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Missing Women Inquiry to investigate police stigma against marginalized women

Photo courtesy of Name Invalid via Wikimedia Commons

Missing Women Inquiry Commissioner Wally Oppal will lead an investigation to probe if police preconceptions about marginalized women affected their failure to quickly apprehend Robert Pickton.

The Canadian Press has the story:

VANCOUVER - The commissioner overseeing the public hearings into the Robert Pickton investigation says the inquiry must examine whether marginalized women such as those targeted by the serial killer are truly equal.

Commissioner Wally Oppal has opened hearings to examine why police failed to stop Pickton as he murdered impoverished sex workers from Vancouver's Downtown Eastside.

Oppal says part of his task will be to examine if society's most vulnerable women are treated equally by the police and the law, and whether it's acceptable to allow those women to disappear.

Oppal says it's an uncomfortable question because it challenges society's fundamental values, but he says it's essential to understanding the nationwide crisis of missing and murdered women.

The hearings went ahead as dozens of demonstrators on the street below banged on aboriginal drums and blocked traffic to protest the provincial government's decision to deny legal funding to a number of groups who asked to be involved in the inquiry.

Pickton was convicted of killing six women, but he bragged to police that he killed as many as 49.

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