Police should not investigate themselves

There are a number of matters troubling about the failure to lay charges against the police officers in Robert Dziekanski’s death.

A tape aired of a police conversation, referring almost with contempt to “some Slav” being lost at the airport, was so upsetting to me I called the office of the attorney general. That Canada has a history of practising eugenics against Slavic people (and aboriginals) is no secret. The police played no small part in that and were supported by the courts.

Mr. Heggen’s cartoon (Editorial, May 13) hit the nail squarely on the head. Charges should have been laid and it be left for discovery as to how or whether to proceed. If the police committed perjury, they did so for reasons they feared to be discovered.

To overcome some of the problems, retired justice Braidwood, we are told, recommended police not be allowed to investigate themselves. The solution Public Safety Minister Shirley Bond and Attorney General Barry Penner offered was to set up an office to do so, initially using retired police investigators who have been outside of B.C for at least five years.

Outside of B.C. means nothing, nor does being retired. There is probably no union more powerful than that of the police. When one of their members is killed, thousands of officers and retired ones from across Canada and even the U.S. attend the victim’s funeral. Highlights are broadcast on virtually all television stations – they seem to dwarf even state funerals. Even big enough venues seem hard to find.

I was told by a gentleman from Minister Bond’s office that the interim investigation team would work for three years, then be reviewed. To me it is more of the same self-regulation. No former police investigators should be on the team. It is a job for lawyers.

Ann Kuczerpa

Oak Bay