Thunder Bay – NEWS – In a virtual hearing taking place this Wednesday, February 10th, at 1:30 pm EST before adjudicator retired Justice Lee Ferrier, officers who investigated the death of Stacy DeBungee will oppose an extension of time for Police Services Act charges being laid against them.
The hearing can be accessed live on YouTube.
Lawyers for the family of Stacy DeBungee and Rainy River First Nations will argue in favour of a pressing public interest in holding police accountable for incompetent death investigations. They will argue in favour of permitting the extension.
It has been almost five years since then Chief of Rainy River First Nations, Jim Leonard, and Stacy DeBungee’s brother, Brad DeBungee, filed complaints with the Office of the Independent Police Review Director (OIPRD).
It has been almost three years since the OIPRD concluded there are reasonable grounds to believe these three officers committed serious misconduct in their investigation into Stacy DeBungee’s death.
Before notices of disciplinary proceedings can be served on the officers, Mr. Ferrier must first find that it is reasonable, under the circumstances, that notices of hearing were not served within six months of the OIPRD retaining Chief Leonard and Brad DeBungee’s complaints.
If this delay was reasonable, then the notices of hearing can be served and the officers will face disciplinary proceedings under the Police Services Act. If the delay was not reasonable, no disciplinary hearing will be held.
Pursuant to adjudicator Ferrier’s rulings dated December 7, 2020 and February 5, 2021, Wednesday’s hearing is open to the public and subject to a publication ban on any officers’ identity. The public, including media, may record and rebroadcast the hearing, subject to the publication ban.