September 19, 2014 - 2:59 PM
KAMLOOPS – One of the guards who worked during an August 2010 incident in city cells told a Kamloops Supreme courtroom Friday morning he was frustrated when he did not receive direction on how to split up two female prisoners having sex.
Kevin Brumm was a relatively new guard at the Kamloops RCMP city cells, but had experience in corrections before; he worked as a guard in Calgary. At his previous workplaces, Brumm knew of a “no-touch policy” between prisoners, but didn't know if Kamloops had one. He said he was “disappointed” with his superiors when the two females weren’t split up.
Those superiors included guard David Tompkins and Cpl. Rick Brown.
Kenneth Peter “Rick” Brown is on trial for a breach of trust charge. Tompkins pleaded guilty in 2013 to the same charge and received a one-year conditional sentence.
David Clark, who shared evidence on Thursday, said he noticed the two females were “friendly” when he left the detachment around 3:30 a.m. He notified Brumm about the women when he was relieved from his shift.
Brumm said when he did his cell checks he noticed the two girls were cuddling each other on the floor of the drunk-tank. He said he either banged or kicked on the door and told them to “knock it off.” He told Crown prosecutor Jas Gahunia he wanted the women to know he was “keeping an eye on them.”
“They just giggled. I carried on with my checks,” said Brumm.
Brumm told the court it was relatively common for prisoners to lie close to one another as a way to keep warm because of the cold prison floors.
Once Brumm finished his checks, he sat in the guard office where several monitors displayed video security footage from the cell block.
Brumm said Brown came into the office, looked up at the monitor and said “what the fuck?” Brumm then looked and said he was shocked to see one woman with her pants down.
“I’m not sure what the other one was doing,” said Brumm. “(Brown) looked surprised... I was surprised, too.”
Brown enlarged the image on the screen and said “'let’s just see that nobody gets hurt,'" Brumm said.
Tompkins arrived seconds later and looked at the monitor. Brumm described the tone between the three of them as “somber and quiet.”
“We were all shocked,” said Brumm. “I said 'we’ve got to move them.'”
Tompkins dropped to his haunches on the office wall and said “'we’ve got to move them, but where?'" Brumm recalled. "'We’ve got nowhere to move them.'”
Earlier in the trial, the court learned the cells were overcrowded on August 18 with 17 prisoners confined to 14 cells.
Brumm said he did not watch much of the video; he was concerned about where to put the prisoners, if separated, he said.
Tompkins made a call to the watch clerk upstairs and shortly afterward several other officers arrived in the office for, what Brumm called, a “minute-and-a-half long party.”
Brumm said there was joking in reference to the women, pointing at the monitor. He described the conversation as "guy talk" about “boobs.” Rick Beveridge, the watch clerk, lifted up the front of his shirt and bounced up and down, he said.
Brumm agreed with Brown’s lawyer Glen Orris who said “jokes in some of those situations can be a defence mechanism.” The jokes and the conversation soon veered from sex to “everyday sort of stuff," he said.
“Generally most people were not interested,” said Brumm. “Some people were embarrassed.”
But Brumm was frustrated there was no intervention.
“I didn’t know what to do. There was no direction,” he said. “Rick Brown was there so there was no one else to call.”
Brumm said he did not document the incident in the cell’s log book.
When asked if he knew of any similar instances at the detachment, Brumm said about a month before the incident, two women stripped naked in the drunk tank and lied on top of each other. Brumm, who was the only guard working at the time, called officers upstairs and the two were separated.
“We had cells at the time so it was easy,” Brumm said.
The trial is expected to conclude next week.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014