watching the watchers

Ottawa must find a way to investigate the RCMP without using the RCMP. This is not a new idea. It is floated every time the cops investigate themselves.

Ottawa must find a way to investigate the RCMP without using the RCMP.

This is not a new idea. It is floated every time the cops investigate themselves.

Now, it must be raised again.

Why?

Because, the RCMP had to rely on their own officers to investigate the death of Raymond Silverfox.

And they cleared themselves.

The 43-year-old man died after a stint in the RCMP drunk tank, where he was left to wallow in his own puke and excrement for 13 hours, jeered and mocked by the guards and deprived of even a simple sleeping mat.

Moaning, curled in the fetal position, he was told by his captors to sleep in his own filth.

In the end, Silverfox finally grew quiet – his heart quit. Emergency Medical Services was called and he was pronounced dead in hospital two hours later.

In a few short hours, he’d developed a fatal infection in his lungs after inhaling his own vomit while curled up on that cold cell floor.

He died of natural causes, according to the coroner.

And the RCMP started its own investigation to figure out if any of its own officers broke the law while Silverfox was in custody.

That investigation, which was supervised by the Commission of Public Complaints Against the RCMP, wrapped up in April 2009.

It found no reason to lay charges against anyone who supervised Silverfox.

Then something odd happened.

A year later, new video and audio evidence from a cell-block camera turned up, revealing snide, callous and mean-spirited remarks from on-duty officers toward Silverfox.

The deeply troubling tape was overlooked by RCMP on the first pass.

Now, after reviewing this new information, the RCMP has again cleared its own officers. They did not break the law.

Can you trust the decision?

What choice do you have? But you can be excused for being skeptical.

This nutty system is unfair to all – most of all the RCMP, which can never fully clear itself of taint following a scandal.

A new system must be developed involving an independent investigation team with no ties to the RCMP.

It’s not a new idea.

But it’s an essential first step if Canada is to rebuild trust in our national police force.

Just Posted

Yukon government puts $530k towards Gladue report pilot project

Three-year pilot project will train people to write Gladue reports for Indigenous offenders

Greyhound cleared to end routes in Yukon, northern B.C.

Company says ridership on nine routes has dropped 30 per cent in last five years

Yukon Quest wraps up with awards banquet

Commando and Dutch win Golden Harness Award, juicy steaks

Tagish dog owner says she surrendered, euthanized 10 dogs

Animal health unit, however, says only 8 dogs have been surrendered in 2018

No Resource Gateway construction work this season, YG says

‘We’re not as advanced as we would have liked to have been but we still are advancing’

Former Whitehorse RCMP officer gets conditional discharge for sexual assault

Judge Richard Scheider sided with the defence’s argument that conditional discharge was appropriate

Tagish dog rescue owner asks court to change dog surrender order

Shelley Cuthbert is asking for changes to an order requiring her to surrender 10 dogs per month

Dangerous offender hearing underway for former Yukon man who sexually abused 13 girls

The man pleaded guilty to sexually abusing 13 girls over seven years in the Yukon, B.C. and Ontario

Team Yukon has strong showing at Whistler Super Youth and Timber Tour

‘Anwyn absolutely destroyed the competition’

Yukon skier turns in personal best at Junior World Championships

‘It was another great international racing experience’

Most Canadians believe journalism plays critical role in democracy: poll

Survey suggests 94 per cent of Canadians feel journalism plays ‘important’ part

Yukon child care deal to fund grandparents, courses for caregivers

‘How this is completely going to look, we’re still working on’

Most Read