Winnipeg police chief wants aboriginal help with shooting probe
WINNIPEG - Winnipeg police Chief Jack Ewatski said on Monday he had invited an aboriginal member of the force to take part in the investigation into last week's killing of an aboriginal teen by police.
Ewatski, who hadn't spoken publicly about the death of Matthew Dumas, said an aboriginal police officer will be invited to sit in on the investigation. But the police chief said the investigation could take months and he wouldn't name the officer involved.
The 18-year-old Dumas was shot during a scuffle with police in the city's north end. Police say he was armed and a suspect in a robbery.
Some aboriginal leaders in the city have said the killing was racially motivated. A police lawyer has said the shooting officer was Métis.
Three officers are on administrative leave during the investigation.
Manitoba Justice has called an independent inquest into the shooting, as required by the Fatality Inquiries Act.
On Monday, Ewatski wouldn't comment on details of the investigation, speaking instead about relations between the city's police and its aboriginal community.
He said he met last Thursday with Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs Grand Chief Dennis White Bird, and is allowing the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs to choose an outside agency to monitor the police investigation.
The killing has ratcheted up tension in the community, and Ewatski praised his officers for what he called their restraint in the face of criticism from the public and the media.
More than 200 people attended Dumas's funeral on Friday.
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