Calgary, Alberta – In a 2012 decision in relation to an impaired driving trial, a trial judge made specific credibility and factual findings based on the evidence before the court.
This included findings that two officers had violently beaten a man during the course of an impaired driving-related arrest and then had given evidence that distorted the truth.
Based largely on the findings made by the trial judge in the reported decision, counsel, on behalf of the Criminal Trial Lawyers Association, corresponded with both the Calgary Police Service (CPS) and Calgary Police Commission (CPC) and demanded a criminal investigation into the conduct of the officers.
CPS ultimately completed a 46.1 notification under the Police Act and, on Aug. 15, 2017, ASIRT was directed to investigate allegations that the involved officers had used excessive force in the arrest and subsequently distorted their evidence or perjured themselves in an effort to cover up the alleged inappropriate use of force. ASIRT’s investigation is complete.
The trial decision, which was based on the available evidence at the time and relied heavily on findings of credibility, was highly critical of the involved officers and raised concerning allegations. ASIRT’s investigation, however, has revealed a very different picture based on evidence that was not before the court, or accessible to the court, at that time, including the evidence of a completely independent civilian witness who observed the events but was not called at trial.
Given the discrepancy between the trial findings and ASIRT’s findings, the report of the Executive Director has included considerable detail regarding ASIRT’s investigation and the evidence which provides a full understanding of how ASIRT’s investigation came to a different conclusion.
The Executive Director’s full report can be accessed online.
ASIRT’s mandate is to effectively, independently and objectively investigate incidents involving Alberta’s police that have resulted in serious injury or death to any person, as well as serious or sensitive allegations of police misconduct.
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