Report says Kamloops RCMP Cpl. "in awe" of female sex act
Cpl. Rick Brown, the senior Kamloops RCMP member facing a criminal charge on allegations he and fellow officers watched a female sex act in police cells, appeared to be in "awe or disbelief laughing" when watching the sex act.
That allegation is among many contained in a report into the incident, released on Wednesday, Aug. 29, by the Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP.
In its report, the commission quotes Kamloops RCMP Const. Bryce Fleghen as saying Brown asked him to follow Brown to the cell's guardroom, where Brown directed Fleghen's attention to the video screen showing what amounted to a 10-minute sex act between two women who had been arrested separately for public drunkenness on Aug. 18, 2010.
Brown, constables Evan Elgee and Stephen Zaharia and City of Kamloops guard David Tompkins are charged with breach of trust.
The court proceedings have been delayed since RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson denied the officer's request for legal funding this summer, leaving the three Mounties without legal representation after their lawyers quit the case.
The commission's report notes video footage from the hall outside the guardroom shows seven Mounties and guards were present in the guardroom or at the doorway looking into the guardroom for some time during the approximately 10-minute period while the two women were engaged in explicit sexual activities.
The report says Tompkins was present for essentially the entire time, Brown was there for about seven minutes, Elgee was present for approximately five minutes and Zaharia was there for about five minutes.
The report also notes the two women were arrested at separate Kamloops homes on the night of Aug. 18, 2010, and that the first woman brought to the Battle Street detachment by constables Carla Peters, Zaharia and Fieghen has claimed she was HIV-positive.
Peters said she heard the woman make the claim and the commission's report notes: "The RCMP's Prisoner Report (Form C-13) in respect of Ms. X noted in the section titled 'Medication required, unusual characteristics, distinguishing marks, etc.' the following: '2010-04-20 Self Proclaimed HIV positive.'"
The second woman arrested has since filed a lawsuit against the RCMP, the other female prisoner, the City of Kamloops, the federal and provincial governments and seven men who allegedly watched the encounter on surveillance video.
The woman claims she was too intoxicated to consent to the sexual act and said she was never informed of the other woman's claim to be HIV-positive.
As for the report's findings: "The commission found that, by allowing the physical contact between the two individuals in custody to continue and engaging in voyeuristic behaviour, the RCMP members demonstrated a lack of professionalism and respect that not only offended the spirit of the RCMP's policy on video monitoring of prisoners, but was inconsistent with the RCMP's core values," said Ian McPhail, the commission's interim chairman.
"Further, we found that the senior member present [Brown] demonstrated a marked lack of leadership by failing to intervene."
The commission's investigation was launched on Sept. 28, 2010, following a complaint from the Elizabeth Fry Society of Greater Vancouver, which alleged that "senior staff at the detachment failed to manage personnel responsibly and were complacent in the care and custody of inmates."
The commission's investigation also revealed that there were inconsistencies in the interpretation of the RCMP's external-investigation policy and a failure to recognize issues that could lead to the perception of bias in situations in which the RCMP is investigating its own members.
The commission did find the RCMP's response to the incident and its criminal investigation into the conduct of the members involved were reasonable, timely and thorough.
The commission has made four recommendations:
1) That Kamloops RCMP Cpl. Rick Brown receive operational guidance concerning the importance of appropriate leadership and supervision;
2) That the RCMP consider amending the external investigation or review policy to provide additional guidance on how to determine when circumstances are "serious or sensitive";
3) That the RCMP amend its external investigation or review policy to reflect a requirement to require consistent documentation of decisions pursuant to that policy;
4) That Kamloops RCMP Insp. Yves Lacasse receive operational guidance regarding the proper identification of issues involving the impartiality of RCMP member-involved investigations.
While RCMP Commissioner Paulson agreed with the commission's findings, he rejected its call for greater guidance as to what constitutes a "serious or sensitive" matter.
The entire report can be read here.