Public hearing called into DPD misconduct claims

B.C. Police Complaint Commissioner will be holding a public hearing into allegations of police misconduct by two Delta Police officers.

PH2013-03 Notice of Public Hearing by southdeltaleader



The Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner announced Wednesday it will be holding a public hearing into allegations of police misconduct by two members of the Delta Police Department.

Const. Aaron Hill and Const. Aaron McRae of the Delta Police Department are alleged to have used unnecessary force against Edward Pecaskie during an incident that took place on Sept. 17, 2011.

Pecaskie filed a complaint with the Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner, the civilian oversight body for municipal police in B.C., claiming Hill tackled him off of his bike and repeatedly smashed his face into the ground, while McRae kicked Pecaskie in the ribs. Pecaskie also alleges his iPod and bicycle were damaged in the incident.

Pecaskie’s complaint was investigated by the Professional Standards Section of the Delta Police Department for investigation. Insp. Ian MacWilliams found Pecaskie’s allegations of abuse of authority, damage to property, and deceit to be without merit, while the allegation of neglect of duty appeared to be substantiated by the evidence.

However, in December of last year, the Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner tasked retired provincial court judge Jakob S. De Villiers with reviewing the matter after determining there was a reasonable basis to believe the DPD’s decision was incorrect.

In June, De Villiers released his findings, agreeing with the DPD’s assessment that Pecaskie’s allegations of abuse of authority, damage to property, and deceit had not been proven. However, in his decision to call a public hearing, B.C. Police Complaint Commissioner Stan T. Lowe stated, there is a reasonable basis to believe De Villiers’ findings are incorrect.

Specifically, Lowe states that De Villiers erred in his findings by not cross examining the officers involved, and the fact Pecaskie and potential witnesses didn’t participate in the proceeding, because there was no request for their attendance by the officers.

“In my respectful view, [De Villiers] was procedurally mistaken in his view that he could not question the members in his role as Discipline Authority,” Lowe stated. “[T]he accountability of the proceedings has been significantly diminished, and the search for truth substantially compromised.”

Given the seriousness of the allegations, Lowe stated a public hearing “is required to preserve or restore public confidence in the investigation of misconduct and the administration of police discipline.”

Delta Police spokesperson Ciaran Feenan said the officers are still on active duty as patrol members, and any disciplinary action taken against them will depend on the outcome of the public hearing.

“The Police Act defines how these proceedings are investigated and both members have participated in the investigation from the onset, and have done so freely,” said Feenan. “The Delta Police Department is very supportive of civilian oversight. We’re held to a higher standard of accountability, not only through the Police Act, but with our own professional standards and core values, our civilian police board, and ultimately the public.”

Retired provincial court judge Alan Filmer has been appointed to preside over the proceedings. A date for the public hearing has not yet been set.

Hill was honoured by Delta Police Department’s annual awards ceremony last year for saving the life of a choking toddler while off duty.

 

Just Posted

Plans for new Surrey hospital to be updated Monday

News conference announced by Premier Horgan and health minister Adrian Dix

White Rock pier-plank purchasers celebrated

Donors received a certificate Sunday marking their purchase of a pier plank

Seniors plead to Surrey council ahead of public hearing for 1,000-plus unit development

In June, seniors in the buildings said they felt ‘left in the cold’ as plans for redevelopment materialized

Several people in custody following reports of shots fired into a Surrey home

Police say the incident happened in the early hours of Saturday morning

White Rock looking at 3.9% tax increase

Budget discussions are to take place this week

MAP: Christmas light displays in Surrey and beyond

Send us pictures of your National Lampoon-style lit-up homes, nativity scenes or North Pole playlands

B.C. universities post $340 million worth of surpluses thanks to international student tuition

Students call for spending as international enrolment produces huge surpluses at many universities

Conservatives urge Morneau to deliver ‘urgent’ fall economic update

Morneau says the first thing the Liberals plan to do is bring in their promised tax cut for the middle class

INFOGRAPHIC: How much money did your local university or college make last year?

B.C. university and colleges posted a combined $340 million surplus in 2018/19

B.C. creates $8.5M organization to improve safety for health care workers

Group will bring together unions, province, health care organizations

Four men in hospital after early morning Vancouver stabbing

A large group of men was seen fighting in Yaletwon

Kovrig clings to humour as ‘two Michaels’ near one year in Chinese prison

Their detention is widely viewed as retaliation for Canada’s arrest of Chinese high-tech scion Meng Wanzhou

B.C. VIEWS: An engine that hums right along

First Nations are leading a new surge of investment in B.C.

Most Read