BCCLA reacts to sentencing of RCMP officer convicted of aggravated assault

Vancouver – Josh Paterson, Executive Director of the BC Civil Liberties Association, reacted today to the sentencing of RCMP Constable David Pompeo – the officer who shot unarmed Bill Gillespie in Chemainus, BC in September 2009. Constable Pompeo was sentenced today to two-years’ probation and granted an exemption from a firearms ban. Constable Pompeo has yet to be disciplined by the RCMP for his unlawful conduct and remains on the RCMP’s payroll.

“We have grave concerns about a public perception that police officers will be treated differently than non-police officers in the sentencing process. This seems to suggest to the public that there is a double standard when it comes to police officers committing crimes, and a dangerous one at that.

“We expect that this officer will be subject to serious discipline by the RCMP. It needs to be crystal clear that police officers cannot criminally shoot unarmed people. Public confidence in the police depends on a clear message being sent that such crimes, and the officers who commit them, have no place protecting the public.”