(THUNDER BAY, ON) – Comments made earlier this week by Nishnawbe Aski Nation Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler after the video of a female TBPS officer allegedly striking an Indigenous Youth has sparked outrage at the Thunder Bay Police Association.
We, the members of the Thunder Bay Police Association (TBPA) are deeply offended by the comments made by NAN Grand Chief Fiddler who stated “We are outraged by the actions of the officer depicted in this video. We do not know all of the details that led to this incident, but there is simply no justification for such violent and callous treatment of a youth in such a defenceless position.”
We the TBPA, are equally outraged that this incident has resulted in our member now being off work and on medication for precautionary health reasons.
We are confident that our member will be vindicated once the investigation is concluded.
Mr. Fiddler continues to try to drive a wedge between the community and the members of the TBPA. Mr. Fiddler rushes to judge and accuse our members of wrongdoing when in his own words “We do not know all of the details that led to this incident.”
The TBPA stands behind its member and the men and women who on a daily basis are struggling, with high call volumes, violent crime, lack of funding, low morale and low manpower.
This is not an isolated incident for our members of the TBPA. Our members are constantly dealing with individuals who show increasing violence, aggressive attitudes and lack of respect towards Police and all First Responders.
Members of the TBPA take pride in their roles in the community and have a responsibility to protect and serve.
The union appears to be defending the officer in a media released issued on Wednesday evening.
The video allegedly sounds like a spitting noise was made, and then the officer appears to strike the youth, then seems to press down on the youth.
Alvin Fiddler made comments in a release earlier this week:
“We are outraged by the actions of the officer depicted in this video. We do not know all of the details that led to this incident, but there is simply no justification for such violent and callous treatment of a youth in such a defenceless position,” said Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler.
“Such actions by the police, whatever the cause, must be fully independent authority and the results made public by the Chief of Police.” Grand Chief Fiddler said.
The OIPRD will be releasing the results of their investigation into the Thunder Bay Police Service surrounding systemic racism within the force.
Police are conducting an internal investigation into the spitting/striking incident, even after being asked by Indigenous leaders for a third party to do the job.