TBPS Chief Avoids Accountability by Retiring before Answering to Misconduct Allegations
THUNDER BAY, ON: Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) Deputy Grand Chief Anna Betty Achneepineskum has expressed grave concern as the suspended Chief of the Thunder Bay Police Service will avoid accountability by retiring before answering to allegations of professional misconduct:
“I am extremely disappointed that Chief Hauth will not have to answer to the allegations against her and be held accountable to the public for actions under her leadership.
This Chief is culpable for many of the injustices inflicted on our members, and it is outrageous and disheartening that she will avoid accountability. Her resignation looks like a cold, calculated way of hiding the truth by evading the charges that have been laid against her. This is insulting to the entire community, including the families of the victims who’s deaths are being re-investigated because of substandard police work.
The long-standing dysfunction and systemic racism in this Service has been documented by many reports and recommendations, which led to my calling for its dismantlement last year. Sadly, this Service and its Board have done little to earn back the trust of the people they serve.
The Thunder Bay Police Service already has little credibility with Indigenous members, and the Thunder Bay community suffers for it. The Chief’s dodging of professional and public scrutiny – and the Board’s applause of her actions – will only harm efforts to restore the public’s faith and trust in these institutions and leaders.”
Chief Hauth was suspended last year after an investigation by the Ontario Civilian Police Commission (OCPC) that resulted in what the Thunder Bay Police Services Board called “serious allegations.” She also faced three counts of alleged misconduct under the Police Services Act, with a hearing set for February.
Achneepineskum and other First Nations leaders called on the Solicitor General of Ontario to dismantle the Thunder Bay Police Service following investigations by the Ontario Civilian Police Commission, the Office of the Independent Police Review Director, and complaints filed against the service with the Ontario Human Rights Commission.
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