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Sask. police chief suspends 2 officers for response to home where toddler later found dead


Prince Albert Police Service Chief Jonathan Bergen has suspended two officers who responded to a home for a report of a domestic dispute where a 13-month-old child was later found dead.

Bergen based the decision on the Saskatchewan Public Complaints Commission's (PCC) analysis of the preliminary evidence available, according to a police news release.

The officers are suspended from active duty pending the outcome of the investigation.

On Feb. 10, at 5:44 a.m. police were called to a home in the 200 block of 23rd Street West where a family dispute had been reported. One person was taken into custody.

Hours later, just before 11 a.m., police were called back to the home after a homicide involving a child was reported.

When officers arrived, they found a 13-month-old boy dead. The boy's father Kaij Brass is charged with second-degree murder in his son's death.

The Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN), Prince Albert Grand Council, and Thunderchild First Nation have said the boy's mother was taken into custody when police first responded.

According to the groups, Kyla Frenchman contacted police because she feared for Tanner's safety and "was fleeing from a domestic violence situation."

"When officers arrived, they assumed her fear was alcohol-related and arrested her for intoxication, ignoring her pleas for help," according to a joint news release last week.

"During this incident, they labelled Kyla as being drunk — despite being sober," FSIN Vice Chief Dutch Lerat said during a news conference.

"To us, police assisted in baby Tanner's murder."

At Bergen's request, the PCC has been asked to investigate the police service's response, police say.

Bergen said in the release that the PCC has advised him that its investigation will also look into circumstances surrounding any responsibility attributable to three senior supervisory officers at relevant times during the shift on the date in question.

He also said he understands the emotion and context of comments being raised in the media regarding the case.

“We hear the expectation of us, we are listening, and as a police service we are committed to continuing to listen and to live up to the expectation on us”, says Bergen.

Bergen has already made a structural change in the force, appointing Insp. Lisa Simonson to oversee the patrol division.

The Indigenous groups are calling for the "immediate termination" of Bergen, a sergeant and two officers. Top Stories

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