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SIU discontinues Pikangikum investigation

Agency says investigation was unable to identify any complainants or witnesses

The province's Special Investigations Unit is discontinuing an investigation into possible inappropriate behaviour by police officers against Indigenous female prisoners in Pikangikum after no complainants or witnesses were identified.

The province's civilian police oversight agency on Thursday announced it is stopping its investigation due to a lack of evidence.

The Special Investigations Unit started their probe after being notified in March 2021 by provincial police that one or more of their members had engaged in inappropriate behaviour.

At the time, the Special Investigations Unit said there were two complaints alleging women in the community were sexually assaulted by members of the OPP. That month, a band council resolution expelled OPP officers who had been working in the community after allegations of misconduct. Provincial police returned in late April under a new agreement with community leadership.

The Special Investigations Unit said initial efforts to identify possible victims or witnesses were unsuccessful, and that they retained the services of a First Nations health organization to help build trust and rapport to try to encourage people to participate in the investigation.

Consideration will be given to re-opening the investigation if complainants or witnesses come forward, the agency added.


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