RCMP investigates allegations of police misconduct
Statement by Assistant Commissioner Brenda Butterworth-Carr
Good afternoon. I am Assistant Commissioner Brenda Butterworth-Carr and I am the acting Commanding Officer of the RCMP in British Columbia.
I am here today to provide a statement with respect to allegations of police misconduct in connection with a file that has been unfolding within the last 40 hours. This remains a very fluid and ongoing investigation and this is what I can confirm at this time.
On Wednesday September 7, 2016 the Surrey RCMP received a call before 10:00 p.m. with respect to an incident playing out on social media near a Mall on King George Highway. RCMP members attended the scene and subsequently launched an investigation, which includes allegations of child luring and sexual exploitation involving a member of the RCMP.
Within a few hours, we were able to identify the suspect officer and immediate steps were taken to locate him and any evidence to further the investigation. In addition to the criminal investigation, an internal Code of Conduct under the RCMP Act was also initiated.
The investigation is being led by the Surrey RCMP Professional Standards Unit, with support from the BC Integrated Child Exploitation Unit and Surrey RCMP Major Crimes.
Over the past 40 hours, investigators have identified potential witnesses, seized a number of exhibits and they continue to conduct interviews and assess the materials gathered to date.
Last night, as the investigation progressed the suspect officer was arrested and he was taken into custody, where he currently remains. A series of charges are pending.
The member in question has been removed from duty and suspended. His status will be continually assessed based on the results of the Criminal Code and internal Code of Conduct investigation. His name cannot be released at this time as charges have not been approved by Crown Counsel.
I want to be very clear that if the allegations are substantiated, we will be immediately taking steps to separate ourselves from this individual. These allegations are egregious and not in keeping with what we expect from our employees. There is no place in the RCMP for this type of behaviour or individual.
I would also like to take this time to ensure there is absolute clarity that the police officer we are dealing with is not – not Cst. Dan Johnson as some individuals have indicated on social media. The misinformation and unfair assumptions attached to Dan have been extremely difficult for him and his family and is an example of why we ask for an investigation, due process and formal charges to be considered before any name is discussed publicly including on social media.
These are serious allegations that are subject to judicial process and it should not be about shaming. I really appreciate that the media were responsible in your reporting and did not perpetuate this misinformation.
As I indicated this remains an active and ongoing investigation and I continue to be briefed along the way. I have provided you with all the information I have at this time and we will issue further updates as they become available.
Assistant Commissioner Brenda Butterworth-Carr