Third party needed for RCMP complaint: BCCLA
BC Civil Liberties Association executive director David Eby believes the Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP is too closely tied to the national police force. (SCREENGRAB)
The group lodging a complaint over the Mounties’ handling of a man who helped its members run a blog critical of the force, said ideally the investigation should be handled by a body other than the Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP.
“We don’t have a lot of confidence in that organization, but it's all we have,” said BC Civil Liberties Association executive director David Eby, adding the body is too closely tied to the national police force.
On its website, however, the commission described itself as entirely independent.
The BCCLA filed the complaint after a judge unsealed the search warrant executed in August at the New Westminster home of Mountie critic Grant Wakefield, accused of defamatory libel against Cpl. Jim Brown.
Tim Cogan, the commission’s communication director, said the body has received the complaint and was reviewing the details.
The information within, as well as the efforts taken to keep it secret, made Eby question the RCMP’s motives.
In the complaint letter, he asked the file be turned over to an independent agency to avoid “perception of conflict of interest.”
The RCMP have denied the warrant was linked to the Re-Sergeance Alliance blog Wakefield operated for disgruntled RCMP members, insisting it was a case of defamatory libel.
Eby, however, was suspicious about the rational, reasoning the audience reading any defamatory comments and Wakefield’s “conspiracy theories” was too small to justify such a powerful response from the Mounties.
In addition, the fact the search came soon after the blog launch seemed too coincidental.
“We can’t imagine that the RCMP was very excited about the fact that this blog existed and the timing seems remarkable, the execution of the search warrant just after the blog went live, effectively shutting it down," he said.