CopWatch

CopWatch publishes Official reports from the courts, police forces, and over-site agencies on investigations into serious police misconduct in Canada with an emphasis on investigations into the use of unreasonable force.  News stories containing allegations of police malfeasance will be reported along with other posts on the main page.

September 2012


RCMP officer under investigation for assault

Antigonish(26 September, 2012)

(CBC News) – A male RCMP officer in Antigonish, N.S. is under investigation after two allegations of domestic violence.  The provincial Serious Incident Response Team is not releasing the officer’s name.

The common assault allegations date to between December 2011 and June 2012.

After an arrest this week, the officer was released on a promise to appear at the Antigonish Justice Centre in December.

The SIRT is responsible for investigating all serious incidents involving police in Nova Scotia, whether or not there is an allegation of wrongdoing.

By RCMP Watch  
— 2012.09.27 at 21:38


Hamilton Police Officer Charged With Assault

Case Number: 12-OCI-235

Mississauga (26 September, 2012) — The Director of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), Ian Scott, has reasonable grounds to believe that a Hamilton Police Service (HPS) officer committed a criminal offence in relation to the injuries sustained by a 16-year-old male in July of 2012.  Director Scott has caused a charge to be laid against the officer.

The SIU investigation determined that on July 22, 2012, in the afternoon hours, the youth was arrested, taken to the police station and lodged in a cell.  As a result of an interaction in the cell between the male and an officer, he sustained a broken tooth and other facial injuries.  He was taken to Hamilton General Hospital for treatment.

As a result of the SIU investigation, HPS Constable Ryan Gagnon is facing one charge of Assault Causing Bodily Harm, contrary to s. 267(b) of the Criminal Code of Canada.

The officer is compelled to appear before the Ontario Court of Justice at 45 Main Street East in Hamilton on November 6, 2012.  The Justice Prosecutions branch of the Ministry of the Attorney General will have carriage of the prosecution.


Here’s a link to our post on Darren Zorn, the OPP constable facing disciplinary action for disreputable conduct after allegations of cocaine use.  Any future official reports on legal proceeding will be posted on this page.


RCMP admits grounding union-hired plane flying anti-Harper banner

Matthew Pearson (Ottawa Citizen) – A pilot hired by the Public Service Alliance of Canada to fly over Ottawa and Gatineau with a political banner was ordered to land his plane, the RCMP admitted Monday, even though the aircraft had not entered restricted airspace.

The union says it paid for a plane to fly over the capital region for three hours on Saturday with a trailing banner that read, in French, “StephenHarperNousDéteste.ca” (Stephen Harper hates us), to coincide with the popular Hot Air Balloon Festival in Gatineau.

But things did not go according to plan, the pilot says.

Gian Piero Ciambella claims he was ordered to land his Piper Supercub after being in the air for about 90 minutes because two RCMP officers were waiting at the Ottawa-Rockcliffe airport to question him.

“They flexed their muscles to bring me down,” he said from his home in Saint Hubert, QC. “I’m advertising a website, I have nothing against the prime minister, I’m doing my job.”

It remains unclear why the plane was ordered out of the sky as the Ciambella and the RCMP offered conflicting stories.


RCMP officer on trial for Vancouver Island shooting

(CBC News) – An RCMP officer will go on trial in Duncan, B.C., today, charged with aggravated assault for shooting an unarmed man during a traffic stop nearly three years ago in the Vancouver Island community.

Constable David Pompeo pulled over Chemainus resident William Gillespie for allegedly driving while prohibited in September 2009.  At the time, Gillespie said he was complying with the officer’s order to get on the ground, when he was shot through the neck.

An internal RCMP code of conduct investigation found Pompeo guilty of disgraceful conduct.  He was put on desk duty at the Duncan RCMP detachment after the incident, but was later transferred to Nanaimo RCMP, where he is on active duty.

Victoria police also investigated the incident, resulting in the charge laid by Crown prosecutors.

David Eby, the executive director of the B.C. Civil Liberties Association, said it’s unusual to see criminal charges against police officers actually going to trial.

“This case is a reflection of a slow shift in British Columbia around increasing police accountability and increasing use of the criminal justice system to actually lay charges and to go to court,” said Eby.

“So many of these cases, the officer is charged and then it’s diverted from the criminal process through some kind of community service or a letter of apology.”

Eby said he plans to attend the trial in Duncan this week and Gillespie is expected to testify.

[Source]


Ontario Provincial Police Officer Charged

Case Number: 12-PSA-159

Mississauga(7 September, 2012) — The Director of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), Ian Scott, has reasonable grounds to believe that an Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) officer committed a criminal offence in relation to a March 2012 incident in Toronto involving a 45-year-old male.  Director Scott has caused a charge to be laid against the officer.

The SIU investigation determined that on March 8, 2012, the man attended at the OPP station on Keele Street for fingerprinting.  While in the fingerprinting area, there was a verbal exchange between the man and an officer.

As a result of the SIU investigation, Constable Ludgero Café of the OPP is facing one charge of Uttering a Threat to Cause Bodily Harm, contrary to s. 264.1(1)(a) of the Criminal Code of Canada.

The officer is compelled to appear before the Ontario Court of Justice at 1000 Finch Avenue West in Toronto on October 16, 2012.  The Justice Prosecutions branch of the Ministry of the Attorney General will have carriage of the prosecution.



August 2012


Central Alta. RCMP officer charged with assault

(Julia Parrish (CTV Edmonton) – Following a complaint from a civilian and the subsequent investigation – RCMP have charged one of their own.

RCMP said Tuesday that Constable Ronald Lavallee had been charged with one count of assault.

Cst. Lavallee, who serves out of the Hobbema RCMP detachment, was charged on July 4.

The charge was laid after his detachment received a public complaint over excessive force being used during an arrest that took place in Hobbema.

Police said the complaint was investigated, and the results were reviewed by the “K” Division Criminal Operations Branch.

A senior Crown Prosecutor at Alberta Justice then recommended the charge.

Lavallee has served as an RCMP officer for six years, and is still stationed at the Hobbema detachment.

The officer has already appeared in court twice on the charge, once on July 4 and July 17 – both of the appearances were adjourned. Lavallee has been scheduled to appear in a Wetaskiwin courtroom on September 13.

RCMP said Lavallee is currently on medical leave.

[Source]


Toronto Police Officers Charged

Case Number: 12-TCI-163

Mississauga (31 August, 2012) — The Director of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), Ian Scott, has reasonable grounds to believe that three officers with the Toronto Police Service (TPS) committed a criminal offence in relation to injuries sustained by 26-year-old Stalin Kiprotich in June of 2012.  Director Scott has caused a charge to be laid against the officers.

The SIU investigation determined that at approximately 8:30 p.m. on Monday, June 4, 2012, Mr. Kiprotich was arrested near Kipling Avenue and Finch Avenue West.  During the arrest process, there was an interaction between the officers and Mr. Kiprotich.  He was lodged in a cell, but was taken to hospital in the early morning hours after complaining of a sore chest.  He was diagnosed with three fractured ribs.

As a result of the SIU investigation, TPS Detective Constable Jason Davis, Detective Constable Keith Osborne and Detective Brian Kay are each facing one charge of Assault Causing Bodily Harm, contrary to s. 267(b) of the Criminal Code of Canada.


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