Justice (25-42): Current Problems

Winnipeg Police Services


December 23, 2021


Systemic Racism in Policing

Indigenous deaths in Winnipeg

NationTalk –The family of Eishia Hudson, who was 16 years old at the time of her fatal shooting by the Winnipeg Police Service, filed a civil claim for damages on behalf of their grieving family today. The unnamed police officers who drew their weapons are named as Defendants in the claim for acts of recklessness, carelessness, and negligence that resulted in the death of Eishia. The Chief of Police Danny Smyth is also named for failing to adequately address the problem of systemic racism in the Winnipeg Police Service toward Indigenous people, drawing on the disproportionate number of Indigenous people killed by WPS since 2000 (17 of 28).

The civil claim filed today will be the only legal matter before the Courts that seeks to find liability for the loss of Eishia’s life. While an Inquest into Eishia’s death is pending, it is statutorily limited from assigning blame to any of the parties involved. “The family needs its day in Court to hold the Winnipeg Police Service accountable for what appears to be a prima facie case of excessive force resulting in the tragic death of a 16-year-old Indigenous girl,” says Kris Saxberg, co-counsel for the family. “The Inquest process does not have the scope to ascribe civil culpability. This lawsuit gives the family that opportunity.”


January 29, 2021


Systemic Racism in Policing

Indigenous deaths in Winnipeg

The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC), the family of the late Eishia Hudson, along with other First Nation leadership in Manitoba, including Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak Inc. (MKO), Member of Parliament for Winnipeg Centre Leah Gazan and Nahanni Fontaine, NDP Critic for MMIWG and Justice issue the following joint statement.

We are profoundly disappointed with the news that the Independent Investigations Unit (IIU) has recommended that no charges will be laid against the Winnipeg Police Service (WPS) officer who shot and killed Eishia Hudson of the Berens River First Nations in April of 2020.

“What began as a tragedy, is now an even dimmer situation, given the recently released IIU report. The report unfortunately fails to bring any hope of remedying this tragic incident. First Nations continue to find no safety, security or confidence in the Winnipeg Police Service, Manitoba Justice, and the so-called Independent Investigations Unit,” continued Grand Chief Arlen Dumas. “This report affirms that so-called watchdog agencies protect the WPS from prosecution and accountability for acts of police brutality, and that’s really what this egregious act of violence is all about the shooting and killing of Eishia Hudson: police brutality against a First Nations child.”

This tragedy may never have happened if the systemic racism that ensures First Nations children in this province are more likely to go to jail than graduate from high school was addressed. Grand Chief Dumas, Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs.

https://manitobachiefs.com/joint-statement-expresses-profound-disappointment-at-the-findings-of-the-independent-investigation-unit-report-into-the-wps-shooting-of-eishia-hudson/


January 28, 2021


Systemic Racism in Policing

Indigenous deaths in Winnipeg

Southern Chief’s Organization – Through consultation with the Crown’s Office and an expert on the use of lethal force in police services, officials say they did not find justification to lay criminal charges against the officer who shot and killed Eishia. The Independent Investigation Unit Only eleven hours after Eishia’s killing, the police shot and killed Jason Collins, a father of three children. Ten days later, Stewart Andrews, a 22 year-old father was shot by police on April 18, 2020, also in Winnipeg. All three shooting victims were First Nation citizens.

Two more inquires will now begin, one by the chief medical examiner and one by the Manitoba Advocate for Children and Youth, who can begin their investigation as the criminal investigation and proceedings by the IIU have closed. The family of Eishia Hudson is also calling for the following:

  • An independent assessment by outside counsel into the findings of the IIU investigation and report that is unbiased, to provide an impartial opinion on the report.
  • The chief medical examiner’s inquest to be comprehensive and address systemic problems.
  • A comprehensive public inquiry into the shooting that can address systemic racism of police interactions with Indigenous people.

April 22, 2020


Systemic Racism in Policing

Indigenous deaths in Winnipeg

Vice News – The IBA is calling for an inquiry after the recent shooting deaths of two men and a 16-yerold girl within 10 days. What is the WPS track record when it comes to Indigenous deaths:

  • 2000 – 20017: 19 deaths at the hand of police (11were Indigenous)
  • 2019: of the four shooting victims, three were Indigenous
  • 2020: four Indigenous

April 16, 2020


Systemic Racism in Policing

Indigenous deaths in Winnipeg

Indigenous Bar Association – Despite numerous calls by local Indigenous and human rights groups to address deep-seated institutional racism, WPS members continue to display problematic and oppressive behaviours. Dubbed “Canada’s most racist city” by Maclean’s magazine in 2015, the WPS has provided insufficient training to their members to effectively de-escalate situations, specifically those involving Indigenous youth. This killing – of a 16-year old Indigenous girl – comes less than 5 months from an incident at a Winnipeg convenience store where the WPS shot a 16-year-old Indigenous boy nine times.

The Indigenous Bar Association calls upon the government of Manitoba to call for an independent inquiry into the death of Eishia Hudson under section 7.1(1)(i) and (m) of the Manitoba Fatality Inquiries Act (CCSM. c. F52). The IBA further recommends that an inquest be considered to deal with potential biases within the WPS. Both an inquiry and inquest into Eisha Hudson’s death must be completed in a timely manner, and should ensure that the officers involved face appropriate sanctions. In preparing for this inquiry, the Indigenous Bar Association urges the government of Manitoba to review section 9 of the Calls for Justice issued by the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls and ensure any steps taken follow the guidance provided therein.