Tuesday , December 1 2020

There is a crisis of trust & # 39; exists between Thunder Bay police and Native people, find report

The police force of the police force of Ontario says that systemic racism exists throughout the Thunder Bay Police Service, and that "inadequacy" at least nine investigations into Native people's deaths in recent years was "so problematic" that they should be reopened.

The findings are part of an extremely critical report released on Wednesday. The 200-page-plus report is the result of a two-year audit by Gerry McNeilly, Director of Independent Police Review, and his office, and examined allegations of racism in the way local police are investigate deaths and disappear Native people.

The report says that "crisis of trust" exists between the police service and indigenous communities, and it goes back decades.

"The failure to carry out adequate investigations and premature collections taken in these cases, at least in part, is attributed to racial aspects and racial stereotyping," said McNeilly. "Officers repeatedly relied on general ideas about how native people started their deaths and acted or stopped acting, based on those predictions."

The report also found that there were "serious shortcomings" in dozens of death investigations by police and the city where native people were victims.

"My finding that investigations are not affected by racial discrimination represents a decision for everyone [Thunder Bay police] officials dealing with deliberate racism. However, in general, I can see that there is systemic racism in it [the Thunder Bay Police Service] at institutional level. "

The McNeilly investigation found failures in a number of areas, including:

  • The police do not interview or follow witnesses or people of interest.
  • Collect and manage poor evidence.
  • Lack of communication with coroners and pathologists.
  • In many cases of death by drowning or exposure, not investigating enough thoroughly to see if someone else is responsible for the victim who ends in the water or becomes incapable.

The auditor examined 37 sudden death investigations dating back to 2009, including random sampling and specific cases. The review also looked at cases which was the subject of a long-term coroner's inquest to the death of seven First Nations students in the city.

In addition, McNeilly examined cases within the mandate of the national inquiry into the loss and murder of indigenous women and women (MMIWG), and held dozens of meetings in the city to gather feedback from British leaders, police, different service and member organizations public.

Office of the director too hold a public debate at Thunder Bay in 2017.

Gerry McNeilly, Independent Police & Force Review Director, released his report to allegations of systemic racism within the Thunder Bay Police Service on Wednesday and has made dozens of recommendations. (CBC)

The systemic auditor came after another investigation by the police review director of the way in which Thunder Bay police investigated the death of Stacy DeBungee in 2015. The report found a basis for neglecting a duty against three officers; They will face disciplinary hearings on those Police Services Act payments he has not yet decided.

The McNeilly report made a total of 44 recommendations, including the call for the nine reinvestments. A team should also be formed to determine whether additional cases need to be reopened, according to the report.

McNeilly wrote that DeBungee's death investigation should be considered for reinvestment.

Other recommendations include the Thunder Bay police force:

  • You will review peers from another force for at least three years.
  • Consider contracting some investigations to other police services.
  • Improve staffing, training and operations – including promoting the Treasury Contact Unit and better integration to police operations.
The report also calls for police leadership to "publicly and formally acknowledge that racism exists at all levels within the police service," and states that "will not tolerate perspectives or racist actions."

Over 250 people had prepared a meeting room in Thunder Bay in September 2017 for a public forum, which was part of the McNeilly researcher of allegations of systemic racism in the Thunder Bay police force. (Matt Prokopchuk / CBC)

A number of recommendations have been made to other parties, including the local police services board – McNeilly calls on it to formally acknowledge racism in the police and take a lead role in repairing the relationship between the service and indigenous communities – as well with the province, the Ontario Forensic Pathology Offices and coroner's offices.

The main ones are among those who demand a forensic pathology unit in the city, ideally in homes together with the office of the regional coroner.

Thunder Bay Police Services Board is also under separate investigation Senedd Murray Sinclair. The WBQ News have learned that it will recommend that the board should fall for a year and appoint a temporary administrator.

& Fiunexpected treatment& # 39; suggesting a culture of & # 39; racial discrimination & # 39;

Wednesday's report drew attention to some of the presentations made to the office of the police review and director throughout the process that shows a relationship between breach and confrontation between the police and indigenous communities. The review found a "disruptive pattern" of interactions involving officials and people of the First Nations that "ranged from allegations of serious assaults to insensitive or unprofessional behavior."

One allegation of assault had dated as far as the late 1980s, but McNeilly wrote "events such as these did not appear to be isolated events."

The director's office heard allegations of wildly-known wildlife trips, where native people are taken in policing and police ponds to remote locations and forced to walk back to town, along with other reports of events, such as repeated officers applying the brakes when the people of the First Nations were at the back of the police vehicle.

The McNeilly report also noted a number of accounts of "Indigenous people indirect treatment that implies a race culture of racial discrimination".

The report of the review director said that blaming "a few bad apples" for the poor relationship between the police and Native people "reduces the ability to constructively repair the harm of racism."

The presentations from the police showed the review director that the power recognizes problems with a relationship with Native people, but says that it has been taking action since 1995 to improve, and that is, in part, Over two dozens of community enterprises, have been making "meaningful improvements in these relationships and continue to do so."

Actively, the police said that he had undertaken a number of internal reviews, including policies that control sudden deaths, missing people and issuing press releases. The Force also introduced an increase that was said to have been made through an organizational change project, launched in 2017.

McNeilly acknowledged in the report the actions the police service had taken over the past few years, and supported a number of changes to the public that the police said he had done and done. But it came to the conclusion that the police need to make major changes active and in addressing the internal culture of the service as it relates to Native people.

"We can not miss an opportunity – again again – to make a real change," he said.

In a statement, police force, Chief Executive of Thunder Bay, responded the report saying: "We recognize that there are systematic barriers in policing that they need to be addressed. This is a very extensive report and we will need time to study and consider all the specific recommendations.

"With the help of this report, the service continues to work towards tidy policing," he said. "In the next few days, we will explore these recommendations. We hope that they will be of great value as we continue to build trust with the Native community."

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