CBC News – British Columbia – RCMP tampered with incriminating videotape: family

Shields added that the Edmonton police department had been asked to re-examine both the tape and the RCMP investigation that followed Willie’s death.

Shields said that any family request for copies of the tape could meet with a legal challenge.

“There is legal advice that has been received that the privacy rights of the deceased extends for 20 years,” he said.

“For that reason, the video tape should not be released. However, the final decision does rest with the Commissioner of the RCMP.”

So are we really supposed to believe that the RCMP wants to mount a legal challenge to block disclosure of a videotape showing the circumstances around a man dying in their custody to protect the privacy rights of the deceased? Especially when its his family that might try to have the tape made public? Tim Shields is earning his money on this one. That he can actually make that claim with a straight face is testament to his skills.



  1. Sileighty on

    I would almost say that the cops here are more crooked than out East.

    After all the loads of BS British Columbians are being fed by the RCMP and VPD on a daily basis, one can only conclude that their resolve on controversial operations is as follows:

    1. Don’t worry about considering the public’s reaction before they operate.

    2. Don’t consider the rights of anybody involved in their dealings, no matter what stake those people have in the circumstances.

    3. Generally ignore any and all moral code and operate on their own standards which are subject to random changes as needed to protect themselves in court and media.

    4. Cover their asses with every possible legal (or illegal) loophole no matter how controversial.

    Wow, this sounds a lot like how Harper runs his government and his party.

  2. From the 70s on

    Ah yes, RCMP Tim Shields, it seems to me I remember when he told us all on TV a few years ago how he believed he had busted someone with Marijuana LACED with Meth/Chemicals.

    Wow, Tim, was that one of the 14 samples Health Canada DAS (Drug Analysis Services who test all seized marijuana in Canada for the courts) has found out of 194,454 samples of marijuana they have tested over a 4 year period from 2003 to 2007 ?

  3. Anonymous on

    a pig is a pig and that’s that!

  4. Anonymous on

    The Canadian justice system is dirty from the bottom to the top, from the street cops who beat and shoot people to the Justice Minister who admitted in Kirk Tousaw’s presence at the Senate hearing that he doesn’t care about the facts about minimum sentences but only about doing what the Canadians he happened to talk to wanted. Those people must be his church congregation because they sure aren’t all the people who called and sent letters against C-15. He just ignored all of them, like he ignored the letters protesting Marc’s extradition. So what we have here is a self confessed Justice Minister acting on nothing more than his own personal opinions and those of the people he deems worthy of actually listening to, meaning his church congregation. In other words, he actually admitted to being a rogue politician basing Canadian justice system policy on his own whim and the whims of the few people he bothers to listen to. We now have absolute proof that the Harper government is not a government of the people, unless those people happen to be on their “listen to” list. If you’re not on their list of people who have similarly insane policy goals your letters and calls will be simply ignored. How can Canadians stand for this kind of blatant corruption and influence peddling to to a select group of Canadians. If you’re not a Christian, they just ignore you. If you’re a Hindu, you’re just shit out of luck.

  5. Fatigues on

    To address Kirk’s initial question: yes, there is something fishy here. It certianly does not pass the smell test.

    Still, if the cops want to play it this way, it’s not going to get them anywhere except deeper into the pile of excrement they evidently already adjudge themselves to be in.

    Option #1 – The Coroner’s Inquest: The obvious free (as in “beer”) solution to this is a Coroner’s Inquest. Coroner’s Inquests have subpoena power rights on all documents (this means paper, e-mails, photos, videptape, – everything) and witnesses alike, and all discussions about privacy rights go out the window. Plus, it’s more or less a free discovery before the fact for the benefit of the citizen — paid for by the province.

    Sounds ideal, right?

    Which is why they almost never happen when it looks likely that a plaintiff will be suing a public official as a result of the findings of the Inquest. (Funny about that.)

    Of course, you need a co-operative coroner to order one in the first place. In most cases, that’s not easy, especially as the coroner tends to be closely allied with the police as a consequence of their working relationship.

    Option #2 – Wrongful Death Action: This alternative is direct, in-your-face and utterly unavoidable. The only person you need to persuade to co-operate in order to obtain the tape is the one you simply have to pay. Wit ha cheque, that person is only-to-happy-to-oblige: your lawyer.

    The direct and certain way to gain access to the tape is to commence a wrongful death lawsuit. The videotape must then be disclosed. There are no choices here and “privacy” rights are irrelevant. Discovery rights trumps all other interests, without exception, other than privilege (and privilege cannot apply under these facts).

    There are potentially legal costs to pay if the plaintiff can’t prove the action of course. Still, for all but the most frivolous and vexatious of cases, a dismissal on a without costs basis is usually easy to obtain for a plaintiff from overworked Crowns. That said, the best way to avoid these costs is a simple variant on the direct Statement of Claim by proceeding first to method #3.

    Option #3 – Without Prejudice Letter with Promise of Lawsuit to Follow: The third option is even cheaper. A letter from your lawyer is delivered, on a without prejudice basis, demanding a copy of the tape be produced, fortwith. If a copy of the tape is not disclosed within seven days, THEN service of the Statement of Claim is promised. For best effect (albeit at the cost of paying the lawyer to draft it), enclose a copy of the draft claim in unissued form. Give them seven days to produce the tape, else issue and service of the claim follows as surely as day follows night.

    Cops have two choices:

    A – Show the tape – which gets client access and avoids potential legal costs in the event the tape does not support a finding of wrongful death.

    B – They don’t produce the tape – which tells you everything you need to know. Issue the claim and serve it. Go get em.

    The police will be forced to produce the tape immediately. It simply cannot be avoided.

    There is no escape from Option No. 3, as

    – If they destroy the tape following receipt of the letter, you now have a prima facie case for an action for spoliation;
    – If they don’t produce it, proceed to issue Claim and obtain tape under dicovery rights;

    ….(a) if tape support claim, proceed to trial;
    ….(b) if tape does not support claim, you have without prejudice letter to assist in getting client off the hook for costs;

    – If they do produce tape, then
    ….(a) if tape support claim, procced to have claim issued;
    ….(b) if tape does not suppot claim, well, now you know without the burden of having to pay the police’s legal costs.

    End Result: There is simply no way to bury evidence of this nature under Canadian law. One wonders why these bozos are even bothering to try.

  6. Anonymous on

    I’m in law school in New Brunswick right now… this speaks to me like you would not believe.

  7. Adimus on

    This wouldn’t be nearly so infuriating if it wasn’t for the fact that I feel like most people are actually placated by the RCMP response of “we’re just protecting his privacy”. If the family wants it out then I hardly see how a dead man’s privacy is of more concern then determining the level of corruption in our police forces. Let it be known I wish all materials related to my death (when such a time arrives) released in relation to any possible investigation into police conduct. Maybe we should have a card like that. Like for organ donation lol

  8. Anonymous on

    Looks like the RCMP on the West Coast are just as corrupt as the East Coast RCMP

  9. Anonymous on

    You have no rights when you die. People can libel and slander you and there is nothing that anyone can do about it