Matawa Chief Council – “Condemn Actions of First Responders”

Darius Ferris and David Paul Achneepineksum from Matawa First Nation Management
Darius Ferris and David Paul Achneepineksum from Matawa First Nation Management

THUNDER BAY – Matawa First Nations has now responded 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:

“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 how they were precipitated. We wish to express our full 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.

Matawa states, “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”.