Staff Sergeant Harrison Sentenced to 18-Month Demotion for Discriminatory Investigation

Today, Superintendent (Ret.) Greg Walton issued his sentencing decision regarding the discriminatory investigation conducted by Staff Sergeant Harrison into the death of Stacey DeBungee.

The decision ordered that Staff Sergeant Harrison be demoted in rank from staff sergeant to sergeant for a term of 18 months. At the conclusion of that period, Staff Sergeant Harrison is to be returned to the rank of staff sergeant provided his disciplinary record remains unblemished. The decision further ordered that within three months of the release of the decision, Staff Sergeant Harrison must attend Indigenous Cultural Competency Training.

In his decision, Superintendent (Ret.) Walton states, “I find the factors of Public Interest and Seriousness of Misconduct to be so substantial that a considerable demotion in rank is required. The fact that the Inquest into the Deaths of Seven First Nations was in progress at the time of the misconduct certainly adds to the seriousness of the misconduct. Staff Sergeant Harrison’s unprofessionalism, negligence, and bias, failed Stacey DeBungee, Stacey DeBungee’s family, the public, and the Thunder Bay Police Service. As noted earlier, Staff Sergeant Harrison disregarded the worth of Stacey DeBungee’s life to bother to ascertain how he died. If it were not for the mitigating factors that exist, I would have increased the terms of Staff Sergeant Harrison’s demotion.”

Falconers LLP has the honour of representing Brad DeBungee as he continues to fight for justice for his brother Stacey.

Related Documents:

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

Falconers LLP Press Advisory – February 3, 2023

Media Coverage: 

Alex Brockman, CBC News (Feb. 3, 2023) – “Lead investigator in DeBungee death case in Thunder Bay, Ont., demoted for 18 months”

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