TBPS Officer on “Medical Leave” – First Nations Consider Legal Action

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(THUNDER BAY, ON) – The Thunder Bay Police Service officer who is the subject of an investigation under the Police Services Act regarding the December 1st, 2018 Egan Street incident where it is alleged the officer struck a youth while they were strapped to a guerney, is currently on leave, according to a tbps media release.

The officer is receiving medical treatment as a result of an exposure to bodily fluids which occurred during her physical contact with a 17-year-old Indigenous female at the Egan Street residence. Nishnawbe Aski Nation later revealed the youth is a student at the Matawa Learning Centre and is from Nibinamik First Nation.

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The youth was being readied for transport to hospital from that location. This incident was the subject of a video which was posted to social media.

The investigation, which was initiated by the Chief of Police, continues. Since this is a Police Services Act investigation, the Chief cannot comment on this matter.

The Matawa Chief’s Council has condemned the actions of the officer, and are considering taking legal action.

Responding to an incident caught on video that occurred on Saturday, December 1st that appeared to show a female Uniform Patrol Officer of the Thunder Bay Police Service (TBPS) striking a student of the Matawa Education and Care Centre while restrained in a Superior North EMS stretcher—the Matawa Chiefs Council offered the following statement:

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“As we continue our investigations into this matter and consider all appropriate legal recourse—the Matawa Chiefs Council wish to condemn the actions of the first responders who were present and involved in this incident. These actions were unacceptable and unjustifiable, regardless of how they were precipitated. We wish to express our full support of the youth, family and community affected. Further, we will stand in solidarity with Nibinamik First Nation in holding the TBPS and Superior North EMS accountable for their abhorrent approach to bringing one of our youth to safety.”

As of the time of this statement, the female Officer who is seen to strike the youth, while under restraint in a stretcher, has been placed off duty and an internal TBPS investigation has begun.

No further information on the progress of potential external investigations and/or other legal remedies has been made available. Since 2013/2014, the Office of the Independent Police Review Director (OIPRD) has received 225 complaints about the TBPS despite only having 300 sworn and civilian members.

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Source: TBPS & Matawa Chiefs Council

Citizen journalist born and raised in Thunder Bay, Ontario. I like pizza and reporting on concerning events that are in my home region, or that impact it. You can read more by clicking here.

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39 Replies to “TBPS Officer on “Medical Leave” – First Nations Consider Legal Action”

  1. money hungry a**clowns. you people are the real racists, turning everything into a race issue does not help your cause..
    the officer would have done the same thing to a WHITE person who spit at them, it is enrageing to be spit on..
    i work in a setting where i have to deal with intoxicated natives daily and no matter what when i have to remove them for bieng “intoxicated” im always called a racist, i am far from racist, i have plenty of friends and family members who are native.
    if anything they are bieng racist assumeing just becuase im white and doing my job that im the racist…
    this is gettign rediculous. we are all people and should just respect each other, dont be a disrespectful pig and spit on someone and dont get a slap, its that simple.. but whatever, nomatter what anyone says its just gonna turn into another cry for racism!!

    1. No matter what the colour of the individual it was a child on a gurney who was in distress with a possible head injury.

    2. Completely agree.
      And it seems like these self proclaimed NAN leaders, are the ones responsible for feeding the “Racism” narrative.
      Read any reply or concern from the head hanchos and they are the ones fueling the fire. Making every single interaction that takes place, into a race related issue.
      Yet for some reason, if the person in the gurney was white, there wouldn’t be a peep out of them.
      Not even an acknowledgement.
      Because you know, the officer wouldnt of slapped the person if they where white and spitting in her face.

    3. I too work with Natives on a regular basis. I was actually called out (mocked) on this very site because I’ve said that in the past. They’re fantastic people and the majority of them are shaking their heads as well with what’s happening. Everything and everyone is racist. It’s so frustrating with what’s going on. The sad part is, it will NOT get better in the foreseeable future if ever.

    4. Agree 100% . It’s time these people accept the consequences of there actions no matter what colour of there skin, why was a 17 year old so drunk she needed to be taken to the hospital where was her caregiver if she was from out of town who is responsible for her ? If this were my 17 year old daughter I would be responsible for her whereabouts and I would ensure she was responsible for her actions and that would include spitting on the police officer or for that matter any one else I don’t care what colour your skin is show some respect and accountability . Nan is too quick to blame everyone else for there people actions , they are the ones who are racial ….

    5. sick of all this racial bullsh*t says:
      December 5, 2018 at 5:00 pm
      We are currently organizeing a peaceful protest outside city hall scheduled for friday deember 15th to ask our city to bring the officer back to duty and stand up to NAN for once, we are tired of all the acusations of racism in our comunitie and nan needs to take soem acountability as they cuase alot of it!! signs are welcome to read whatever you want as long as it is NOT a racial slur, that is not what we are trying to do.

      anyone who wishes to join in is more than welcome, we have about 10 peole so far.
      hopefully we can get the officer back to duty and start a resolution into all this racial drama in our city

      everyone is equal and should be treated as such!!!

  2. When are people going to take responsibility for their own actions? If this person spit on the police officer they need to expect some kind of reprisal and what I see in the video is not excessive. Natives need to stop playing the race card and accept responsbility for their behaviour. If you do bad things and fail to respect the law then you must accept the consequences.

  3. Here man goes again everyone’s fault but their peoples. Time to start taking accountability for your people’s actions. Hears an idea nan chiefs go for a few ride alongs with police see what they put up with day in and day out. Maybe you’ll think twice before crying racism against them. As far as sueing the police or officer what a joke. If that was to happen I would hope those being sued turns and files a lawsuit on the girl for the assaults she did which happened first by the way.

    1. if nan sues i will personally protest at the court house against them, anyone want to join?? sick of all this crying racism crap when its not evident… i could understand if the officer said a racial slur while slapping the girl but she did not..

  4. @ Loops- the person was 17 years old, your all acting like it was a 5 year old child, this is rediculous, at 17, you damn well know what your doing…

    1. This person was a minor. Even if this person was an adult, the police are not supposed to slap someone in their face. That’s all there is to it.

  5. @loops- and head injury my a**, the hit was not near that hard… you are f**ked if you think a little slap will cause a head injury, what i saw was a quick slap then the officer covering the mouth of this “child”..

  6. “Matawa Chiefs Council wish to condemn the actions of the first responders who were present and involved in this incident. These actions were unacceptable and unjustifiable, regardless of how they were precipitatedI”
    The act of SPITTING on somebody is also unacceptable and unjustifiable, regardless of how they were precipitated.
    If you are so drunk/drugged that you need hospitalization for injuries or your own safety, you are not in my books a “17 year old youth/student” .You want to play with the big dogs, expect to be treated like one.
    If that was my kid doing the spitting they would also get a kick in the ass when they got home for being disrespectful.

  7. Spitting on some one is assault. This officer was defending herself. The slap wasn’t over accesive. She didn’t use a closed fist. What do you think would happen if a non native person spit on a native officer? Our police service personnel are being over worked and not shown much respect which they deserve. It doesn’t seem like our city council or the police service board has their backs.

  8. Anonymous,i completely agree.Bunch of whining cry babaies.If this was my kid and he/she spat on a police officer,I would say you got what you deserved .Then again ,my kids would NEVER do that .Why? Because they were raised properly.This girl has no respect and the cop did nothing wrong.I dont blame her for being upset.Police have a crappy job to do in this city.

  9. NAN, all about money, gimme gimme all the time! Sickening!!! They are the problem, NAN fuels racism! Spitting is assault, charge that “person” !!

  10. for thos of you who don’t know, the Egan street residence is a known crack house. with that being said, certain diseases are transmitted by bodily fluids including spitting. I feel a slap to the face was justified in this situation. It was either that or the girl in the gurny be charged and instead taken to hospital she would be escorted to Balmoral to spend the night. but again im sure the officer would have been criticized for that too.

  11. “Spit masks” have been used for decades in prisons and other settings where this type of situation may develop. Considering the age we live in with the multitude of fluid based diseases around, coupled with the drug abuse and mental health issues here in the city, it is surprising that paramedics and police don’t use this nonviolent safety measure when dealing with intoxicated or violent people. This whole situation could have been avoided. Also, when police investigate themselves , the result will always be questioned and somewhat tainted. Any entity that is self regulated with no outside independent oversight leaves themselves open to, at the very least, the appearance of a biased outcome.

    1. The idea of spit masks is impractical in a situation like this. They were there to assist the paramedics and this person was uncooperative and things happened quickly. A spit mask is fine like you say in a prison situation where it may be expected.

    2. Can you imagine the uproar (likely from all ‘sides’) if police just preemptively put a spit mask on those cases ? It is in effect putting a bag over ones head.. one video of that on social media and NAN would be all over it.

  12. Spitting on a person is an assault according to the Courts. So, drunk teenage (thought the school was to monitor these kids) spits in female officers face, one slap delivered in order to prevent further assault on the female officer took place, and it worked. Drunk teenager apparent not raised with any form of respect for themselves or others, spitting is disgusting and low class.

  13. Why did Hardy edit the video where the 17 year old In Question kicked the EMS personnel and the spit on police? Why did she just show the slap on the face? Critical thinking folks…she has an agenda. Believe half of what you see and none of what you hear.

  14. Automatism…the the NAN will use this as their stance in the lawsuit. It is a state in which you are so ‘high’ or intoxicated that the human brain no longer controls what the human body does. A person becomes robotic in a way. This is currently being used as a defence in such cases as ‘date rapes’ or sexual assaults. It’s a crock! If NAN carries on with a lawsuit, police services should sue in return every adult involved at the residence, Matawa services for not doing their job of caretaking of a minor and the parents for improperly raising their child! We aren’t all racists…we’re perhaps more stereotypical after experiencing the ugliness that quite a few indigenous people bring to this city. How I wish Rick Smith was still alive because I’d love to hear his ‘One Man’s Opinion’ on this one. By the way, if there is a lawsuit, who receives the money? NAN, the girl, the family of the girl? If the girl receives the money, what are the odds she’ll live long enough to receive it? Alcohol and crackhouses will take her life if she doesn’t smarten up. Carry on people because I’m going to see how many of us ‘whiteys’ are wanted this week on this Wednesday.

  15. Such hatred in our community from both sides! I cannot believe what this city has come to and it’s so shameful on both ends. No it’s not ok to hit someone, no it’s not ok to spit at anyone either, but you know somewhere deep down this relationship between the officer and the youth needs to be restored and we need to set an example for others. In order for a community to be healthy, and create reconciliation it means walking in forgiveness. Is there a healing circle that these two individuals can attend and can both sides set an example for others or any other time this happens! I was brought up to believe to respect one another, to forgive and keep moving forward. In order for our community to move forward it takes one person to say I’m sorry and I forgive you…only then we can all walk towards restoring this relationship.
    Are we going to keep walking in circles? Adding to the fire? Or our we going to do something different? The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.”
    When are we going to start practicing and trying something different?
    I watched a video recently this lady’s son was murdered by a young male. The mom walked up to this man, hugged him and said I forgive you and his she forgave his family.
    To the youth and officer I do hope this relationship can be healed and restored and know that we have many places in this city that will be here to support you.

  16. What if the the police or ems services just stopped responding to all First Nations related calls? Problem solved. Nothing to fight about, no one to sue. Nothing to complain about. Have the First Nations hire their own agencies that take care of your own people. Would the situations come to a boil as it has, when a first nations person in distress spits on a First Nations responder?

  17. The fact that the Chief of Police suspended the officer immediately for investigation shows that administration is a joke at TBPS and they do not support their officers. A spit on an officer is an assault, the officer did what she had to to stop the offense. I dont know if they charged the 17 year old for assault police but they should have if they didn’t.

    Ive also heard of a specific judge in TB that has dismissed charges of Assault Police against people that have spit on an officer saying “thats just part of the job they signed up for”. No officer signed up to get spit on by drunks or addicts. That judge, who made that comment in an open court room, should also be investigated for being corrupt. That is not upholding justice.

    The TBPS Board made a huge mistake in promoting Hauth to be Chief of Police. They should have actually conducted the nationwide search they said they were going to do, and bring in a real Chief that supports their officers and tells it like it is to the media and other organizations like NAN.

    If an officer used excessive force they need to held be accountable for their actions. Officers are now considered guilty until proven innocent, and are also forced by management to just plead guilty to an incident to get a reduced disciplinary penalty instead of fighting the complaint. Why? Because Hauth and her administration will do anything they can to try to look good in the media. How about supporting the officers that go through this on a daily basis instead Chief?

    Somebody is going to get hurt at TBPS because of the way administration runs that place now and it is going to be a shame if one ever gets seriously hurt or killed.

    The Board should admit that they didn’t actually conduct a search, hand picked Hauth because it was a good publicity stunt to have a female chief that returned money to city council instead of hiring the best candidate for the job (whatever gender that may be).

    If officers go outside their authority they need to be held accountable. But if they are doing their job administration needs to back them and stand up to Fiddler and all the others that just play the racist card all the time.

    I agree with a previous poster, if Hauth wants to show credibility how about she publicly invites Fiddler and others to take ride alongs and see what the officers deal with daily, how the race card is played on them all the time, and the lack of respect the people the officers are dealing with show to them.

    Yes for the record I am Caucasian and I have teenage kids and if they ever spat on a police officer I would have no issue with what the officer did in response. I teach my kids to respect authority and understand they have a tough job to do. If you put your fists up to an officer be prepared to be hit and restrained, if you spit at them prepare to have your behavior and actions corrected. Good job officer, shame on the parenting and any organization that is condemning the act of the officer. Does anybody think an officer wants to hit a 17 year old kid? No they do not but unfortunately sometimes they have to because of the actions of the person, not the officer.

  18. Perhaps every one should take responsibility for there bad behaviour before crying racism.
    Spitting is an assault, do the chiefs not know that and it’s really dangerous how about that
    So it’s ok for someone 17 to spit on people and then it’s racist when someone defends themselves.
    This whole thing is ridiculous this police officer was trying to bring this intoxicated person to the hospital which by the way is full of drunk native people. So before you abuse white people take at look at your people and keep them in check. How about that .Stop all the crying and deal with your own!

  19. If a person resists, there are restraints that are available. I didn’t hear in the story at all that the paramedic slapped the teen, the paramedic obviously had more self control than the officer did. Why did the officer not place her under arrest for assault instead of hitting her? As for the spitting causing a reason for medical leave… hepatitis c and hiv are not transmitted via saliva. I assume the medical leave is stress leave because she knew that there would be backlash. The incident will cause more distrust in police. I repeatedly have to tell my 12 year old that he can trust police, he is a Caucasian child who already feels the police aren’t safe. However I feel lawsuits are not warranted in this situation. Both parties involved need to face the legal ramifications of their actions though. I notice that a lot of people aren’t very tactful in their responses and I see how it fuels the hate. Sounds like a lot of Donald trump’s kind of people on here.

  20. Hauth needs to take a stand and support the officer. The girl’s caregivers need to be held to account, after all they’re responsible for her health and safety. If this ends up in court I hope the caregivers are dragged into it and charged.

    I wonder how this would have played out if it was an aboriginal police officer?

  21. We are currently organizeing a peaceful protest outside city hall scheduled for friday deember 15th to ask our city to bring the officer back to duty and stand up to NAN for once, we are tired of all the acusations of racism in our comunitie and nan needs to take soem acountability as they cuase alot of it!! signs are welcome to read whatever you want as long as it is NOT a racial slur, that is not what we are trying to do.

    anyone who wishes to join in is more than welcome, we have about 10 peole so far.
    hopefully we can get the officer back to duty and start a resolution into all this racial drama in our city

    everyone is equal and should be treated as such!!!

    1. Instead of protesting, you should go back to school. Your spelling is horrible! And by the way, that police officer screwed up. She never should be allowed to hit anybody. That is just plain wrong. Have a good day on the 15th protesting that police should be allowed to strike citizens at their own discretion!

  22. Hows that new elected mayor working out. I understand that he is about the same as the outgoing mayor Hobbs. Wow what a change.

  23. @ Dave L, im sorry that my spelling does not meet your standards and your welcome to your opinions, i myself aswell as many others do not think the officer over stepped at all, she reacted to be assulted and that is that. have a great day.
    and thank you we will have a good time protesting to try to make our city better, unlike internet heros like yourself we wish to better our city.

  24. Not Impressed………..i am loving the whole concept of that.Just think of how much resources that would free up and how much less stressful police jobs would be.WELL PUT!!

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