Conduct Case MPCC‑2015‑015 Summary

In February 2012, the complainant in this matter was arrested by members of the military police (MP) for obstructing a peace officer in the performance of his duties. The MP were on a Canadian Forces base, carrying out a program to prevent drunk driving, known as the “Reduce Impaired Driving Everywhere” (R.I.D.E.) program.

In the weeks following his arrest, the complainant filed a complaint with the Military Police Complaints Commission (MPCC) alleging many breaches by the MP members involved in his arrest. This complaint was forwarded to the Canadian Forces Provost Marshal (CFPM), who is initially responsible for dealing with conduct complaints pursuant to subsection 250.26(1) of the National Defence Act (NDA). An investigator from the Professional Standards (PS) Office of the Canadian Forces Military Police Group (CF MP Gp) conducted a review of the complaint and examined four allegations against the MP members involved in the complainant’s arrest to determine whether they had breached paragraphs 4(c), (d), (h) and (l) of the Military Police Professional Code of Conduct.

In October 2014, the Deputy Commander of the CF MP Gp sent a letter to the complainant advising him that the PS investigation concerning his complaint of February 2012 had determined that two allegations, under paragraphs 4(d) and (l) of the Military Police Professional Code of Conduct, were partially founded, whereas the two others, under paragraphs 4(c) and (h) of the Military Police Professional Code of Conduct, were unfounded.

In November 2014, the complainant, through his legal representative, submitted a written request for a review to the MPCC. However, the MPCC held this request for review in abeyance until November 2015 pending the findings of the investigations by the Canadian Forces National Investigation Service (CFNIS) and the PS Office in related cases.

In January 2015 and February 2015, the complainant filed complaints with the MPCC, alleging negligence by the PS investigator in conducting his investigation and by other MPs not involved in this matter, in connection with his arrest in February 2012.

In April 2015, the complainant, through his legal representative, advised the MPCC that he wanted to file a separate complaint about the PS investigator’s conduct during his investigation, and not only call into question the findings of the PS Office’s investigation.

The MPCC reviewed the allegations made by the complainant in his complaints in January 2015 and February 2015, and grouped them into five allegations against the PS investigator, namely, that he (the PS investigator)

  1. did not take adequate measures to identify the third military police officer present at the complainant’s arrest;
  2. should have consulted the video recordings of the security camera at the base’s main entrance and the surveillance footage on the base;
  3. gave reasons to justify why the surveillance footage at the base’s main entrance was unavailable, which contradicted the reasons given by the CFNIS investigator;
  4. did not consult the radio communications on the evening of the complainant’s arrest; and
  5. did not recover the surveillance footage from the police car camera.

The MPCC forwarded the complainant’s complaints about the conduct of the PS investigator to the CFPM in February 2015 for review and an initial investigation.

In May 2015, the Officer in charge of Professional Standards informed the MPCC that the PS Office considered that the role played by the PS investigator during his investigation was administrative, and therefore excluded policing duties that could be the subject of conduct complaints under Part IV of the NDA. Consequently, the PS Office confirmed that it would not carry out the review and initial investigation of the complaint.

In July 2015, the MPCC wrote to the Officer in charge of Professional Standards to inform him of the Commission’s position on this issue, namely that the MPCC is of the opinion that the duties performed by the PS investigators, e.g., when they carry out investigations of conduct complaints under Part IV of the NDA, constitute policing duties. The MPCC acknowledged, however, that there has been a long-standing difference of opinion between the MPCC and the PS Office with regard to the interpretation of the NDA. The MPCC informed the Officer in charge of Professional Standards that the MPCC would proceed to make an initial review of the complaint.

After a review and an investigation, the MPCC found that the allegations against the PS investigator were unsubstantiated. The MPCC did not make any recommendation about this matter.

The MPCC notes that the CFPM accepted all of the findings of the MPCC with regard to this complaint.

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