Five people were arrested after the Victoria Police chief was assaulted during a Chantel Moore memorial at the BC Legislature on Saturday.
The incident, which was captured on video, occurred just after 2 p.m. at a memorial event honouring Chantel Moore, an Indigenous woman from British Columbia who was killed by New Brunswick police during a wellness check in 2020.
Chief Del Manak was invited by Chantal Moore’s family to participate in the ceremony for her, and was blanketed according to an Indigenous custom. Manak was also asked to provide a speech.
Following his remarks, while he was observing the remainder of the ceremony, a woman walked up and poured liquid down Manak’s back from behind.
Police said that he was not physically harmed.
The assault was captured on video and when officers approached the suspect, she was surrounded by a group of other individuals, who then swarmed VicPD officers.
Police say five people were arrested and taken into custody, and don’t believe the suspects involved in the incident took part in organizing the Chantel Moore memorial event.
Following the incident, Mayor Lisa Helps Mayors Helps and Desjardins, released a joint statement condemning the assault and the ongoing violence towards police officers, which has escalated as of late.
“As Co-chairs of the Victoria-Esquimalt Police Board we are upset and saddened by this act. It is unacceptable. We recognize that there is a long history of mistrust between police in Canada and Indigenous communities,” the statement read.
“We know that there is a lot of healing to do. That is precisely why the Chief was invited by Moore’s family to participate in the memorial; he has been working closely with them since her death and they immediately and publicly denounced this act of violence against the Chief Manak.”
“We call on everyone in the community to stand down from attacks and to express differences of opinion respectfully and in a way that will help to build understanding and allow much needed-healing to happen.”
The five suspects arrested in the incident have since been released and are awaiting court dates, according to an update by VicPD.