Statement regarding Crown review of investigation into death of Chantel Moore07 June 2021
FREDERICTON (GNB) – The following statement was issued today by Public Prosecutions Services, Office of the Attorney General:
The Crown has concluded its review of the report from the Bureau des enquêtes indépendantes du Québec (BEI) of its investigation following the death of Chantel Courtney Moore. Ms. Moore died on June 4, 2020, outside her residence during a police intervention by a member of the Edmundston Police Force.
The evidence accumulated by the BEI included police vehicle in-camera videos, footage from security cameras from nearby local businesses, witness statements from civilians and City of Edmundston police officers, cellphone analysis, fingerprint analysis and ballistics reports.
The purpose of the Crown’s review was to determine if criminal charges are warranted against the police officer involved in the shooting. In order to recommend charges against anyone, Public Prosecutions Services is bound by the law and its charging policy, Policy 11 of the Public Prosecutions Operational Manual.
As such, a prosecutor needs to decide “whether an impartial trier of fact properly directed in accordance with the law, is more likely than not to convict the accused charged based on the evidence available.”
Based on the review of the evidence, it is of our opinion that in the early morning hours of June 4, the officer in question did believe, on reasonable grounds, that force or a threat of force was being used against him by Ms. Moore, that he shot at Ms. Moore for the purpose of defending or protecting himself and that his actions were reasonable under the circumstances. The action of the officer was in response to a potential lethal threat approaching him quickly, having no other escape option available on the third-floor balcony he was confined to, and following repeated orders that Ms. Moore drop the weapon she was holding.
It is also of our opinion that, as per subsection 25(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada, the officer was justified in “doing what is required or authorized to do and in using as much force as is necessary for that purpose.”
The evidence presented to Public Prosecutions Services does not establish a reasonable prospect of conviction. Therefore, we will not proceed with criminal charges against the police officer. As the Crown’s review of this file has concluded, we have decided to make publicly available the legal opinion prepared on this matter.
The Office of the Chief Coroner has committed to holding an inquest into the death of Ms. Moore. This is a public process that will review the evidence related to this matter, including witness testimony, and make recommendations aimed at preventing similar deaths.
The circumstances surrounding the death of Ms. Moore are tragic. Chantel was a beloved daughter, mother, sister and friend. She was a member of Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation in British Columbia who had recently moved to New Brunswick to be closer to her family. We offer our deepest sympathies to her loved ones and to the communities touched by this loss.
Public Prosecution Services is independent in its role in the administration of justice in New Brunswick and does not act on direction from government, police or any other entity in the discharge of its responsibilities.07-06-21