OIPRD Releases Its Report on Systemic Racism in the Thunder Bay Police Service

Today, the Office of the Independent Police Review Director (“OIPRD”) released the findings of its Systemic Review of the Thunder Bay Police Service (“TBPS”). The Systemic Review was announced in November 2016 following a formal complaint by Brad DeBungee and former Rainy River First Nations Chief, Jim Leonard, alleging systemic racism in the way that Thunder Bay police officers handle the deaths and disappearances of Indigenous people.

The Systemic Review found that TBPS investigators failed on an unacceptably high number of occasions to treat or protect a deceased individual and his or her family equally because the deceased was Indigenous. The OIPRD also found that the failure to conduct adequate investigations and the premature conclusions drawn in these cases is, at least in part, attributable to racist attitudes and racial stereotyping among TBPS officers. Officers were found to have repeatedly relied on generalized notions about how Indigenous people likely came to their deaths, and acted, or refrained from acting, based on those assumptions and biases.

See the link below for the report.


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