Ontario First Nation leaders call for disbandment of Thunder Bay police

First Nation leaders are renewing calls to dissolve the Thunder Bay police as the force’s former leadership faces charges in a widening misconduct probe.

Nishnawbe Aski Nation, several chiefs of northern Ontario First Nations and several families with loved ones who died in the city say Thunder Bay police can no longer conduct credible investigations.

Several reports since 2018 have documented systemic racism in the Thunder Bay police force and outlined how racist attitudes and stereotyping have tainted investigations into the sudden deaths of Indigenous people.

Thirteen of those investigations were so poorly handled they had to be reinvestigated.

NDP Deputy Leader Sol Mamakwa said Ontario and the Thunder Bay Police have failed these families.

“The ongoing failure to investigate the deaths of First Nations people in Thunder Bay has turned the service into a cold case factory with over 20 unsolved cases. The rightful pain, frustration and fear Thunder Bay residents feel about TBPS misconduct cannot be ignored,” Mamakwa said.

“Repairing the governance would go a long way in undoing these systematic injustices. Ontario is not allocating proper resources to relieve these families from this nightmare and give them the justice they deserve.”

The Ontario Provincial Police announced criminal charges this month against the former Thunder Bay police chief and another high-ranking member. 

Current Thunder Bay police Chief Darcy Fleury vowed last week to rebuild the community’s trust in the force.

With files from Lucas Casaletto of CityNews

Top Stories

Top Stories

Most Watched Today