justice for Indigenous lives and police reform in Manitoba.
Justice For Eishia was dedicated to Eishia Hudson, a 16-year-old who was fatally shot by Winnipeg police in April at the intersection of Lagimodiere Boulevard and Fermor Avenue.
"I pray for her almost every day. I miss her so much," said Melvin Moar, Eishia's grandfather, in an impassioned speech on the steps of the legislature.
"I'm just so sad this happened to her. She was such a good little girl," Moar said. "We all have to grow up and do something bad... It's a shame that they had to resolve to [shooting]."
Eishia Hudson was shot on April 8, after what police called a "full blown pursuit," which started after they said a group of teens robbed a Liquor Mart in the Sage Creek area.
The vehicle they drove was stolen a day prior and used in another Liquor Mart robbery earlier that morning and collided with multiple other vehicles, police said.
Four other teens were arrested and charged with multiple offences.
"I wish I had a couple of minutes with the one that shot my granddaughter. I wish I had him in a room," Moar said.
"You know what I'd do? Nothing," he said. "I'd do nothing to him."
Moar pointed to how police officers in the U.S. are being charged after the killings of people such as George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minn., or Rayshard Brooks in Atlanta, Ga.
He wants to see similar outcomes here in Winnipeg, he said.
"Enough is enough," Moar said. "I'm tired of police doing these things to our people."
Several other people spoke at Friday's rally, including Manitoba NDP Leader Wab Kinew.
Kinew told the hundreds in attendance that his first time visiting the legislature was to protest the shooting of J.J. Harper, an Indigenous leader from Wasagamack, Man., who was shot by a Winnipeg police officer in March 1988.
"I can't tell you what it feels like to be standing here 30 years later and asking for accountability, and asking for justice, for Eishia," said Kinew.
"It bothers me to think of Eishia being killed. As a father, I struggle to think of a reason that a teenager's life should be ended."
Kinew added that, had certain events in his life gone slightly different when he was younger, he wouldn't be where he is now.
"Had things gone just a slight bit different, it would be just another Indigenous life," he said.
Near the end of Friday's rally, William Hudson, Eishia's father, and the rest of the family listed the names of other people who have died, that they want justice for.
Aside from Eishia Hudson, the list featured 10 other names, including:
- Jason Collins — a friend of Hudson's who was shot and killed by police 12 hours after his daughter.
- Regis Korchinski-Paquet — a black woman in Toronto, Ont., who died after falling from her balcony during a 911 call.
- Chantel Moore, an Indigenous woman fatally shot by police in Edmundston, N.B.
- Tina Fontaine of Sagkeeng First Nation, whose death in 2014 renewed calls for a national inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.
WATCH | 'I miss her so much,' says grandfather of Eishia Hudson