First Nations woman files complaints against Sault Ste. Marie police

‘I think it is shameful I have been treated this way’ says Naomi Sayers

A First Nations lawyer has filed a request for a review by the Office of the Independent Police Review Director, or OIPRD alleging surveillance and inappropriate conduct by some members of the Sault Ste. Marie Police Service (SSMP).

“I think it is shameful that I’ve been treated this way by all agencies involved,” Naomi Sayers told APTN News.

“I don’t think it can get any worse than this.”

Sayers recently moved to Toronto from Sault Ste. Marie, 700 km south-east after feeling she was being harassed by Const. Orrette Robinson when their “casual” relationship ended in the Winter of 2022.

She said she noticed police cars near her home and when she was driving. And alleged in an affidavit to support her complaint that Robinson sometimes appeared unexpectedly when she was in public places.

When Robinson died in a motorcycle accident on Sept. 5, the investigation against him ended.

But Sayers suspected Robinson shared information about their sexual relationship.

She is still seeking answers about the conduct of police officers who were aware of the complaint.

As part of her complaint, a copy of which was obtained by APTN, Sayers alleges another SSMP officer tried to initiate a casual relationship with her after his organization received the complaint against Robinson.

She also alleges a former SSMP officer viewed some of her online posts while she was communicating with Robinson.

Sayers says she documented incidents of police cruisers in her neighbourhood.

She alleged one cruiser drove up close behind her when there “was no need for the cruisers to be driving this close to my vehicle, forcing me to turn for safety reasons.”

The Toronto Police Service (TPS) investigated her four complaints about cruisers and found no evidence of “discreditable conduct” by members of the SSMP.

A TPS OIRPD liaison inspector said in a letter to Sayers that: “Taking into consideration all the information we have received to date, I am of the view that based on reasonable grounds, the allegations are unsubstantiated.”

Sayers feels the investigation relied too much on statements made by Robinson.

But in response to questions from APTN, TPS said it takes “all complaints about officer misconduct seriously and conduct investigations fairly.”

SSMP said in an emailed statement they “follow industry and provincial standards regarding all complaints received.”

OIPRD, an Ontario agency that deals with all complaints about police in the province told APTN in an emailed statement that “due to the confidentiality provision in the Police Services Act, the Director cannot provide any related information with respect to a complaint.”

EDITOR NOTE: This article was updated on 11/24/2023 to add comment by the OIPRD.


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