This story originally appeared on on June 16, 2021.

The Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs has launched an effort to gain intervener status in a human rights case involving an Indigenous man and his granddaughter over their treatment by Vancouver police while they tried to open a bank account.

Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond, a former judge who represents the union, said the organization wants to have a voice in Maxwell Johnson’s case to highlight what it alleges is a history of systemic racism against Indigenous people by Vancouver’s police force.

“These kinds of police acts where people are handcuffed and humiliated and mistreated and their rights are not respected, these are very serious issues that will not be tolerated,” she said during a news conference Wednesday.

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