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Vic PD Chief faces complaint over Olympic spying

More fallout for Graham after undercover operation

by Zoe Blunt

Chief Jamie Graham. Photo: Don Denton
Chief Jamie Graham. Photo: Don Denton

Monday, December 7, 2009
Contact: Bruce Dean, 250-298-7256
Video and background links included

A Victoria man has filed a misconduct complaint regarding police chief Jamie Graham and undercover Victoria police operations.

On November 30, Graham told a crowd that a police officer drove a busload of people to Victoria for the Olympic Torch Relay protest October 30.  The remarks were recorded  by Vancouver 24 hours reporter Bob Mackin and made headlines across the region. (See link, below.)

On Friday, December 4, freelance photographer Bruce Dean filed a complaint with the Police Complaints Commission alleging that Graham violated the police code of conduct by exposing undercover operations at a security conference in Vancouver.

"In the past, the Victoria police have harassed me for taking photographs, and they used the excuse of protecting undercover officers," Dean says. "To turn around and make jokes about infiltrating protest groups exposes the department to public scorn and ridicule. Graham has damaged whatever integrity the police may have had."

Dean says Victoria police have harassed him several times while he was photographing street scenes. In 2007, officers detained him, seized his camera and deleted several images while informing a surprised Dean that one of the subjects in the photos was an undercover officer. The police complaints commission later ruled that the officers' actions were justified.

Dean's complaint against Graham reads, in part: "Disclosing or indentifying [an] undercover officer is a serious offense that can jeopardize officer safety. This was the justification used by the Police Complaints Commission for the violation of my Charter rights and for … destruction of evidence and my personal property." 

"If the remote possibility of disclosing the identity of an undercover officer is an offence serious enough to suspend my freedom against unreasonable search and seizure, then the Victoria Chief of Police must be held accountable. His intentional revelation can be no less serious than when I inadvertently photographed an undercover officer," the complaint concludes. (See links, below.)

In October 2009, Dean documented two other incidents that he says show police violated his rights. Two days before the Olympic Torch Relay began, he says undercover Victoria officers approached his 11-year-old daughter in the street and frightened her. (See link, below.) The same week, he was videotaping the Torch Relay when he was "assaulted" by a security officer.

Graham is no stranger to misconduct complaints. During his term as Vancouver police chief, Downtown Eastside residents made over 50 complaints that included police beatings, torture, and illegal strip searches. Police Complaint Commissioner Dirk Ryneveld found Graham did not cooperate with an RCMP investigation into substantiated complaints of brutality and misconduct. He faced discipline for three counts of discreditable conduct, but avoided penalties by retiring in 2007. (See link, below.)

Many in Victoria question why the outgoing Police Board installed Graham as Victoria's police chief in 2008, replacing the disgraced Paul Battershill.

In the run-up to the Vancouver Olympics in February, police actions are drawing public scrutiny. Earlier attempts to infiltrate anti-Olympic groups, the recent detention of US public radio host Amy Goodman, and new anti-free-speech bylaws have raised serious concerns about possible violations of civil liberties. Police seem to be targeting indigenous activists, anti-poverty groups, and homeless people for harassment. 

Last week, No2010 Victoria issued a challenge to Chief Graham to defend his policies and explain why his department is trying to infiltrate social justice advocates who are exercising their legal rights to criticize the government's abuse of indigenous people, the homeless, and the environment. (See link, below.)


Bob Mackin's report on Graham's remarks about the undercover officer (with audio)

Scanned images of Bruce Dean's December 4 complaint to the Police Complaints Commission.
Page 1:
Page 2:

Bruce Dean documents the official response to police officers accosting his young daughter in October 2009 (with audio)

"Ex-police chief Jamie Graham guilty of misconduct," Georgia Straight, Oct 23, 2008

No2010 Victoria challenges police chief to a debate about spies and civil liberties

Photo: Don Denton, News staff

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Paul Battershill

I strongly protest the reference made here to the "disgraced" Paul Battershill.


This is symptomatic of the nasty media bias that kept repeating the penalties IF the former Chief Constable had done something illegal ... but there never was anything illegal.


I understand that Battershill is an excellent human being and an outstandingly enlightened Chief Constable.


There are enough unsavoury characters in BC's capital city who need to be outed as "disgraced" ... without indulging in further harrassment of Paul Battershill.


I'd be very pleased if you could remove that word "disgraced" and just stick to the facts.  Thanks.

One of the many complaints

One of the many complaints about the way police operate in Canada is that they are "too secretive".

Victoria police chief Jamie Graham is just doing his part to pull back that veil.

Montebello Summit

This reminds me so much of the 3 Amigos Summit, August of 2007 in Montebello, QC.

Quebec and Ontario Police has infultrated all the groups planning to attend the Protest, had road blocks and delays set up along the highway to the summit.  They knew when and where we were going and had guards stationed near where each major group was staying.  I remember saying hello to the officers stationed just down the road from the driveway leading to the house where I was staying.  We also had police attempt to infultrate our actual camping area the morning of the event to attempt to find out the actual plan of action.  We forced them to leave.

And we all remember the rock weilding undercover agents provacateur.  Admitted to by the Quebec police.  Undercover agents were all over that summit.  And I expect no different in Vancouver for the Olympics. 

Unfortunately it also breeds mistrust amoung activist groups.  You never know who you can talk to, because everyone could possibly be undercover.  Makes it difficult to have a one front approach to things.  Not that there is just one issue surrounding the Olympics protests.



I suppose there's nothing disgraceful about a man who heads an organization composed of people who take someone acting out due their having some emotional difficulties,  strip him naked but for a hockey-helmet they then place on him no doubt to further embarass him, then hog-tie and throw him into a tiny cubicle type room that has thin "jailhouse" mattresses on the walls? Ostensibly, this is all supposed to serve as protection for the individual's own sake.  Yet strangely there were NO security cameras placed in the room so they could monitor the health of such prisoners....people one would think to be those MOST in need of constant supervision. 

So what we have here is this: Place in your minds eye an image of someone, blood running down their face coming from a small cut on the forehead. The person is stripped naked (albeit for the hockey helmet they found personally amusing), his hair matted onto and into his face due the blood streaming from the cut, but who is also unable to sweep this source of immense irritation from his eyes due their having previously hog-tied him so his arms and legs became immobilized behind him. Then imagine letting that person lie there like that for the next 8 -10 hours *despite* his not having done anything that would warrant their laying any charge whatsoever against him beyond whatever excuse it is they use to pick up people they dont like and have alcohol on their breath.

Do you really think this is the appropriate response VPD LEOs should take when confronted with someone exhibiting suicidal behavior? Is there nothing at all disgraceful about leading an organization that permits such psychotic behavior among the rank and file members?

Because despite a single LEO who upon looking into the cell through the tiny window that serves to monitor their prisoners,  lets out  "Oh My God!", not a single damned one of them took any action to put a stop to a scene that was subsequently reprised by soldiers at Abu Ghraib. And not surprisingly for those of us who have taken the time to educate ourselves about the kind of dysfunctional (to put it mildly) personality that is attracted to careers in the military and law-enforcement and who then display behaviours exhibited by VPD and Abu Ghraib; behavior typical of those whom psychologists call the "RWA-SDO embrace".  Soldiers court-martialed there it turns out also happened to wield this deviant brand of authority in their civilian lives as prison guards not surprisingly.

I for one, and I'm sure I'm not alone in this, cannot find anything even remotely "grace"-ful about a man who permits such sickness to take place under their watch. And until our political leaders force them to clean their ranks of such people instead of promite them as is now the case, then incidents like this will continue to happen on a regular basis. Given its aceptance now throughout law--enforcement, it's no wonder at all why LE  so strenously resists the formation of any outside watchdog organization.

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