May 28, 2020

13° C, Overcast

Full Forecast

Help us deliver reliable news during this pandemic.

We are working tirelessly to bring you trusted information about COVID-19. Support our efforts by subscribing today.

No Thanks Subscribe

Already a subscriber?


Advertise With Us

Hundreds petition for native police unit

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 5/12/2010 (3461 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

A petition calling for a special aboriginal police unit is gaining support in the North End.

Rodney Hunt, chief of the Saskatchewan River First Nation Inc., started the petition after three people were randomly shot in a 45-minute span in the North End Oct. 23. Two of the victims died.

"People are scared to go out because there's been no solution to it, and a lot of people are afraid of non-native police," said Hunt, who lives on Boyd Avenue. Beyond being afraid of crime, they're frightened of police, too, he added.

He said he and about five other people are combing the North End and circulating a petition for a special aboriginal police unit. They're finding neighbourhoods desperate for action but silenced by suspicion about talking to city police officers, who've beefed up their presence since the shootings.

Frustration is almost palpable on some North End streets, Hunt said.

Solving the shooting is proving elusive. Police said last week there have been no arrests and no updates to report.

In the first 48 hours after they started circulating the petition for an aboriginal police unit, some 600 signed it, Hunt said. Since then, about 100 more have added their names.

"People want that aboriginal police unit. It has to be a group from the area, who walk the beat and talk to people on a daily basis," Hunt said.

Police said Friday they were unaware of the petition, but issued a statement:

"The service respects diversity in all aspects of policing, both within our organization and in the community. Part of every officer's job is to develop relationships in whatever community they work in. Furthermore, these officers work in co-operation with individuals and community groups to come up with solutions to problems," said the statement on behalf of Winnipeg Police Service Supt. Dave Thorne.

"We share the desire to achieve neighbourhoods where families and individuals can feel safe. Limiting options for job opportunities within the service to any of our employees would be unfair and is not something that the service sees a benefit in doing."

-- Staff


Advertise With Us

Your support has enabled us to provide free access to stories about COVID-19 because we believe everyone deserves trusted and critical information during the pandemic.

Our readership has contributed additional funding to give Free Press online subscriptions to those that can’t afford one in these extraordinary times — giving new readers the opportunity to see beyond the headlines and connect with other stories about their community.

To those who have made donations, thank you.

To those able to give and share our journalism with others, please Pay it Forward.

The Free Press has shared COVID-19 stories free of charge because we believe everyone deserves access to trusted and critical information during the pandemic.

While we stand by this decision, it has undoubtedly affected our bottom line.

After nearly 150 years of reporting on our city, we don’t want to stop any time soon. With your support, we’ll be able to forge ahead with our journalistic mission.

If you believe in an independent, transparent, and democratic press, please consider subscribing today.

We understand that some readers cannot afford a subscription during these difficult times and invite them to apply for a free digital subscription through our Pay it Forward program.

The Free Press would like to thank our readers for their patience while comments were not available on our site. We're continuing to work with our commenting software provider on issues with the platform. In the meantime, if you're not able to see comments after logging in to our site, please try refreshing the page.

You can comment on most stories on The Winnipeg Free Press website. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or digital subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

Have Your Say

Comments are open to The Winnipeg Free Press print or digital subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to The Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

By submitting your comment, you agree to abide by our Community Standards and Moderation Policy. These guidelines were revised effective February 27, 2019. Have a question about our comment forum? Check our frequently asked questions.


Advertise With Us