Short on accountability

A letter by Greg Klein published in the Vancouver Province on March 8, 2013


Re: 22-month-trial delay causes judge to stay charges against cops accused of beating, Tasering senior.

Evidence suggests two police officers unnecessarily Tasered and assaulted Robert Booker, then 74. Yet a judge stayed criminal charges because the Crown dragged out proceedings for 22 months. This bodes terribly for B.C.’s new Independent Investigations Office.

Unlike its supposed model, Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit, B.C.’s IIO can’t lay criminal charges against police.

The IIO can only recommend charges[*] to Crown attorneys, who have a notorious record of siding with police. This is one of several very serious deficiencies that the B.C. Liberal government built into the IIO, with the support of the opposition NDP and the B.C. Civil Liberties Association.

No one outside the legislature had as much opportunity to point out the IIO’s many shortcomings. But while our tax-funded “official activists” don’t hesitate to criticize individual cops, they show total deference to the establishment bigshots who determine our system of police accountability.

Thank you B.C. Liberals and your allies in thwarting police accountability — the NDP and the BCCLA.

Greg Klein, Vancouver

[*I might have been mistaken on that point. The IIO can’t even recommend charges, according to another media report.]

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