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Ontario First Nation leaders call for disbandment of Thunder Bay police

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TORONTO -

First Nation leaders are renewing calls to dissolve the Thunder Bay police as the force's former leadership faces charges in a widening misconduct probe.

Nishnawbe Aski Nation, several chiefs of northern Ontario First Nations and several families with loved ones who died in the city say Thunder Bay police can no longer conduct credible investigations.

Several reports since 2018 have documented systemic racism in the Thunder Bay police force and outlined how investigations into the sudden deaths of Indigenous people have been tainted by racist attitudes and stereotyping.

Thirteen of those investigations were so poorly handled they had to be reinvestigated.

The Ontario Provincial Police announced criminal charges this month against the former Thunder Bay police chief and another high-ranking member.

Current Thunder Bay police Chief Darcy Fleury vowed last week to rebuild the community's trust in the force.

   This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 22, 2024.

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