Former police chief says RCMP botched Stonechild case

By 650 CKOM Staff
April 19, 2017 - 7:37am
Former Saskatoon police chief Dave Scott says new evidence could exonerate officers in the 1990 death of Neil Stonechild.
Former Saskatoon police chief Dave Scott says new evidence could exonerate officers in the 1990 death of Neil Stonechild. submitted/Commission of Inquiry

Saskatoon's former police chief is calling on the provincial and federal governments to re-open the Neil Stonechild case.

Dave Scott says new evidence could exonerate officers involved in the incident.

Scott wrote open letters to Premier Brad Wall and Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale, saying the RCMP "mismanaged the investigation."
 
"Their incompetence has affected many of us, our families, our careers and our well being," he wrote.
 
The letters come after author Candis McLean told Scott she had found new witnesses and secondary sources surrounding Stonechild's death on Nov. 25, 1990.
 
McLean told 650 CKOM she spoke with a woman who knew a man who said he was with Stonechild the night he died.
 
"They found Stonechild walking and they picked him up (in their car)," she said.
 
"The driver, the passenger and Stonechild were drinking in the car, allegedly."
 
The woman told McLean the man dropped Stonechild off in the north end of Saskatoon after he got drunk and "became aggressive."
 
McLean said she hasn't spoken directly with the man who was reportedly in the car.
 
But she noted the account supports other stories she collected from drivers who passed Stonechild near where his body was found.
 
She said she spoke with a banker who saw Stonechild while driving with his wife and baby on an overpass in the North End.
 
"They wanted to pick him up but he seemed drunk," McLean said.
 
"They thought 'well there's somebody on a snowplow back here and a service station up there, he'll be okay."
 
The location described by the banker appeared to be 12 blocks from where Stonechild was found.
 
McLean said the banker and his wife called police immediately, but never heard back in 1990.

McLean said the banker also called RCMP when they re-examined the case.

"They did send someone over to interview him, and nothing further was heard of that information," she said, adding neither the banker or his wife were asked to testify at a 2003 inquiry into Stonechild's death.

Former police chief Scott said he was stunned by the testimonies uncovered by McLean.
 
"I have never seen anything like this," he said.
 
"And that is why I call this the worst injustice in Saskatchewan's history."

Scott was fired in 2001, as allegations of aboriginal men being dumped in the cold swirled around Saskatoon police.

'WE CONTINUE TO BE BETRAYED'

The 2003 inquiry found two officers brought Stonechild into custody – allegedly driving him out of the city and leaving him to walk back on his own. 

Despite those findings, many involved with the case have maintained their innocence.
 
Scott said repeated attempts to figure out what happened and exonerate the officers implicated in Stonechild's death were denied.
 
"We continue to be betrayed and ignored," he wrote in his open letter.
 
The former top cop wants an out-of-province federal judge and two out-of-province police investigators brought in to examine the new evidence.
 
650 CKOM contacted Donald Worme, lawyer for the Stonechild family, but didn't receive a response.
 
A request for comment to an RCMP officer who was in contact with McLean also wasn't returned.

 

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