|(CARMINE MARINELLI/QMI Agency Files)
VANCOUVER - The RCMP watchdog has berated four “voyeuristic” Mounties for watching female prisoners have sex in a cell.
The Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP released its investigation report Wednesday into the conduct of Mounties involved in watching the sex romp at the Kamloops, B.C., RCMP detachment cells in August 2010.
Ian McPhail, the interim chairman of the commission, said the four RCMP members “lacked professionalism.”
“The commission found that, by allowing the physical contact between the two individuals in custody to continue and engaging in voyeuristic behaviour, the RCMP members demonstrated a lack of professionalism and respect that not only offended the spirit of the RCMP’s policy on video monitoring of prisoners but was inconsistent with the RCMP’s core values,” McPhail said.
“Further, we found that the senior member present demonstrated a marked lack of leadership by failing to intervene.”
The investigation was launched Sept. 28, 2010, following a complaint by the Elizabeth Fry Society of Greater Vancouver, which alleged “senior staff at the detachment failed to manage personnel responsibly, and were complacent in the care and custody of inmates.”
The report noted Cpl. Rick Brown, the senior officer on duty at the Kamloops detachment, was in “awe or disbelief laughing” as he watched the women in their “drunk tank.”
Brown, Const. Evan Elgee, Const. Steve Zaharia and guard David Tompkins have been charged with breach of trust.
The report, however, is independent from the criminal proceedings. Const. Bryce Fieghe, who also observed the encounter, is not facing charges.
The commission made four recommendations, including that the RCMP amend its policy to provide guidance as to when circumstances are “serious or sensitive” and consequently, when an external investigation is needed.
The report made four recommendations, including the RCMP amending its policy on what constitutes circumstances that are “serious or sensitive.”
But in a letter addressed to McPhail, RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson rejected this particular recommendation.
He did, however, acknowledge the behaviour of the officers in question was “unreasonable,” and added he was “deeply disappointed” in Brown’s lack of leadership.
Louise Richards, executive director of the Elizabeth Fry Society’s Kamloops chapter, said she was satisfied the report determined the Mounties’ behaviour was unacceptable.
“I’m hopeful this was just an isolated incident,” she said, adding she would be surprised if a similar incident took place again in Canada.