Following the murder of 13-month-old Tanner Brass, his mother Kyla Frenchman is calls for immediate action against the Prince Albert police.
If they had listened to her pleas, her baby might still be alive, she says.
During a press conference on Friday, she could barely talk about what her son loved most during his short life.
Frenchman’s lawyer, Eleanore Sunchild, Q.C. read the letter she prepared about the death of her son Tanner.
“That night I begged and pleaded with the police to help me and my baby. I was scared and I needed their help. I thought they were supposed to help me but they didn’t,” said Sunchild.
Members from the Prince Albert Police Service (PAPS) were called to a house early on the morning of Feb. 10 for a domestic dispute.
Frenchman was outside and wanted them to check on her baby, who was left inside with her partner, Kaij Brass.
Instead, she was taken to a holding cell due to suspected intoxication, an allegation that Frenchman denies. She says she continuously begged police to do a wellness check on her son.
Hours later, police were called back to the home after baby Tanner was found dead.
Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN) Chief Bobby Cameron spoke about the heavy emotions he feels for Frenchman and her family. Her story is not rare for Indigenous people, he said.
“The words Kyla said… ‘my baby would still be alive today if they only listened to me.’ That resonates for many First Nations right across this country,” said Chief Cameron.
The FSIN wants all officers involved to be fired.
So far, two officers have been suspended within the PAPS.
“Should Kyla and the family want to seek legal action, we are going to support her, even if we have to die going the distance. There has to be and there must be immediate change within the whole justice system across Canada,” said Chief Cameron.
Prince Albert police had no comment on the news conference.
Earlier this week police Chief Jonathan Bergen released a statement saying, “As an organization we are proud to stand accountable in how we serve our community…and I remain committed to supporting our members in their service.”
The letter also mentioned Bergen is committed to a transparent investigation.
However, Frenchman’s lawyer said what happened fits a larger pattern.
“There’s been too many instances of police failing indigenous people,” said Sunchild.
The Saskatchewan Public Complaints Commission (PCC) investigation into the police service is still ongoing and is expected to be complete by the end of March.
Kaij Brass has been charged with the second-degree murder of his son, Tanner Brass.