September 12, 2014 - 8:16 AM
It's an odd scene in Kamloops Supreme Courtroom 5D this week.
You know the story by now: A cop is on trial facing a serious charge of breach of trust. He was the guy in charge on a busy night four years ago when two drunk women were placed in a cell together. They start having sex while the cops watch on a monitor to witness the bizarre scene instead of intervening. Police investigated, charged the officer and here we are at trial.
And now the public, reporters, the judge and the investigating officer are all in court... watching the exact same video! Going over it piece by piece, complete with helpful narration from the investigating officer, including his blunt and incomplete descriptions of the sexual activity.
Of course watching the video isn't the alleged crime. The charge is breaching trust—the judge will decide if more was expected of the officers in that situation.
Now like most police criticism, it's important to remember that what happened that night—on all sides—was in the heat of the moment. Live and in colour. That scene was much, much different to the armchair quarterbacking in court, most notably the presence of women, some in courtroom robes, the wife of the accused officer. Everyone quietly took notes under an uncomfortable awkwardness engulfing the room.
This footage generated no controversy when it was first viewed by the officers. People laughed and, at the time, no one really thought about what could happen afterward. Yet here we are in Supreme Court - watching it again. The tape never changed, but the tone certainly has.
It's interesting how the setting you're in and the company you're joined by can change something static.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014