Fifth Estate Feature Sheds New Light on State of Thunder Bay Police

The Fifth Estate has found that police in Thunder Bay never bothered to find, and interview two key witnesses who were with Stacey DeBungee the night before he was found dead last year. Falconers LLP lawyers, Julian Falconer and Meaghan Daniel, represent the DeBungee family and the Rainy River First Nations in respect of the death of 41-year-old Stacey Lance DeBungee.

Additionally, The Fifth Estate was able to track down the two witnesses who say they were with DeBungee on the night of October 18, 2016, and used a debit card belonging to him after his death. More than a year later, those same witnesses have never been formally interviewed by police.

In a public statement, Julian Falconer criticized the Thunder Bay Police Service investigation stating, “It was clear this was another sad example of a pattern, which is that Aboriginal deaths are simply investigated in a fashion that is different from other deaths.”

Hit Here to Play: “Death In Thunder Bay: No Foul Play”   The Fifth Estate, November 11, 2016

Key witnesses in probe of Indigenous man’s 2015 death not interviewed by police, fifth estate finds   November 11, 2016

Thunder Bay Police Forced To Address Systemic Racism

March 18, 2016: The family of Brad DeBungee filed a complaint with the OIPRD alleging systemic discrimination within the Thunder Bay Police Service. On November 3, 2016 the OIPRD announced its unprecedented investigation into systemic racism at the Thunder Bay Police Service.

November 16, 2016: Chair of the Thunder Bay Police Services Board Jackie Dojack, and Chief of Police J.P. Levesque, wrote a letter responding to the Ontario Human Rights Commission. In the letter, the Thunder Bay Police Service welcomes assistance from the Human Rights Commission for the implementation of further organizational change in order to improve policing procedures and practices. The correspondence finishes with a request that Chief Commissioner Renu Mandhane, call the chief’s office to set up a date to meet about the police’s efforts and how to move forward.


In The News

OHRC Letter November 16, 2016   Thunder Bay Police Service, November 17, 2016

Thunder Bay police pledge ‘organizational change’ in letter to human rights commissioner   CBC, November 17, 2016

Police respond to Ontario Human Rights Commission letter   TBNewsWatch, November 17, 2016

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