Questions arise about
police complaints commissioner

A letter published in the Vancouver Sun, July 8, 2009

Re: Mounties in Tasering should face prosecution, Westcoast News, June 20

Ian Mulgrew says it’s time to reconsider the decision not to prosecute the four RCMP officers involved in Robert Dziekanski’s death. We should be aware of how that decision came about because B.C.’s new police complaint commissioner was closely involved.

The decision not to prosecute was unanimous among the Criminal Justice Branch executive management, of which Stan Lowe was a member. The CJB decision was based on an RCMP investigation of their own colleagues. Lowe vigorously defended the decision when it was released last December.

Incredibly, just six days later, he was appointed B.C.’s new police complaint commissioner, a job that allows him to make similar decisions on behalf of municipal cops. Lowe was appointed by an all-party legislative committee made up of Harry Bloy, Mike Farnworth, Leonard Krog, John Nuraney (since defeated) and John Rustad. They announced his appointment a week before Christmas, a good time to avoid media scrutiny.

Given the disturbing information that surfaced from the Braidwood inquiry, we should ask how Lowe can hold public confidence in his new job and why five MLAs appointed him in the first place.

Greg Klein