Open Letter on the murder of Jon Styres

SIX NATIONS – The following open letter was sent by Six Nations resident Janie Jamieson to the Attorney General of Ontario and to various local Six Nations politicians. The letter concerns the gunning down of Six Nations resident Jon Styres who was shot and killed by Glanbrook resident Peter Khill. Khill, a former reservist with the Canadian military has been charged with second degree murder.

An Open Letter to the Attorney General of Ontario and Six Nations Politicians

Please regard this communication as urgent.

On Thursday, February 4, 2016 an unarmed Native father of two from Six Nations named Jon Styres was shot and killed at short range by a skilled Canadian Army Sniper. It is alleged Mr. Styres was attempting to steal the soldier’s truck. it was not a theft as the soldier’s truck was parked close to his garage and never left his driveway. No theft occurred.

The skilled sniper has been charged with second degree murder. I believe in the name of justice for Mr. Styres, his family, friends and in the name of justice for the over-representation of Murdered and Missing Native Men, the soldier needs to face trial for the charge.

It is my understanding the soldier is decorated and skilled in artillery/tactical unit. Meaning he has intense training and field experience in seeking out a target and making an easy kill. As a Mohawk mother of two young sons, I believe their Nationhood alone puts them at a high risk of becoming a murder victim.

My only daughter Jewel Monture committed suicide as a result of bullying and sexual abuse on November 12, 2010. Jewel was 12 years old. At no point did I ever believe I had the right to seek justice on my own and bear arms and kill the women and children involved in her death. As painful as my family’s grief can be, I still don’t believe I have the right to be the judge, jury and executioner to her abusers.

To the best of my knowledge, a reasonable amount of force is justifiable when protecting one’s property and reasonable force is a defense when an intruder enters or is attempting to enter a dwelling. I also believe a reasonable amount of force is justified under the Canadian Criminal Code in protecting one’s family from physical harm when there is a direct threat to their safety. Mr. Styres was unarmed on the property and at the complete mercy of the armed soldier. Those are the facts. To accuse Mr. Styres of attempted theft is an allegation by the murderer and cannot be debated as Jon is dead and cannot speak in his own defense, The property Khill claimed he protected using lethal force was a truck parked in his driveway and never even moved from his garage. Khill could’ve shot a tire on his truck or Jon’s leg. The police were not called until after the shooting, despite two people being in the home and both having access to his home.

There are many dynamics attached to this murder and much to consider. I believe this is an issue of race. I also believe if the soldier does not face trial and is not held accountable for his actions, the door will be left wide open for justified vigilantism. This is not the American South.  There is currently a petition circulating requesting the charges against the accused get dropped. If the accused is not subject to the full extent of the Canadian Justice system, there will be a public outrage, as too many of our Native men are missing and getting murdered with no reaction from the government at all. Our men are going missing and being murdered at a higher rate than our women.

I believe the issue at hand is the mental illnesses of both men. As with most soldiers, I believe the killer suffers from a mental illness, PTSD and as a Native enduring centuries of genocide I believe the victim suffered from PTSD, as well. PTSD in Native people is common.

I believe there needs to be much support for Mr. Styres’ family throughout the entire court process. It’s their right.

The Hamilton Police have not called Mr. Styres’ wife, nor have answered any of her calls nor have they even notified her of his murderer. She found out via social media. Also, any calls she has made to the investigating officer have not been received nor returned. Leading Jon’s wife to believe, the investigation into his death or having any meaningful or respectful communication with her is not a priority for Hamilton Police Services.

1) I am requesting PETER KHILL receive no preferential treatment due to his title as a Canadian Soldier.

2) I am requesting PETER KHILL be subjected to the full extent of the Canadian Justice System.

3) I am requesting the Hamilton City maintain a reasonable and respectful dialogue with Jon’s late wife, immediately.

4) I am requesting an independent inquiry of Jon’s death investigation and a review of Hamilton Police Services treatment or lack of it, of Jon’s wife with whom he’s resided for4 years.

5) I am requesting racial criminal profiling to be deemed illegal.

6) I am requesting changes be made to the gun ownership laws which would make it mandatory for citizens to undergo mental health assessments before being able to legally own and operate firearms in Canada.

7) I am requesting services in my home community of Six Nations which would assist in curbing the narcotics addictions epidemic and the mental illness epidemic that is overpowering our youth here at Six Nations.

I believe you are all in positions to assist our community with this avoidable tragedy. We all need to see the issue for what it is, a mental health and addictions issue brought on by PTSD as result of army training and colonization. Jon Styres was a young man who lived through the foster system and was eventually adopted.

Janie Jamieson

Six Nations

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