Hudson Brooks' mother Jennifer holds aloft a portrait of her son at a march and rally outside the South Surrey RCMP detachment offices in February.

South Surrey vigil to mark one year without answers

Independent Investigations Office is awaiting one more ballistics report before the investigation into Hudson Brooks death is completed

A candlelight vigil planned for Monday outside the Surrey RCMP detachment offices at 152 Street and 18 Avenue will mark one year since the shooting death of South Surrey resident Hudson Brooks, 20 – at the place that he was shot.

Organized by family and friends, the 7 p.m. event is not simply a memorial to Brooks, according to longtime friend Bailee Pearson.

“A year later, we still don’t know what happened,” she said. “There has been no closure. There was one police statement issued last November, and since then, nothing.”

The circumstances of Brooks’ death are still under investigation by the Independent Investigations Office – which investigates police-involved incidents that result in death or serious harm – and police have said only that an altercation took place in the early morning hours of July 18, resulting in the shooting of Brooks and non life-threatening injuries to an RCMP officer.

Fuelling speculation, investigators subsequently confirmed that only police-issued weapons were found at the scene.

Friends and family have rejected the initial police statement on the shooting that described Brooks as “suicidal.”

“There should be more done – there needs to be more pressure put on the IIO. (The police) haven’t even issued an apology – they haven’t said anything,” Pearson said.

IIO communications and stakeholder relations liaison Aiden Buckley said Thursday morning that the agency is awaiting just one more ballistics report in the investigation.

He would not speculate on when that report would be complete but acknowledged there is frustration with how long it is taking to get answers.

“In consultation with the third party, the IIO is working to expedite the report because we understand these cases are taking too long to be resolved,” Buckley said by email.

Buckley reiterated other factors in the delay that were shared with PAN by IIO officials in the spring, including a caseload “which has been impacted by a spike of officer-involved shootings and police-involved fatalities throughout the province, which began in September 2014 and continued for the better part of a year.”

In that time period, there were 20 fatalities, he noted.

“While timeliness is a priority for us, our focus on conducting competent investigations will not be sacrificed,” Buckley said.

Pearson said the unanswered questions are only compounding the grief for Brooks’ family and friends.

She said she and Brooks met during Grade 8 at Brookswood Secondary in Langley, and that they stayed in touch when he and his family moved to South Surrey.

“He was a good friend of mine…he kept me safe from bullies in the school hallway,” she said.

“He was really caring and kind. Even after he left Brookswood he would still come back to visit. This is a boy who would pull over to the side of a road to get a ticket.

“They  said he was suicidal – he wasn’t. He was a healthy, happy 20-year-old boy.”

Pearson said the ‘Justice For Hudson’ campaign will continue until all the facts are known, including a public march that is tentatively scheduled for September.

– with files from Alex Browne

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Officers with the Lower Mainland Emergency Response Team were at a White Rock home Tuesday (Oct. 20) to assist Vancouver Police Department with execution of a search warrant. (Contributed photo)
ERT response to White Rock home connected to homicide: police

Search underway in the 15800-block of Prospect Crescent

Ivan Scott. (Aaron Hinks photo)
Surrey mayor enters word war with speakers, councillor

McCallum calls brief recess after asking two speakers to leave chambers

Montreal-based writer Michael Foy grew up in the Newton area of Surrey. (submitted photo)
Surrey-raised writer Foy really loves to set his short stories in the city

His latest is published in ‘Canadian Shorts II’ collection

The site of the former Rona store in Newton could be home to a park and civic amenities, in the 6900-block of King George Boulevard. (Photo: Google Street View)
Surrey buying 16 properties in Newton for parkland, civic amenities

Mayor Doug McCallum says project will be ‘fast-tracked’

Bernard Trest and his son Max, 10, are concerned about B.C.’s plan for students in the classroom. He was one of two fathers who filed a court application in August to prevent schools from reopening if stricter COVID-19 protections weren’t in place. That application was dismissed last week. (Contributed photo)
White Rock dad pledges to appeal quashed call for mandatory masks, distancing in schools

Bernard Trest and Gary Shuster challenged health, education ministries’ return-to-school plan

FILE – People wait in line at a COVID-19 testing facility in Burnaby, B.C., on Thursday, August 13, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
167 new COVID-19 cases, 1 death recorded as B.C. enters 2nd wave

Three new healthcare outbreaks also announced

This 2020 electron microscope image made available by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases shows a Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 particle isolated from a patient, in a laboratory in Fort Detrick, Md. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-NIAID/NIH via AP
At least 49 cases of COVID-19 linked to wedding in Calgary: Alberta Health

McMillan says the city of Calgary has recently seen several outbreaks linked to social gatherings

UBC geoscientists discovered the wreckage of a decades-old crash during an expedition on a mountain near Harrison Lake. (Submitted photo)
Wreckage of possibly decades-old airplane crash discovered on mountain near Harrison Lake

A team of UBC geoscientists discovered the twisted metal embedded in a glacier

The official search to locate Jordan Naterer was suspended Saturday Oct. 17. Photo courtesy of VPD.
‘I am not leaving without my son,’ says mother of missing Manning Park hiker

Family and friends continue to search for Jordan Naterer, after official efforts suspended

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

A bear similar to this black bear is believed responsible for killing a llama in Saanich on Oct. 19. (Black Press Media file photo)
Bear kills llama on Vancouver Island, prompting concerns over livestock

Officers could not track the bear they feel may not fear humans

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
RCMP cleared in fatal shooting of armed Lytton man in distress, police watchdog finds

IIO spoke to seven civillian witnesses and 11 police officers in coming to its decision

A 34-year-old man was treated for a gunshot wound in Williams Lake Monday, Oct 19, 2020. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Williams Lake man treated for gunshot wound after accidental shooting: RCMP

Police are reminding residents to ensure firearms are not loaded when handling them

Most Read