The BCCLA’s support of a complainant in Victoria has resulted in discipline of Victoria’s police chief by their police board. Bruce Dean’s complaint that Jamie Graham committed misconduct when he joked at a public conference that there was a police officer driving a bus full of Olympic protesters was initially dismissed as unfounded. The BCCLA’s objection to that investigation as flawed and inadequate resulted in a new investigation that found misconduct.
“This new report’s findings confirm our view that the first investigation was flawed. Contrasting the two reports is instructive on many fronts. Instead of focusing on the complainant, this one focused on the complaint,” said BCCLA President Robert Holmes, “To gain and hold public confidence, the police must remain accountable for what they say and do. When complaints are filed, like the one by Mr. Dean in this instance, they deserve respectful treatment in a fair, impartial and thorough investigation.”
The second investigation interviewed more than just Victoria Police Department officers, asking members of the Olympic Integrated Security Unit about the impact of the Chief’s comments on their operations, and debunked the Chief’s claim, accepted in the first investigation, that he thought the conference was a private meeting of law enforcement professionals. Among many other members of the public at the conference, journalist Bob Mackin was present and recorded the comments.
“Obviously, we are glad that a full investigation was ultimately completed,” said Holmes. “But this experience again confirms why the province must act now to end the system of police self investigation in BC, and why police claims that only they are qualified to conduct such investigations have been refuted time and time again by their own inadequate efforts.”
This investigation marks the second time that Chief Jamie Graham has been found to have committed a disciplinary default. The first time was in October of 2008 where he was found to have engaged in “discreditable misconduct” in relation to a 2003 RCMP investigation into complaints made by Pivot Legal Society. Chief Graham was not disciplined because he had retired in August of 2007. For this complaint, the Police Board has proposed to the Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner that the Board “reprimand the member in writing.”
David Eby, Executive Director, (778) 865-7997
Robert Holmes, President, (604) 681-1310
Bruce Dean, complainant, (250) 298-7256