Thunder Bay police board cancels hearing over Stacy DeBungee death investigation
Board was scheduled to meet Apr. 6 to decide whether to start disciplinary proceedings for 3 officers
The Thunder Bay Police Services Board says it has had to cancel a hearing scheduled for April 6 to decide whether three officers will face disciplinary proceedings over the investigation into the death of Stacy DeBungee.
The body of the 41-year-old man from Rainy River First Nation was found in the McIntyre River in the northwestern Ontario city in the fall of 2015
- Thunder Bay police board to decide whether to hold hearings for officers over Stacy DeBungee investigation
In a written release issued Thursday afternoon, the board cited "a procedural matter" for the cancellation of Friday's hearing.
An investigation by Ontario's Independent Police Review Director (OIPRD) into DeBungee's case found grounds for Police Services Act charges of neglect of duty against three officers. Allegations of discreditable conduct against two of the officers are also "substantiated," according to the civilian watchdog.
However, in order for disciplinary proceedings to go forward, provincial regulations state that because the police review director's investigation took more than six months to complete, the police board must approve the notices of hearing being served to the officers.
No further details were provided as to why the April 6 hearing was cancelled, but the board's statement said that it is "cooperating with all the parties involved to allow the matter to move forward as expeditiously as possible."
Board officials stated they would make no further comments.
The hearing was scheduled to be held in a closed session.
Indigenous leaders have also called for the removal of Police Chief J.P. Levesque over the DeBungee death investigation. The police board has said it will not ask for Levesque's resignation.