Crave Documentary Scrutinizes Thunder Bay and the Racism Rooted in the Thunder Bay Police Service

On February 17, 2023, the streaming service ‘Crave’ released the first two episodes in a four-part documentary series based on the popular CANADALAND podcast “Thunder Bay.” The Crave documentary sheds light on the violence and racism experienced by the Indigenous people living in Thunder Bay, Ontario, which is also known as Canada’s homicide and hate crime capital.

Ryan McMahon, Anishinaabe journalist and writer, is the producer and host of the investigative series. Throughout the first two episodes, McMahon explores the circumstances surrounding the deaths of several Indigenous people in the city, including Barbara Kentner, who was killed in 2017 after she was hit by a trailer hitch while out walking, as well as multiple Indigenous youths whose lives have ended in Thunder Bay’s waterways. As part of shedding light on the history of racism in Thunder Bay, McMahon also examines the shortcomings of the Thunder Bay Police Service (“TBPS”).

The series includes appearances from former Nishnawbe Aski Nation (“NAN”) Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler, journalist Willow Fiddler, and Julian Falconer, of Falconers LLP, legal counsel for NAN. NAN is the political territorial organization that represents 49 First Nations communities in the north.

Episode 3, which was released today, will center around the death of Stacy DeBungee and the negligent death investigation by the TBPS. Falconers LLP has the honour of representing Stacy DeBungee’s brother Brad, as well as Rainy River First Nations. Brad has worked tirelessly for many years in order to hold the TBPS accountable for their actions. Brad’s determination resulted in an investigation, and charges against Staff Sergeant Harrison who was in charge of the investigation into Stacy’s death.

Documents related to Charges against Staff Sergeant Harrison:

Disposition Decision of Hearing Officer Greg Walton – February 3, 2023

Hearing Decision of Hearing Officer Greg Walton – July 19, 2022

Media Coverage:

Brittany Hobson, The Canadian Press (CTV News) (Feb. 18, 2023) – “’Thunder Bay’ series from Ryan McMahon looks at systemic racism, police in the city”

Ian Kaufman, TB NewsWatch (Feb. 16, 2023) – “’Thunder Bay’ streaming series delves into city’s racism, policing issues”

Elisabetta Bianchini, Yahoo News (Feb. 17, 2023) – “’Thunder Bay’ series on Crave seeks truth in deaths of Indigenous people in ‘murder capital of Canada”

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