Manitoba Metis Federation Calls on Justice Minister and Police Chief : Make the Investigation
Open and Transparent
For Immediate Release
December 8, 2005
Winnipeg, Manitoba – Today, Manitoba Metis Federation President David Chartrand called for the Minister of Justice Gord Mackintosh and Winnipeg Police Chief Jack Ewatski to follow the recommendations of the Aboriginal Justice Implementation Commission to establish a Special Investigations Unit to handle the December 2, 2005 shooting incident involving Winnipeg Police and 34-year-old Metis man Howard Fleury. “We do not believe that the Winnipeg Police investigating themselves, has the same credibility that an investigation by an independent unit would have,” explained Chartrand.
The Manitoba Metis Federation believes that this action would benefit both the Winnipeg Police and the Community at-large “This isn’t just an aboriginal issue, this is an issue that concerns every citizen in the City of Winnipeg. An independent body whose mandate is to investigate all incidents involving the use of lethal force by police would establish public confidence,” stated Chartrand.
To maintain their commitment to the Metis People of Manitoba, the MMF has retained well-known Winnipeg lawyer Ian Garber as Counsel for the Federation. Mr. Garber will now handle all future and on-going dialogue with the Winnipeg Police regarding the Fleury case; he will ensure that the Metis People have a voice during the investigation as well as once it has concluded. “We want to make certain the Metis are not forgotten during this process. Mr. Garber will help us ensure that the investigation is open and transparent,” said Chartrand.
President Chartrand was recently informed by a spokesperson for Mr. Fleury’s common-law wife that they have retained their own private counsel, and while the assistance the MMF provided them was greatly appreciated it is no longer required.
“I want to personally thank the staff at the MMF and the members of the Metis and First Nations Communities who came forward to provide assistance and support to Mr. Fleury’s family” said Chartrand “As Metis People we have a strong understanding of family and community, when one of our families needs the support of the community we will always be ready and willing to help them”.
For More Information Contact:
MMF Communications Coordinator
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