EDMONTON (CBC) – Three Edmonton police officers will face eight disciplinary charges next month, after being accused of rounding up homeless people into the back of a police patrol wagon in May 2005 and releasing them in another part of the city hours later. Another officer has been issued a reprimand and ordered to take an Aboriginal and First Nations Awareness course over the incident, while two more have received official warnings. “This is over three years from the date that we made the complaint,” said Tom Engel, the lawyer who brought the charges forward. “Three years to investigate something that’s dead simple.”
The lawyer was also concerned that the most serious charges of unlawful or unnecessary exercise of authority were dropped because, in the words of the judgment, there is “no reasonable prospect of establishing the facts necessary to obtain a conviction.” “Well, what would you call it when police officers pick people up, confine them in this wagon, without any lawful authority and then drop them off at the other end of the city?” Engel asked.The incident is troubling but could be turned into a positive, said Lewis Cardinal, co-chair of the Aboriginal Commission on Human Rights and Justice.”I think that we can turn this into an opportunity to really address some of these issues, and working in concert with the police force to help curb those racial attitudes towards aboriginal people.”But Cardinal added this is not just an aboriginal issue.”Homeless people still have rights, even though they may not have residences, they still have rights and we have to respect and honour those things,” he said. http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/cbc/100211/canada/canada_edmonton_edmonton_police_discipline_charges
JUST WHAT WE ALL NEED IN CANADA MORE AND MORE DIRTY COPS GETTING AWAY WITH IT TOO..
Disgraced ex-cop avoids jail time Toronto Sun - EDMONTON – A disgraced former Edmonton police detective found guilty of obstruction of justice for tampering in his son’s drunk-driving case has avoided being put behind bars.
Que. ombudsman calls for special-investigations unit for police shootings A devastating report Tuesday from a provincial ombudsman noted serious errors and signs of bias in cases where police officers investigate their own colleagues. Quebec ombudsman Raymonde Saint-Germain expressed doubt about the ability of police officers to remain partial in cases where other cops are involved. She said a two-track justice system is being created by a lack of rules governing such investigations. Her report follows similar controversies elsewhere in the country. As it stands, when a Quebec officer is involved in a death, serious injury, or injury caused by a firearm, the file is handed to another police force for investigation. Saint-Germain wants to see a new special-investigations unit, run mainly by civilians, in cases where police are investigated. ” “The public is being asked to trust the designated police force’s investigation, without having the necessary guarantees to ensure the impartiality of the process.” Saint-Germain began her study after the fatal shooting of Montreal teen Fredy Villanueva, killed during a 2008 scuffle while police were trying to arrest his brother. She noted that the officers involved in that incident, unlike parties involved in other shootings, were not immediately separated to prevent them from co-operating on their story. “This different treatment, which doesn’t seem to be justified in terms of conducting a proper investigation, hinders the credibility of investigators,” the report said. The Villanueva shooting triggered a riot in Montreal North, and is now the subject of a public inquiry that has revealed a number of protocols were broken by one of the officers involved. Earlier this month, the RCMP announced it will start using outside experts to investigate serious incidents involving Mounties. The move came after findings by the Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP that said Mounties should not investigate their own members in the most serious cases – especially when someone has died – in order to avoid a conflict of interest. But special-investigations units have not necessarily been free of the concerns that Saint-Germain raised in her report. Her Ontario counterpart blasted the province’s SIU last year for failing to implement recommendations to improve the transparency and effectiveness of its investigations. Among those recommendations is that officers who witness incidents should be interviewed immediately. Andre Marin said at the time that the SIU’s investigations into police shootings were done “through blue-coloured glasses,” and he called the watchdog a “toothless tiger” that had lost the public’s confidence. http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/capress/100216/national/police_policing_themselves