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Police association slams special investigations director

The following is the continuation of SooToday.com's article about Ontario Provincial Police Association reaction to comments made by Special Investigations Unit Director Ian Scott. To return to the beginning of this article, click here .

The following is the continuation of SooToday.com's article about Ontario Provincial Police Association reaction to comments made by Special Investigations Unit Director Ian Scott.

To return to the beginning of this article, click here.

************************* "Shortly after the incident, the subject officer was instructed not to write up his notes in his memo book until he spoke with Ontario Provincial Police Association (OPPA) legal counsel. The association lawyer advised the officer to prepare notes which only he would review. Once the lawyer approved the notes, the officer wrote up his memo book two days later based on a combination of his confidential notes to counsel and discussions with him.

"The only witness to the shooting, the second officer, was also advised not to contemporaneously write up his notes in his memo book. He too wrote up a set of notes which he shared with the same legal counsel before entering them into his memo book two days later. Neither officer provided the SIU investigators with their first set of notes.

"This note writing process flies in the face of the two main indicators of reliability of notes: independence and contemporaneity. The notes do not represent an independent recitation of the material events. The first drafts have been 'approved' by an OPPA lawyer who represented all of the involved officers in this matter, a lawyer who has a professional obligation to share information among his clients when jointly retained by them.

“Nor are the notes the most contemporaneous ones: they were not written as soon as practicable and the first drafts remain in the custody of their lawyer. I am denied the opportunity to compare the first draft with the final entries. Accordingly, the only version of the material events are OPPA lawyer approved notes."

Director Scott concluded, "I have a statutory responsibility to conduct independent investigations and to decide whether a police officer probably committed a criminal offence. In this most serious case, I have no informational base I can rely upon. Because I cannot conclude what probably happened, I cannot form reasonable grounds that the subject officer in this matter committed a criminal offence in the firearms death of Mr. Schaeffer."

The SIU is a civilian agency that investigates cases of serious injuries (including allegations of sexual assault) and deaths involving the police.

Pursuant to section 113 of the Police Services Act, the Director of the SIU is mandated to consider whether a criminal offence has been committed by an officer(s) in connection with the incident under investigation and, where warranted by the evidence, to cause a criminal charge or charges to be laid against the officer(s).

The director reports the results of investigations to the Attorney General.

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