No charges laid against CBRPS of­fi­cer

SiRT in­ves­ti­ga­tion de­ter­mines no wrong­do­ing in drug case

Cape Breton Post - - FRONT PAGE - BY CAPE BRETON POST STAFF

An in­ves­ti­ga­tion by the prov­ince’s Se­ri­ous In­ci­dent Re­sponse Team (SiRT) into a po­ten­tial in­ci­dent of a Cape Breton Re­gional Po­lice Ser­vices of­fi­cer ob­struct­ing jus­tice has re­sulted in no charges be­ing laid.

On Oct. 3 the Cape Breton Re­gional Po­lice Ser­vice con­tacted SiRT about a pos­si­ble ob­struc­tion of jus­tice com­mit­ted by one of its mem­bers.

The ser­vice was con­cerned that a mem­ber may have ei­ther pro­vided false in­for­ma­tion know­ing that it would be used in a re­quest for a search war­rant, or may have mis­han­dled a drug ex­hibit.

SIRT’s sub­se­quent in­ves­ti­ga­tion showed that in 2014 an of­fi­cer was pre­par­ing an af­fi­davit in an ef­fort to ob­tain a search war­rant for a tar­get. He in­cluded in that af­fi­davit in­for­ma­tion that an­other of­fi­cer had seized a large quan­tity of drugs from the same tar­get sev­eral months ear­lier. A file re­view found no record of such a seizure. It’s the sec­ond of­fi­cer who was the sub­ject of the SiRT in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

The in­ves­ti­ga­tion in­cluded state­ments taken from the tar­get and the other of­fi­cer, who co-op­er­ated with the in­ves­ti­ga­tion when not re­quired to do so.

In all, the probe in­volved a state­ment from one civil­ian wit­ness as well as state­ments from three wit­ness po­lice of­fi­cers, with notes re­ceived from an­other of­fi­cer. Rel­e­vant file ma­te­rial and court doc­u­ments were also re­viewed.

SiRT con­cluded that there was no ev­i­dence that any drugs were seized in the ear­lier search, and that the record­ing of de­tails by the of­fi­cer writ­ing the af­fi­davit ap­peared to con­tain er­rors. SiRT found that the most likely con­clu­sion to be drawn from the facts was that the of­fi­cer mis­un­der­stood what was told to him by the sub­ject of­fi­cer. The SiRT re­port notes that the con­ver­sa­tions be­tween the two of­fi­cers oc­curred in an un­con­trolled and un­recorded fash­ion.

A news re­lease is­sued by SiRT noted that “the ev­i­dence against the sub­ject of­fi­cer fell well short of pro­vid­ing rea­son­able grounds to lay a charge.”

SiRT is re­spon­si­ble for in­ves­ti­gat­ing se­ri­ous in­ci­dents in­volv­ing po­lice in Nova Sco­tia. In­ves­ti­ga­tions are un­der the di­rec­tion and con­trol of in­de­pen­dent civil­ian di­rec­tor Ron MacDon­ald.

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