Questions for the Edmonton Police Commission (Jan 17th, 2022)

Thank you for your emails to my office regarding the Edmonton Police. I know that we are committed to building an Edmonton Police Service that we can all be proud of.

Many of you wrote me with concerns about police misconduct, oversight, and transparency. 

According to the chief, there were over 1300 allegations of misconduct last year against officers. We all want to see a reduction in those numbers, seeing good officers rewarded and bad officers removed from service. No one should have to worry that the officer who shows up when they call for help, may themselves be a danger.

I tried to summarize and theme many of your concerns and sent questions forward to the Edmonton Police Commission Councillors (January 17th, 2022) and the Chair of the Commission indicated that a response will be discussed this Thursday at the March 17th, EPC Meeting. As part of my commitment to transparency and oversight, I look forward to receiving it and sharing it with you.

If you have questions yourself, you can always reach out to the Edmonton Police Commission here: https://edmontonpolicecommission.com/meetings/

Learn more: www.michaeljanz.ca/policeaccountability

(Updated April 26th) - I received a response from the commission via Email on March 24th, 2022. I have endeavoured to send it out to folks who emailed me questions. I will try to attach their response in full here, or post the comments below. in a different colour.
(January 17th) In advance of the Thursday EPC meeting, here are a few of the many questions I’ve been receiving from my constituents related to the Edmonton Police Service for the Edmonton Police Commission. A response in writing would be preferred, or if we could bring the commission back for another public conversation at Council, that would be most helpful. Some of these are copy/paste so please disregard syntax/spelling errors....

  1. What happened to the officers who sent the K-9 after an individual in distress, and the officers who appeared to mock the naked individual on social media? (https://globalnews.ca/news/8477217/edmonton-police-delete-online-post-k9-arrest-inappropriate/)
  2. Why was the video not immediately released following the knee drop incident?  The police had it for over four months. It was exculpatory evidence that saw the charges dropped. Why did the police not release it immediately? Who’s decision was that and has the chief apologized? (Edmonton police withheld video of officer assault on Indigenous man for 4 months. After prosecutors got video, charges against Elliot McLeod were dropped and officer was charged with assault. CBC News asked Alberta Justice what, if anything, it did, or plans to do, about EPS failing to disclose the video and why McCargar wasn't charged for punching McLeod while he was handcuffed.) (https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/edmonton-police-indigenous-assault-1.6239508)
  3. Why was Constable Ben Todd not suspended after the alleged excessive force? (Lawsuit alleges 18-year-old seriously injured by Edmonton police officer's kick to head. Constable remains on duty while ASIRT investigation continues: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/lawsuit-alleges-18-year-old-seriously-injured-by-edmonton-police-officer-s-kick-to-head-1.6234891)
  4. Which police officer shot Steven Nguyen and what consequences are being faced? Is it his first police shooting and is he still on active duty? (Family and friends of Steven Nguyen, an Edmonton father killed by police on June 5, gathered to remember him and ask for answers about why he was killed. Officers arrived and one shot Nguyen, though it is not known what led to the fatal encounter. According to investigators, no knife was found at the scene. The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT) is investigating the case. https://edmonton.ctvnews.ca/family-and-friends-gather-to-mourn-man-killed-by-police-1.5468349)
  5. On social media, there are regular and what appears to be unlawful releases of information / evidence from Edmonton Police Association? City Councillors and the mayor are regularly tagged in these posts. It appears officers are sending pictures of evidence to the police union to post on social media, a violation of police policy by both the officers and also whoever is posting them to social media. Does the Chief and police commission support EPA? Is this behavior congruent with EPS policy, vision or FOIPP?
  6. How can we increase the transparency of Disciplinary Proceedings? Nurses, Doctors, Teachers, Lawyers (even the RCMP?) — all are subject to public disciplinary proceedings. FOIP doesn’t prohibit these others from disclosing. If there are allegations of misconduct that are going to a hearing, it should be shared. Further, if there are complaints upheld by the chief without hearing without serious penalty should also be published. Why are these proceedings not live-streamed, especially given COVID?
  7. What is the budget for legal costs and settlements? How much are Edmontonians spending? Over the last five years?
  8. Promotions Policy: Why are we seeing officers promoted that have a record of complaints against them, promoted over deserving candidates?
  9. Bias in Investigations: Just over a year after the murder of George Floyd a trial had taken place and a sentence was given. But in Alberta Justice can take years, maybe a decade? What is EPS doing to publicly pressure ASIRT and Solicitor General for accountability and for Crown Prosecutors to actually press charges? What can we do to expedite ASIRT investigations? What can we do to stop “police investigating police” and ensure third party oversight is provided? (ASIRT on the rocks: Faced with an 'unmanageable' workload, Alberta's police watchdog is shedding staff and falling further behind on files: https://edmontonjournal.com/news/local-news/asirt-on-the-rocks-faced-with-an-unmanageable-workload-albertas-police-watchdog-is-shedding-staff-and-falling-further-behind-on-filesWhat about police who are under investigation for misconduct investigating other police? How many others have active PSB investigations against them? Putting police officers into PSB while they have active investigations against them? There is still a collective agreement with discretion.
  10. According to the chief, there were over 1300 allegations of misconduct last year against officers. What is the strategy on the part of the Edmonton Police Commission to get to zero incidents of Police misconduct?
  11. Are the Police operating any entrapment or bait programs?
  12. The police radio scanner is now encrypted. You can monitor all other emergency services and Fire but not police. What is best practice here for oversight? Why the change? Other channels that weren’t being recorded. I understand this is a major barrier for media and democratic oversight. This does not align with the EPC vision.
  13. Where on the website can policies can be found regarding code of conduct of the chief or for EPS members? (For example, was attending a partisan political fundraiser a violation of the Chief's contract / EPS Policies?)

Email:
Address: 1 Sir Winston Churchill Sq, 2nd Floor, Edmonton, AB T5J 2R7