Hamilton’s Indigenous community call for police to investigate allegations of police violence against Indigenous man

A press conference was held in front of Hamilton Police Services’ downtown central location at 155 King William Street with members of the Hamilton Regional Indian Centre and Hamilton Community Legal Clinic on allegations of police violence against an Indigenous person in Hamilton.

Earlier this year, Constable Brian Wren was charged with assault. Hamilton police said it received a video from a business and a citizen after police arrested suspect Patrick Tomchuk in a stolen vehicle investigation. Police said the officer’s use of force led to a criminal investigation. Const. Wren was immediately suspended and now also faces an assault charge.

Hamilton Regional Indian Centre made a series of recommendations for change in the Hamilton police, including police body cams and dashboard cameras, and an investigation into whether Const. Wren’s actions constituted a hate crime. They also want an Indigenous advisor to the police and an Indigenous seat on the police board.

Hamilton police Chief Frank Bergen says Tomchuk isn’t cooperating and they don’t know whether a hate crime was committed in his arrest. Bergen says he’s working on things like police dash cams and on talking to the Indigenous community.

Tomchuk’s sister, mother, and friends say he has been assaulted by police before.

The video of the arrest isn’t being released. Tomchuk and Constable Wren both have court dates coming up.