Thursday, January 7, 2010

Ostracized and blackballed

David Eby blogs about criminal charges, or, more correctly, the typical lack of criminal charges, against police officers accused of wrongdoing. Eby links to a CBC story that he calls remarkable. It reports on an Edmonton officer who claims she was the target of bullying and hazing:

"There was a code of silence," Prefontaine told the provincial Law Enforcement Review Board. "I was told that it was in my best interest to keep my mouth shut and let it go."

Asked what the code of silence was, Prefontaine said an officer was not to report inappropriate or questionable behaviour by another officer.

Out of fear of being "ostracized and blackballed," Prefontaine, then a 10-year-veteran, stuck to the code when she first joined the squad in 2003. She admitted under questioning that she did not make notes or file reports about any of the alleged misconduct she witnessed.

She said the code was enforced within the squad through "intimidation, bullying and outright punitive punishment, both direct and indirect.
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