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Monday, June 21, 2010

BCCLA celebrates the end of police self investigation

June 21, 2010
by British Columbia Civil Liberties Association

The BCCLA celebrated Friday’s announcement by B.C. Provincial Solicitor General Mike De Jong that the Province would end the practice of police investigating themselves by establishing a new civilian investigation body. The announcement came in response to Commissioner Braidwood’s recommendations at the inquiry into the death of Robert Dziekanski.

The BCCLA was the only agency at the Braidwood Taser Inquiry that argued for the end of the police investigating police system, and has advocated for the creation of such an agency for at least the past fifteen years.

“We simply cannot improve on Commissioner Braidwood’s recommendations and we are thrilled that the province will move to implement them in the next year,” said Robert Holmes, President of the B.C. Civil Liberties Association. “We offer our congratulations to the province for taking this historic step, as well as our support and assistance in ensuring that the new body is as robust and independent as Commissioner Braidwood clearly hopes it will be.”

The Braidwood Commission’s recommendation of the establishment of an Independent Investigation Office follows on the Frank Paul Inquiry’s Commissioner William Davies’ recommendation of the same policy reform, the call of the Police Chiefs of British Columbia for this reform and new federal legislation introduced this week that mandates the RCMP to pass investigations of serious matters and police involved deaths to civilian investigation bodies where such bodies exist.

“There is no way to articulate how important this reform is to enhancing public confidence in our police,” said Holmes. “The implementation of Commissioner Braidwood’s recommendations will make B.C. a national leader in police accountability. B.C. residents have demanded it, and our province is delivering.” The BCCLA has sent a letter to the Province congratulating the Solicitor General for this initiative.

For immediate release

British Columbia Civil Liberties Association
June 21, 2010

Robert Holmes, President, 604-681-1310
David Eby, Executive Director, 778-865-7997

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