'Plainly racist': BC RCMP officer avoids conduct review for sending offensive messages | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

Would you like to subscribe to our newsletter?

Current Conditions Mainly Sunny  37.5°C

Vernon News

'Plainly racist': BC RCMP officer avoids conduct review for sending offensive messages

A BC Mountie, who was a member of a private chat group that contained racist, sexist and harassing comments, has had an internal conduct review dropped after police investigators took too long to act.

According to a recently published May 29 RCMP Conduct Board decision, four officers were formerly accused for their involvement in allegedly making racist, sexist and harassing comments about other police officers and members of the public.

The messages were sent over an internal RCMP messaging system, as well as a private group on the app Signal. The messages came to light when an RCMP officer complained to his superiors that some of the messages targeted him along with other officers and members of the public.

One of the officers involved, Coquitlam RCMP Const. Cameron Lang, was issued an internal police Conduct Authority notice alleging workplace harassment, behaviour likely to discredit the force and the unauthorized use of police equipment. The allegations stem from January 2019 to May 2021.

Three other members of the group, Constables Philip Dick, Ian Solven and Mersad Mesbah are also facing an RCMP Conduct Authority hearing for similar allegations.

READ MORE: JONESIE: How Canadian news became victims in its own story

The decision said Const. Lang reported himself to his superiors when the group chat became known and admitted his messages in the group would "not look good," although were not as offensive as some others in the group.

Const. Lang said he believed he may have made an "offensive comment" which may have contravened the RCMP Code of Conduct.

An investigator's report referred to messages in the groups being "plainly racist" or having sexist content.

The decision didn't give any examples of what the messages were but said that Lang posted 814 messages to the group. There was only one allegation that he made a racist or "otherwise offensive" remark about members of the public.

Altogether there were 12 members in the group and investigators indicated that the "inappropriate behaviour" was taking place in person, on the RCMP internal messaging system and in the chat group.

An investigator stated that six members of the chat group, who are not facing disciplinary action, have some "culpability" for failing to report what was going on.

READ MORE: iN RESPONSE: Readers have their say

The decision gave a detailed breakdown of what took place when the first RCMP reported the behaviour to Insp. Darren Carr who in turn reported it to RCMP Chief Supt. Michel Legault.

The Chief Supt. then mandated a Code of Conduct investigation.

However, it was almost a year later when investigators got a search warrant to pull the Signal messages off the complainant's phone.

It was nine months later that Lang was issued a Conduct Authority notice and initiated a disciplinary hearing into the allegations.

Lang then appealed arguing that the hearing notice hadn't to be issued within one year of the investigation starting.

READ MORE: No jail for violent attack; judge cites Indigenous Vernon man's past

A panel of three Conduct Board members agreed, saying the internal investigation hadn't kept within the one-year limitation period and dismissed all the allegations.

The decision made no mention as to what happened to the other three constables also facing a similar Conduct Authority hearing.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Ben Bulmer or call (250) 309-5230 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

We welcome your comments and opinions on our stories but play nice. We won't censor or delete comments unless they contain off-topic statements or links, unnecessary vulgarity, false facts, spam or obviously fake profiles. If you have any concerns about what you see in comments, email the editor in the link above. SUBSCRIBE to our awesome newsletter here.

News from © iNFOnews, 2024

  • Popular kamloops News
View Site in: Desktop | Mobile