Supreme Court judge defends himself

Supreme Court of Canada Justice Russell Brown, on leave since February 1, says he did nothing to provoke an altercation in Arizona three days earlier which triggered a complaint to the Canadian Judicial Council. Police say a complainant, who at one point was on the verge of being arrested, had accused Brown of being intoxicated and had touched a female companion “inappropriately.” [node:read-more:link]

Bodycams mandated for Alberta police

In what it says is an effort to increase public trust, Alberta plans to mandate vest-mounted cameras for police. Public Safety & Emergency Services Minister Mike Ellis says that “by documenting the behaviour of the police in public, collecting better evidence, and improving our approach to resolving complex complaints during investigations”, cameras are “an objective measure to show what occurs.” [node:read-more:link]

Edmonton police officers shot

Two Edmonton Police Service officers were killed today when responding to a domestic violence call. A male suspect is reported to have committed suicide and a related female is listed in stable condition but with life-threatening injuries. [node:read-more:link]

Edge of the wedge for RCMP?

City council in the northwestern Alberta community of Grande Prairie has voted to replace the RCMP with a municipal police force. The two-year transition in the city with a population of some 64,000 is expected to cost $19 million with the provincial government covering $9.7 million. Premier Danielle Smith has endorsed the idea of a province-wide switch [node:read-more:link]

RCMP watchdog probing protests

The Civilian Review and Complaints Commission which handles public grievances against the RCMP has opened an inquiry into the force’s Community-Industry Response Group which was set up in 2017 to deal with protests against resource extraction in B.C. Terms of reference posted today include whether the CIRG’s operations are consistent with legislation and the findings of the inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women and girls. [node:read-more:link]

Mass police killing in Pakistan

At least 10 Pakistani police officers were killed today and 12 others wounded when their truck was attacked by a suicide bomber on a motorcycle. There was no immediate claim of responsibility but the southwestern province of Baluchistan, where the attack took place on a bridge, has a long history of small groups demanding independence from Islamabad. [node:read-more:link]

Mountie killer’s sentence reduced

A New Brunswick Court of Appeal tribunal said today that it was “duty bound” to shorten the parole eligibility of Justin Bourque, who killed three RCMP officers in 2014. Citing a 2022 Supreme Court of Canada ruling which struck down a 2011 law as unconstitutional, it cut his eligibility period to 25 years from the 75 imposed by the trial judge. [node:read-more:link]

Explosive device detonated in B.C.

An RCMP bomb disposal unit from Vancouver detonated an explosive device late February 27 about seven hours after it was found beside a highway in the south-central city of Kelowna. Investigators now are trying to determine who planted it and why. [node:read-more:link]

RCMP officer faces trial on drug charges

An RCMP officer in western Newfoundland has been charged by the province’s Serious Incident Response Team with possessing cocaine for the purpose of trafficking. The SIRT began its investigation last summer after the officer’s activities were reported by the RCMP. [node:read-more:link]

Veterans Affairs stiffs RCMP pensioners

Canada’s Veterans Ombud is challenging Veterans Affairs Canada’s arbitrary reduction in the pensions of some retired RCMP officers and civilian employees because they received a one-time lump sum compensation for many years of “horrific” on-the-job abuse and harassment which drove many into early retirement. [node:read-more:link]

Study tracks police killings

A project led by Alexander McClelland, a criminology professor at Carleton University in Ottawa shows that 704 persons have died in incidents involving police use of force in Canada since 2000 and that the annual average has gradually risen. “We're hoping that this data sparks conversations and gets people looking further into why there has been a potential increase, what that means, and brings more scrutiny to the issue,” McClellan says. [node:read-more:link]

ISIS “facilitator” pleads guilty

Ottawa resident Awso Peshdary, who pleaded guilty February 23 to terrorism by facilitating Islamic State recruitment efforts, was sentenced to 14 years less time served, which means he will be released on probation in late 2024. The Crown and Peshdary’s lawyer had agreed to what Ontario Superior Court Justice Julianne Parfett called a “fit” penalty even though his activities were “horrific.” Peshdary actually thanked the RCMP for arresting him. [node:read-more:link]

Killer’s parole eligibility to be shortened

Prosecutors have acknowledged that a New Brunswick man who murdered three RCMP officers in 2014 can apply for parole after serving 25 years, not the 75 years imposed by the trial judge. Justin Bourque’s lawyer applied in December to the New Brunswick Court of Appeal to have the precedent-setting sentence reduced after the Supreme Court of Canada struck down the law enabling judges to extend parole ineligibility for people convicted of multiple murders. [node:read-more:link]

RCMP Commissioner retiring

Brenda Lucki, the first female RCMP Commissioner, announced today that she will retire March 17, one month short of her fifth anniversary on the job. Despite intense political criticism on several fronts in the past couple of years, she said the federal police force had made “some great progress” in meeting the expectations of Canadians, communities and policing partners. [node:read-more:link]

Sex offender out after breaching supervision

Convicted after abducting and confining a 3-year-old boy in Sparwood 12 years ago, the sex offender is free again, despite violating his parole board supervision conditions. In November 2022, Randal Hopley had been seen sitting near children attending story time in a local library, however, the judge has now ruled she did not believe he currently poses a risk to the public. [node:read-more:link]


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