Stonechild Inquiry Report Points Finger at Police

Tuesday, October 26, 2004 at 14:21



An inquiry looking into the death of Aboriginal teenager Neil Stonechild has found that the 17-year-old youth was in the custody of two Saskatoon police officers the night he died.


Stonechild’s frozen body was found on the outskirts of Saskatoon in November 1990.


The inquiry by Justice David Wright was ordered by the provincial government to determine if police had anything to do with Stonechild’s death.


In his report released today, Wright also ruled that injuries to Stonechild’s body were likely caused by handcuffs.


Wright also found that the principal investigator assigned to the case in 1990 carried out a “superficial and totally inadequate investigation”.


As well, the inquiry determined that, in the years following Stonechild’s death, the Saskatoon Police Service rejected or ignored information from the Stonechild family and the media that cast doubt on the conduct of the investigation.


Justice Minister Frank Quennell says he has already apologized to Stonechild’s family, and promises there will be “consequences” as a result of this report.


However, Quennell says the Public Prosecutions branch of Saskatchewan Justice has determined there is insufficient evidence in Wright’s report to prosecute any member of the Saskatoon Police Service for any offenses related to Stonechild’s death.


It’s not known if Stonechild’s family will be taking legal action against the police.