Nadine Machiskinic’s aunt ‘disappointed’ after RCMP investigation review
The Regina Police Service met with the family of Nadine Machiskinic Monday to discuss the RCMP’s review of the 29-year-old’s death.
A statement from the Saskatchewan Coalition Against Racism (SCAR), says Machiskinic’s aunt, Delores Stevenson, is disappointed with “the continued lack of accountability”. The statement alleges that the RPS will not share the RCMP’s findings or recommendations with the family or public.
On Oct. 31, Regina Police Chief Evan Bray said he wanted to discuss the RCMP recommendations with the family before discussing them publicly.
Global News has reached out to Bray and the RPS for comment, a spokesperson for RPS said a press conference will be held at a later date.
During the meeting, Stevenson said Bray did tell her about central themes in the findings.
“There was talk of the changes that would be made within their building,” Stevenson said. She added that police shared some detail about the changes, but could not recall them at the moment.
Machiskinic was found at the bottom of a laundry chute after falling 10 storeys at Regina’s Delta Hotel in January 2015. Machiskinic was taken to hospital, but ultimately succumbed to her injuries.
The coroner found she died of blunt-force trauma-related injuries consistent with a fall. Her death was not considered suspicious by investigators, instead ruled an accident.
During the 2017 coroner’s inquest into her death, Bray said that mistakes were made during the investigation, but he was confident racial bias did not play into the investigation.
This included police not being called until 60 hours after the fall and Machiskinic’s toxicology samples not being sent for six month due to police miscommunications.
Forensic toxicologist Christopher Keddy called the Machiskinic case one of the most complex he’d been involved in during the coroner’s inquest. In testimony, Keddy said it was like trying to put together a puzzle with missing pieces.
Tests showed Machiskinic had alcohol, methadone, sleeping medication and three other drugs in her system at the time of her death.
The jury in at the inquest ruled the cause of Machiskinic’s death be changed to “undetermined.” Their lone recommendation was laundry chutes at hotels be kept locked and accessible only by staff.
The Regina Police Service requested an RCMP review of the Machiskinic investigation in July 2017.
Stevenson and SCAR are calling on the creation of an independent citizen police review board to better hold the police to account.
To help drive this point home, Stevenson and members of the Justice for Our Stolen Children camp delivered a teepee to the legislative building with a picture of Machiskinic attached. The teepee will be given to Justice Minister Don Morgan.
“When you come up against the system, this justice system, and all the people that I’ve had to speak with and talk to – just to kind of be at the same place where we’re at when it comes to accountability and addressing some of the issues we raised in Nadine’s case,” Stevenson said.
Stevenson and her family have repeatedly voiced frustration with the investigation and justice system since the investigation began.
For now, she said they are continuing their healing journey and Machiskinic will not be forgotten.
“She’s remembered. She’s loved at the end of the day regardless of the outcome of how the system works her memory lives on,” Stevenson said.
Currently, issues with a police investigation are handled by the Public Complaints Commission. This is a five-person, non-police board appointed by the province to review complaints surrounding police investigations and possibly criminal offences by police officers.
The files from Christa Dao and The Canadian Press
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