First Nations leaders call for resignation of Winnipeg police chief amid landfill controversy

Manitoba First Nations leaders are calling for the resignation of Winnipeg police chief Danny Smyth.

The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC), alongside Long Plain First Nation Chief Kyra Wilson, called for Smyth to step down Thursday, due to the police service’s refusal to search the Prairie Green Landfill for remains of three victims of an alleged serial killer.

Smyth has said that the remains are likely in the landfill north of the city, but that no search is planned, due in part to the amount of time that has passed and the fact that there’s no known starting point for a search.

Read more: Indigenous women call on federal government to act in light of Winnipeg killing

The manager of the site has also said a search would be difficult at the private landfill, due to the constant movement at the site, but said the company is cooperating fully with police and expressed condolences to the victims’ families.

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Police said 10,000 truckloads of refuse were dumped in the area since May, when the murders of Morgan Harris, Marcedes Myran, and an unidentified victim, who is being referred to as Buffalo Woman (Mashkode Bizhiki’ikwe), are believed to have taken place. Trash at the landfill is also compacted with heavy mud at a depth of about 12 metres.

In an interview with 680 CJOB’s The Start on Thursday morning, prior to the call for his resignation, Smyth said the ability to search the landfill is outside of police expertise.

“The circumstances at Prairie Green are way different than Brady (Road Landfill),” the police chief said.

“Brady was within our skills. Prairie Green is not — it would be closer to a very hazardous archaeological dig, and that’s not a skill that we have.”

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Jeremy Skibicki has been charged with first-degree murder in the deaths. He was previously charged with first-degree murder in the death of Rebecca Contois, whose remains were found earlier this year at the Brady Road landfill.

Click to play video: 'Winnipeg police say identified victims in alleged serial murder case likely at landfill north of city'

Winnipeg police say identified victims in alleged serial murder case likely at landfill north of city

“Many communities, organizations, and public leaders across the nation, are asking for a thorough search to be conducted at the Prairie Green landfill,” Long Plain First Nation, the home community of both Harris and Myran, said in a statement Thursday.

“The families of the three women deserve to have closure. Morgan Harris, Marcedes Myran and Mashkode Bizhiki’ikwe deserve better. Leadership will continue to advocate to have them found and brought back to their home fires.”

Long Plain’s Wilson will appear with AMC Grand Chief Cathey Merrick at a news conference in Ottawa, where Indigenous leaders and families of the victims have been calling for federal assistance with the situation in recent days, on Thursday.

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Click to play video: 'Daughter of homicide victim demands police search landfill'

Daughter of homicide victim demands police search landfill

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