This conduct complaint arose from an altercation which took place on a school bus travelling from the local town high school to the Canadian Forces Base (CFB). The two minors involved in the altercation were children of Canadian Forces (CF) members. As a result of the altercation, one of the minors was charged with one count of assault and two counts of uttering death threats. The minor charged is the son of the complainant. Four months prior to the incident, the complainant had been employed as the acting Officer Commanding (OC) of the base military police (MP) detachment.
The complainant’s conduct complaint and request for review raised the following allegations against a MP Corporal:
- That the incident occurred outside of MP jurisdiction and should not have been investigated by the MP;
- That the MP Corporal charged the minor in order to retaliate for previous actions taken by the complainant against the MP Corporal while the complainant was the acting OC of the base MP detachment; and
- That the MP Corporal failed to properly and fully investigate the incident.
After conducting a thorough investigation of the complaint, the Commission determined that the complainant’s allegations were not substantiated, with the exception of the third allegation which was partially substantiated. In particular, the MP Corporal’s investigation was lacking in several respects: insufficient note taking, issues concerning the proper seizure and handling of evidence and the failure to interview witnesses to the altercation. The most notable omission was the failure to attempt to interview the accused minor prior to laying charges.
While the investigation of the incident was lacking in some respects, the MP Corporal did have sufficient grounds on which to proceed with laying of Criminal Code charges. The assault (i.e. the accused spitting on the victim) is clearly visible on the video surveillance recording of the incident from the school bus.
The Commission also remarked on the lack of supervisory direction given to the MP Corporal in the investigation of this incident. As well, the Commission commented on the inappropriateness of the actions of the MP complainant in conducting his own private investigation, including interviews, with both civilians and MP members.
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