Arrest in Brandon prompts 3 separate investigations into officer conduct

A 2014 arrest by the Brandon Police Service prompted three separate investigations into police conduct, with one resulting in criminal charges, according to Manitoba’s police watchdog.

A news release from the Independent Investigation Unit says the incident took place on Nov. 22, 2014, when three officers went to a local bar for a report of an assault, and took two males into custody. An off-duty officer, who is related to the two males, then showed up and released them from custody. The police watchdog says one of the males then alleged he was assaulted by one of the officers while handcuffed.

The Winnipeg Police Service investigated this allegation, as it was before the IIU was operational, and found no evidence to suggest an assault had taken place. The IIU says the work by the Winnipeg police eventually turned into an investigation into the conduct of the off-duty officer who came to the scene. In July 2016 the Manitoba Prosecution Service authorized for charges to proceed against the off-duty officer for attempting to obstruct justice and obstructing a police officer. A trial date was set for November 2017, but the charges were ultimately stayed.

Brandon police then did an internal review of the 2014 arrest, and looked specifically at statements from one of the arresting officers . According to the IIU, police found the officer was inaccurate and potentially purposely misleading in order to cause the criminal investigation against the off-duty cop.

This would constitute public mischief, so the IIU began an investigation in December 2018.

The watchdog determined the officer should not face any charges, as Winnipeg police began their investigation into the off-duty officer well before they spoke with the arresting officer, and there was no indication the officer mislead police on purpose. 

The IIU’s complete report on the incident can be found on its website.