Ontario Provincial Police are reinvestigating the deaths of 13 Indigenous individuals between 2006 and 2019 in Thunder Bay.
OPP spokesperson Invoice Dickson confirmed Tuesday the impartial reinvestigations are ongoing and have been undertaken on the request of the province’s lawyer normal. The circumstances had been beforehand investigated by the Thunder Bay Police Service (TBPS) and, in a report final yr, had been recognized as being in want of being investigated once more.
These new investigations have been assigned to OPP officers and are being led by a serious case supervisor within the group’s prison investigations department.
“Our intention is to take a victim-centred, trauma and culturally knowledgeable strategy to totally examine the circumstances main to those 13 tragic deaths in Thunder Bay,” Dickson stated in a press release.
The reinvestigations might result in new prison fees, he stated.
“We imagine victims’ households, mates, communities and the general public should know what occurred.”
Dickson declined to supply additional particulars about which particular circumstances are being reinvestigated.
Thunder Bay police Chief Darcy Fleury beforehand advised CBC Information he was open to any reinvestigations and would co-operate with them.
“If there are the shortcomings which have been reported, then positively I’m open to having them reinvestigated,” he stated in an interview on March 22, shortly after his hiring was introduced.
CBC Information emailed the TBPS on Tuesday to request an interview.
Coroner evaluate of two deaths additionally in confidential report
Tuesday’s information comes simply over a yr after an investigative group wanting into how the TBPS investigated sudden loss of life circumstances really useful that 14 loss of life circumstances be re-examined. The suggestions are contained in a confidential report leaked to media organizations, together with CBC Information.
The report additionally included one case really useful for a coroner’s evaluate of a missing-person loss of life and one other for a drug loss of life.
It additionally discovered 25 unresolved lacking and murdered Indigenous ladies and women (MMIWG) circumstances from Thunder Bay needs to be reviewed.
The report was a part of the ultimate work of the Damaged Belief committee, shaped after the province’s oversight company, the Workplace of the Unbiased Police Evaluate Director, discovered proof of systemic racism within the metropolis’s police power in 2018.
The committee known as for the reinvestigation of the sudden deaths of 9 Indigenous individuals. A part of the method was to think about if different sudden loss of life investigations undertaken by Thunder Bay police needs to be performed once more.
Since that report, the police service and its oversight board have undergone vital turnover: Fleury was employed as the brand new police chief and the oversight board has been beneath the management of a provincially appointed administrator for the previous yr.