MIL Military cops acted incorrectly in arrest, inquiry determines

Discussion in 'On Topic' started by Mint Berry Crunch, May 5, 2005.

  1. Mint Berry Crunch

    Mint Berry Crunch Active Member

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    Military cops are in hot water after arresting one of their own.

    The Military Police Complaints Commission of Canada has ruled that the arrest of military policemen Cpl. Tim Hamm in December 2000 at 4 Wing Cold Lake was unlawful because his colleagues didn't know why they were taking him in.

    "The direction from (their) supervisor amounted, in essence, to 'tell him to report to the guardhouse and if he refuses, arrest him,' " notes the commission's findings.

    "Further, by failing to confirm why the supervisor wanted the member to report to the guardhouse or the reason for the arrest, the two military police members were unable to properly advise the member of the reason he was being arrested."

    The commission did not look at Hamm's claims that the two military police officers also wanted to take his 11-month-old baby daughter with them to the guardhouse because there was no one else in the house to look after her.

    Hamm contacted the Sun shortly after his arrest. He said he had been on stress leave when his supervisor phoned him and told him to prepare for an overseas deployment.

    The commission noted the conversation became heated and Hamm hung up on his boss. That's when the two military police officers were sent to fetch him.

    An inquiry by the military police's National Investigation Service determined Hamm's supervisor had been wrong to attempt to recall him to duty while on sick leave. But a court martial cleared the supervisor of the charge.

    The NIS found no evidence to support suggestions from Hamm's brother, also a military police officer, that Hamm had been victimized by his superiors.

    Both Hamm and his brother lodged complaints about the December incident and found themselves under investigation by the Deputy Provost Marshal Professional Standards office.

    The commission ruled that investigation was unfair because the pair were not told they were suspected of committing service offences.

    "In failing to designate them as subjects of complaint, the arrested member and his brother were deprived of their basic right to natural justice, their right to appreciate the potential jeopardy they were facing, and their right to defend themselves against the allegations," noted the report.

    Military police spokesman Capt. Mark Giles said lessons learned from the case are now being incorporated into professional development courses.

    He added that the two military police officers were not acting as peace officers when they made the arrest but had been operating as ordinary members of the Canadian Forces acting under orders to deal with a breach of discipline.
     

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