Ottawa police officers who were found to have “gratuitously” inflicted pain on people they arrested, denied those people their right to immediately speak to their lawyers and then lied to the court have not faced any charges under the Police Services Act.
And the force won’t say if it has disciplined those officers.
In the last two weeks, the Appeal Court of Ontario overturned convictions against two people because multiple officers seriously breached their Charter rights in separate drug-related investigations in 2010 and 2011.
In both cases, the accused were by all accounts guilty of their charges.
It’s how these officers conducted themselves and gathered their evidence that the appeal court found particularly troubling.
But in an email to Metro, the Ottawa Police Service said none of the officers in either case has ever been charged under the Police Services Act in the last five years.
Officers may also be subject to internal discipline, but the force said, “OPS does not discuss internal discipline matters publicly.”
That’s not good enough, according to criminal lawyer Michael Spratt.
“Any action, corrective or otherwise, against these officers should be public. These were public breaches,” said Spratt, who has reviewed both appeals.
“The community has a right to know what consequences were visited upon these officers for what the court has found to be egregious behaviour.”