Coun­cil­lor’s card­ing case de­layed over ev­i­dence dis­clo­sures

The Hamilton Spectator - - LOCAL - NI­COLE O’REILLY nor­eilly@thes­ 905-526-3199 | @Ni­coleatTheSpec

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

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