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Complaint of Phone Video Deletion Leads to SiRT Investigation
In late November, 2015, SiRT received a complaint filed by legal counsel on behalf of a young male who was arrested by three members of the Halifax Regional Police (HRP) on June 30, 2015. At the time the male was 17-years-old and a resident of the Reigh Allen Centre in Dartmouth, where the arrest took place.
After preliminary investigation, SiRT has confirmed the complaint relates to a claim that after the young man’s arrest one of the HRP officers allegedly deleted a video of the arrest that had been recorded by a third person on their phone. As a result, SiRT has determined this allegation of a potential obstruction of justice meets SiRT’s mandate to investigate matters of significant public interest.
The Serious Incident Response Team is responsible for investigating all serious incidents involving police in Nova Scotia, whether or not there is an allegation of wrongdoing. Investigations are under the direction and control of independent civilian director Ron MacDonald.
The team can independently begin an investigation after a referral from a chief of police, the head of the RCMP in Nova Scotia or the Minister of Justice. It can also investigate after a complaint from the public.
The Police Act requires the director to file a public report summarizing the result of the investigation within three months after it is finished.
Ron MacDonald, QC