They say time heals all wounds, but it’s been two years since Laura Holland lost her son to a police shooting. For her, time has stood still.
“Every day it feels like it was yesterday,” Holland told Canadian Press.
The grieving mother just filed a lawsuit against the unnamed officers in Campbell River involved in her son’s death, Jared Lowndes.
The Independent Investigations Office investigated what happened during the altercation that led to the 38-year-old Wet’suwet’en man’s untimely death in a Tim Hortons Parking lot.
The results still haven’t been released, and for Holland, the details of what happened to her son are just as murky.
“The family has been kept in the dark largely about the circumstances that led to his death,” the family’s lawyer, Neil Chantler, said.
“The matter is still in the criminal process, and, as you can imagine, the Independent Investigation Office has to be very tight-lipped.”
The officers’ identities remain unknown but will become public through the criminal or civil process.
Chantler said he believes “the police created a hectic, presumably terrifying scene,” where a police dog and multiple officers assailed Lowdnes while he was trapped in his car.
“We don’t know exactly what happened,” he said. “Apparently, video footage will emerge that will paint a very clear picture of what happened in the moments before his death.”
Lowndes allegedly had a warrant for his arrest issued in March of 2021 over a conditional order for a past offence. Reportedly, the RCMP officers initiated the confrontation to secure a DNA sample.
According to witnesses, the “interaction” began with the police officers driving two cars into Lowndes’ car while he was parked outside Timmies.
Witnesses stated after police boxed in Lowndes’s car, “Gator,” the police dog, jumped in through Lowndes’ car window to attack him and his puppy, who was also in the vehicle.
We all know the phrase, “Never bring a knife to a gunfight.” Well, reportedly, that’s what Lowndes did.
Lowndes fought back at the dog, fatally stabbing it; the dog handler also received a knife wound.
An officer then shot Lowdnes to death. Allegedly, he fired into Lowndes six times.
Relatives confirmed it was at least three shots to Lowdnes’ chest and at least one to his head. The shirt Lowdnes was wearing at the time had three bullet holes.
In a Facebook exchange that followed Lowndes’ death, Josie Patterson wrote that the offence connected to the warrant was eight years old, “None of the charges have been proven. Those are all alleged and always will be since he was murdered before he had a chance to defend himself.”
Lowndes was sober and raising two young daughters at the time of his death.
The National Police Federation has previously responded to the news of Lowndes’s death with a “sympathy” statement.
“If Mr. Lowndes had not, however, evaded police, stabbed (a police service dog) and injured an RCMP officer, and instead turned himself into the courts to comply with a warrant for weapons offences, he could be alive today,” Federation president Brian Sauvé said.
When Holland and another grieving mother held a march to raise awareness about police killings of their children, the Campbell River RCMP seemed more concerned with honouring Gator than the controversial killing.
Their responses speak volumes.
“Police are supposed to be there to help all of us. They’re supposed to be there to protect all of us,” Holland said.
Holland has one goal in pursuing her court case — justice for her son.