One month to the day after Hudson Brooks was shot and killed by police outside the South Surrey detachment, family and friends held a candlelight vigil at the site, determined to keep the 20-year-old’s death in the public eye.
Dozens of candles were lit, hugs were shared and tears were shed during the evening event Tuesday, which drew an estimated 50 people – some of whom didn’t even know Brooks.
The South Surrey man died around 2:30 a.m. July 18, after police responded to reports of a man screaming in the 1800-block of 152 Street.
Police allege a struggle ensued and Brooks was shot. An officer also suffered a non-life-threatening gunshot wound, however, investigators confirmed two days later that only police-issued firearms were found at the scene.
Many continue to call for answers.
Brooks’ mother, Jennifer, said at the scene that she is trying to stay positive, but still can’t come to terms with how the officers’ interaction with her son could have gone so wrong, and why a less-lethal degree of force wasn’t used.
Concerned that the issue will fade from people’s minds before the Independent Investigation Office’s report is complete – she’s been told some tests could take nine months – Brooks said she hopes the public will also continue to ask questions.
On a Facebook page created with that intent – Justice For Hudson – she pledges to be her son’s voice.
“We will fight for justice, your credibility and your character,” Brooks writes. “…until we meet again know that I will never give up or stop until #JusticeForHudson is served.”
IIO spokesperson Ralph Krenz said Thursday that the investigation into the circumstances surrounding Brooks’ death “is progressing,” however, there is no new information to share at this point.
Hoodies and bracelets with #JusticeForHudson were worn by many vigil attendees; bumper stickers are reportedly being created; and, some have had the social-media hashtag made into a vehicle-window decal.
Senior Donna Krieger – who said Hudson Brooks was like an uncle to her granddaughter – was among those who attended Tuesday’s tribute. There was “lots of hugging, lots of tears. But he’s got beautiful flowers again, beautiful roses.”
Krieger said she expects similar gatherings to be held “until we get some answers,” and noted a memorial march is also being planned. Details online note it is set for 4 p.m. Sept. 26, and is to pace off from White Rock’s Central Plaza.
– with files from Curtis Kreklau