At 12:30 a.m. (in 2014), a female police officer, on patrol and driving alone, spots a truck carrying a motorcycle. Aware of the number of recent motorcycle thefts in this area, she stops the vehicle to determine whether this motorcycle is stolen. Upon checking with her office, she was advised that the driver had been recently convicted and was serving a “non-custodial conditional sentence” and was required to carry with him a copy of the court order concurring that conviction. He did not have it. The officer was also told that the court order prohibited him from possessing a firearm. A second officer attended to back up the first. The two then determined that the motorcycle was not stolen. The second officer looked into the truck cab and saw part of a gun. They found it to be a 12-gauge shotgun. They also found ammunition and a folding knife. The driver was arrested and charged accordingly.
At his recent trial in Chilliwack, a Supreme Court judge dismissed these charges, saying the actions of the police officers were “a serious violation” of this man’s rights, and chastised them for not providing him with a charter of rights warning before searching his truck.
Come on, judge!
A couple of weeks ago, the Abbotsford News quoted Abbotsford Police Chief Bob Rich, saying that property crime this year was going up at an “alarming rate.”
We may wonder why the number of drug addicts in our city is increasing; why the crime rate is increasing; why so much police attention is required regarding the gang problems; and why we are now being told that our taxes will be increasing to cover policing.
Maybe it’s decisions like this that contribute to our problem.
These two officers deserve to be commended, in my opinion, not chastised.