Pubdate: Fri, 19 Dec 2014
Source: Victoria News (CN BC)
Copyright: 2014 Black Press
Author: Andrea Peacock
Cited: Law Enforcement Against Prohibition:


The Victoria Police Department is now the sole respondent in a human 
rights complaint filed by VicPD Cst. David Bratzer.

Bratzer filed a human rights complaint against VicPD, former police 
chief Jamie Graham and Insp. Jamie Pearce in 2013 for restricting his 
public communications as a member of the U.S.-based organization 
LEAP, Law Enforcement Against prohibition. Bratzer is an outspoken 
member, advocating for drug legalization.

The B.C. Human Rights Tribunal dismissed Graham and Pearce from 
Bratzer's complaint on Dec. 16.

In his complaint, Bratzer said he was restricted from participating 
in a harm reduction forum at Victoria city hall in 2010 by Graham, 
and was told by Graham and Pearce to seek approval before speaking 
publicly on matters that contradict the police board policy positions.

Tribunal member Robert Blasina said the Tribunal decided to dismiss 
Graham and Pearce from the complaint because it would neither benefit 
Bratzer according to the Code, nor further the purposes of the Code.

"The allegations against Chief Graham and Insp. Pearce, if proven, do 
not indicate a level of individual culpability that would justify 
their inclusion as individual respondents," wrote Blasina.

However, Blasina also wrote, "There is no dispute that VicPD, Chief 
Graham and Insp. Pearce have sought to restrict, and have restricted 
Cst. Bratzer's activity as a member of LEAP, and that VicPD continues 
to restrict his activity."

Blasina added, "That [Bratzer] expresses his beliefs outside of 
working hours, does not unequivocally excuse him from the scrutiny of 
his employer. I find that Chief Graham and Cst. Pearce were acting 
within the scope of their managerial authority on behalf of the VicPd."

Graham is now retired, and Pearce no longer supervises Bratzer.

A date for a hearing involving VicPD as the sole respondent has not been set.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom