Abbotsford Police officer cleared of misconduct

The Office of the Public Complaint Commissioner has reviewed a complaint stemming from a 2009 strip search in Abbotsford.

An Abbotsford Police officer has been cleared by the Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner (OPCC) of misconduct related to a strip search in 2009.

The officer, whose name has been redacted in the OPCC ruling on the matter, had been accused of abusing her authority during the traffic stop of a suspected drug dealer.

According to the documents, two officers were transporting a prisoner from hospital to police cells on Aug. 15, 2009, when the prisoner told them he recognized a female drug dealer driving a vehicle in the area.

The officers pulled over the car in the 32500 block of South Fraser Way, and were joined by a third officer in a separate cruiser.

A police check indicated that the woman, whose named was also redacted in the documents, was awaiting disposition of charges for drug trafficking, as well as breaching her conditions.

All three officers noticed the smell of burning marijuana coming from the woman’s vehicle as they approached it.

The suspect was “lippy and mouthy” and did not follow police directions, the OPCC report stated.

Her vehicle was searched, and no drugs were found. A female officer then told her she was required to be strip-searched.

The driver’s vehicle had a temporary permit that was two hours away from expiring. The officer gave her the option of being searched at the police station or in the washroom of the nearby gas station, to save time and avoid her car being towed when the permit expired.

She opted for the immediate search, through which no drugs were found. The woman was released without charges, but filed a complaint with the Abbotsford Police Department 18 months later, alleging that there had been no grounds for the strip search.

The matter was turned over to an APD sergeant, who concluded that there had not been any police misconduct or abuse of authority.

Chief Bob Rich concurred with the findings, but the OPCC decided there was “reasonable basis to believe the discipline authority was incorrect” in determining there was no misconduct, and a review was held.

OPCC adjudicator William J. Diebolt concluded that there had been reasonable and probable grounds for the officer to conduct the strip search. These grounds  included that the suspect was known to be involved in the drug trade, she had difficulty in following police instructions, and marijuana could be smelled coming from her vehicle.

“The evidence which I accept convinces me that the search was conducted in an appropriate and acceptable manner,” Diebolt stated.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Pixabay photo
‘Horrific’ abuse of volunteers and COVID-19 contact tracers must stop, Chilliwack soccer club says

Parents have become abusive after being told COVID-19 rules, email says

Gurkirat Toor has been charged after allegedly pointing a gun at another driver on Oct. 23 in Abbotsford.
Man charged after gun pointed at another driver in Abbotsford

Gurkirat Toor, 21, previously charged with purple-fentanyl bust

The Abbotsford Teachers’ Union stated that local teachers worked without heat on Friday as secondary principals’ and vice-principals’ were at a work-related retreat in Whistler. (Google)
Abbotsford Teachers’ Union says teachers left in the cold on Friday

Abbotsford School District disagrees, saying all buildings were set to 21C on Pro-D Day

The Fraser Valley Health Care Foundation held its inaugural Grand Gala in November 2019 at Harrison Hot Springs Resort. This year’s event will be held online. (Submitted photo)
Fraser Valley Health Care Foundation holds virtual Grand Gala

Second annual event takes place online on Nov. 20, raising funds for local hospitals

Abbotsford author Katrina Wiggins has been shortlisted for the Page Turner Award eBook Award for her young adult novel, Blind the Eyes.
Abbotsford author shortlisted for literary award for young adult novel

Katrina Wiggins’ book Blind the Eyes is about climate crisis and monsters

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry arrives for briefing on the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020 (B.C. government)
B.C. records 217 more COVID-19 cases, mask use urged

Infection spike continues, 21 senior facilities affected

Los Angeles Dodgers celebrate after defeating the Tampa Bay Rays 3-1 to win the baseball World Series in Game 6 Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
L.A. Dodgers beat Rays 3-1 to win 1st World Series title since 1988

National League champs claim crown in six games

Seven-year-old Aaliyah Rosa was found dead in an apartment in Langley in July. (Langley Advance Times files)
Child’s body cold, no pulse: Off-duty cop testifies in Langley mother’s murder trial

The seven-year-old girl’s mother faces a first-degree murder charge

People march during a climate strike in Montreal, Friday, Sept. 27, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Judge rejects 15 youths’ climate change lawsuit against Canadian government

Justice Michael Manson has granted the government’s motion to strike the plaintiffs’ claim

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

A woman walks through check in at WestJet at Pearson International airport during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Strong support for pre-flight COVID testing ahead of upcoming WestJet trial: YVR

Airport is partnering with UBC, which is helping choose the method of pre-flight testing

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

It’s been eight years since Gordon Spencer (pictured), and cousin, ‘Lil’ Bruce Mayo, were gunned down in a home in Langley, and Spencer’s widow is hoping someone who knows something will step up (file)
Eight years on and still no answers in Langley double murder

Wife of victim makes public appeal for people with information to come forward

Langley resident Shaun Nugent, who died in 2019 shortly after he saved a swimmer from drowning, has been awarded a posthumous medal for bravery by the Royal Canadian Humane Association (Courtesy Nugent family)
Langley man who died after saving swimmer receives posthumous medal for bravery

Shaun Nugent rescued woman from Hayward Lake near Mission in July of 2019

Most Read