Manitoba police watchdog charges officer for unlawfully entering home on Sandy Bay First Nation

A police officer has been charged with being unlawfully in a dwelling house on Sandy Bay First Nation over two years ago, following an investigation conducted by Manitoba’s police watchdog.

On June 9, the Independent Investigation Unit of Manitoba (IIU) announced it was investigating a Manitoba First Nations Police Service constable for allegedly entering a residence without lawful authority.

The MFNPS officer was pursuing a vehicle on Sept. 1, 2018. He later saw a vehicle he believed to be the suspect vehicle abandoned near a home on Sandy Bay, a reserve located about 130 kilometres northwest of Winnipeg.

While searching for the suspect, the officer allegedly entered the residence without consent.

MFNPS, formerly known as the Dakota Ojibway Police Service, notified the IIU of the incident on June 4, 2020.

The IIU must investigate all serious incidents involving police officers in Manitoba.

IIU civilian director Zane Tessler conducted an investigation into the matter and was satisfied that there was enough evidence to believe a criminal offence occurred, the IIU said in a news release Tuesday.

The MNFPS officer was charged with being unlawfully in a dwelling house under the Criminal Code of Canada, the release said.

The constable was issued a summons to appear in court on Oct. 28 and is scheduled to appear in provincial court on Dec. 22 in Amaranth, Man., a community nearly 140 kilometres northwest of Winnipeg.

The IIU says it will not comment further on its investigation, as the matter is now before the courts.

The Manitoba First Nations Police Service is headquartered on Long Plain First Nation and polices six First Nation communities.

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