Thunder Bay, Ont., police face 'systemic review' of Indigenous death investigations
Police in Thunder Bay, Ont., will be reviewed by the province's civilian police oversight body for the way they treat the deaths of Indigenous people, a move that one expert calls unprecedented in Ontario.
"In terms of the actions of this relatively new police oversight body, this is precedent setting in the province of Ontario," said Akwasi Owusu-Bempeh, an assistant sociology professor at the University of Toronto who specializes in race, crime and policing. "It is the first time they have investigated an entire police service for institutionalized racism."
News of the forthcoming investigation by the Office of the Independent Police Review Director (OIPRD) comes almost a year after the drowning death of Stacey DeBungee, which was quickly deemed accidental by Thunder Bay police.