Councillor’s carding case delayed over evidence disclosures
The disciplinary case of a Hamilton police officer accused of wrongfully stopping a black city councillor will not be heard until June, as lawyers in the politically and racially charged case dispute evidence.
Const. Andrew Pfeifer is facing a Police Services Act discreditable conduct charge in connection with Ward 3 Coun. Matthew Green’s complaint that he was stopped by the officer while waiting for a bus April 26.
A teleconference into the case Friday heard that Green’s lawyer, Selwyn Pieters, a civil rights litigator known for racial profiling cases, has asked whether the hearing should be heard in another location.
Pieters previously said Green was stopped because he “was a black male, he was treated as though he was an outsider in his own city.”
Pfeifer’s lawyer, Bernard Cummings, disagreed with the change of venue request, calling it a waste of money. He also said Pfiefer was eager to have the hearing go forward as soon as possible.
However, the hearing dates are delayed because of disputes over what evidence the parties are to share. All have outstanding requests for disclosure, including Cummings’ request for Pieters’ witness lists.
Lawyers agreed to meet April 19 and 20 to discuss motions to clear up what evidence will be disclosed.
Green has said he was looking at his phone while waiting for a bus at Victoria Avenue South and Stinson Street when an officer stopped and questioned him about who he was and what he was doing there.
Green alleged the confrontational tone changed when the officer realized he was a city councillor and expressed concern he wasn’t dressed for the cool weather.
The Hamilton Police Association has said Pfiefer was simply checking Green’s well-being and that the case has nothing to do with race, but rather whether the stop took too long.
The case comes on the heels of stricter regulations around street checks (known as carding) which critics argue have unfairly targeted minorities. New rules include mandating that officers have to inform people they stop that they don’t have to comply.
The hearing has been set for a yetto-be-determined location on June 1 and 2, and if needed, June 27.
Green: Stopped by police while waiting for bus