Thunder Bay Police Service Board Has Failed The Community


In response to a letter to the Ontario Civilian Police Commission from First Nations Leaders dated May 29, 2017, stating that the Thunder Bay Police Board has “failed to provide any leadership”  during a series investigations, and requesting that the OCPC investigate the failures of the TBPSB, the Honourable Senator Murray Sinclair released a comprehensive report today concluding that the TBPSB has “clearly failed in its obligations both to the police service itself, but, more importantly…to all the citizens of Thunder Bay.”

The Board has “failed to recognize and address the clear and indisputable pattern of violence and systemic racism against Indigenous people in Thunder Bay. Moreover, the Board’s failure to act on these issues in the face of overwhelming documentary and media exposure is indicative of willful blindness.”

In a finding akin to the recently released OIPRD Systemic Review of the Thunder Bay Police, Senator Sinclair found that the failure to protect the Indigenous community goes beyond a few “bad apples” and is rather a “…manifestation of a deeper and more systemic problem.”

Sinclair recommends that no current Board member, with the exception of the present Board Chair, be reappointed at the end of his or her term. Instead, in accordance with Senator Sinclair’s recommendations, an Independent Administrator has been appointed to assume all of the powers and duties of the TBPSB, including holding the sole power to vote on matters before them, until a new Board is constituted.

In the face of these scathing confirmations of systemic racism pervading the police service from top to bottom, the spotlight is once again on Thunder Bay.

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