June 22nd, 2024

Police chief responds on officer conduct complaint

By Tim Kalinowski on July 17, 2021.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDtkalinowski@lethbridgeherald.com

Lethbridge Chief of Police Shahin Mehdizadeh says an officer dealing with an historic sexual assault did not communicate appropriately when a complainant came in to ask the Lethbridge Police Service to re-open her case.
“This was before my time, but by the time I got here the complaint came in, and I had ordered a Police Act investigation on the conduct of our officer,” Mehdizadeh told reporters earlier this week. “That’s when I reviewed the file. Our officer, when the lady came to see if her file could be re-opened, he had reviewed the file, and there were notes from an investigation that was done at the time when she reported it. There was a report from the Crown that they didn’t entertain laying any charges based on the evidence they had at that time.
“He relayed the message to this lady. Could he have relayed the message better? Absolutely.”
Mehdizadeh’s acknowledgement of the poor communication skills shown by the officer follows a CBC report released earlier this week where a young Lethbridge woman, now 23, asked the LPS to revisit her 15-year-old sexual assault allegations against her mother’s former boyfriend, Edmond Armit, who was also previously convicted of a violent physical assault against the young woman’s brother.
“The complaint came when she was younger,” clarified Mehdizadeh. “The investigation was done when she was younger. It was a thorough investigation. At that time, the Crown didn’t see there was enough evidence to actually prosecute.”
According to the CBC report, the woman, whose name is not being published, went to the LPS to make her request to re-open the case, and met with an officer whom she described as having “a very big ego, very arrogant. He just laid back in his chair, like he had no care in the world … there was lots of times he just kind of chuckled.”
He then encouraged her not to pursue the case as, in his opinion, he had never seen an historic sexual assault charge result in conviction.
That’s when the woman made her formal complaint about the officer’s insensitive demeanour to the police service which resulted in her case being assigned to Major Crimes. The case has since been re-opened and is proceeding to trial later this year, the CBC story confirms.
“The key factor in that was when the right teams were actually deployed to deal with that complaint,” Mehdizadeh told The Herald and other local media on Wednesday, “she was given the attention she deserved, and everything moved forward after that. I believe she feels very supported (now), and she knows the right steps have been taken to provide that information. And just moving forward after that.”

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So will the officer whose unprofessional demeanour toward this woman be disciplined?

Last edited 2 years ago by brewster65

you know how it plays out: if it cannot be summarily dismissed by the local force, it goes to another independent-my-ass force, ie. like med hat, who will ensure all is good and clear the officer. in turn, when another force’s officer is ever charged, the same process plays out with another independent-my-ass force clearing the accused.
what is absolutely appalling in this, as well, is how it is at all acceptable to allow cops to determine what complaints are going to be received and investigated by the judicial system. this creates far more of a police state than we should be accepting. complaints must be taken and directed to those that really know the law and really know how to weigh evidence. wtf.