The community safety and well being task force released its report identifying 14 recommendations which the city councillors are asked to implement.
One of these recommendations is for the police to have a transparent process when complaints are received from the public. Currently, copies of disciplinary decisions can only be obtained by contacting the EPSFOIPP coordinator. The task force asks for all decisions be published online as a standard practice.
Now, when complaints come against the police dept there are 3 tracks these complaints works its way through. If the complaint is not serious then it is dealt with informally until are solution is found.
When a complaint is serious it either goes to the major case team or to ASIRT.
All 3 tracks are investigated by police officers.
Even though ASIRT is seen as a ‘civilian oversight agency’ all the investigators are either current or ex-police officers.
In 2019 there were 28 allegations of assault made against the Edmonton police and out of the 28 only 1 resulted in conviction and 1 in a conditional discharge.
When you look at the case the Edmonton Journal posted on April1/21 police officer Marty Franco who joined the force in 2009 has 3 separate incidents of police misconduct.
1. First on in 2011 for using excessive force,
2. the second one in 2014 for deceit and
3. the most current one from 2017 where he dragged a man through the mall.
In all 3 cases he was found guilty.
For the 2017 incident he received community service.
1. For dragging the man on the floor,
2. unlawful use of force and
3. failing to properly report the use of force in his documentation.
He received 30-hour suspension without pay and 60 hours of community service.
Mr. Franco has 2 convictions of deceit and 2 cases of excessive use of force on his record.
Evidence shows police investigating themselves may not necessarily produce objective outcomes and keep the community safer.
I would not only ask for transparency of the complaint process I would also ask police do not investigate themselves.
Rather, I would advocate for a civilian led committee where all public complaints would go to.
In this way there will be no perception of biases and the public will begin to have a greater level of trust with the police dept.
If I was elected to city council, I will be bringing this initiative forward.