A member of the Cochrane RCMP stands guard.
Credits: RYAN MCLEOD/COCHRANE TIMES/QMI AGENCY
VANCOUVER -- Government and police watchdog groups are concerned a police raid at the home of a man connected with a whistle-blower Internet blog targeting RCMP corruption was politically motivated.
About a half-dozen officers, using a warrant for defamatory libel, seized several computers and cellphones from the man, who helped to set up the Re-Sergeance Alliance blog site. He also recently assisted the Mounties in finding online photos of Coquitlam, BC, RCMP Cpl. Jim Brown engaged in graphic S&M activities.
Brown, who was involved in the investigation into serial killer pig farmer Robert Pickton, was cleared of wrongdoing by the force in 2010 before a new probe was ordered in July.
Michael Vonn, policy director for the BC Civil Liberties Association, said this type of warrant is rarely used.
“Almost invariably when it’s invoked, it’s a critic of the police,’’ Vonn said. “This should concern all Canadians.”
Police investigating a crime against themselves creates “a massive accountability deficit here.”
Lawyer Cameron Ward, who is representing the families of Pickton’s victims at the Missing Women Inquiry, is concerned officers involved in the raid were aware of his private discussions with the suspect.
“I’m concerned with whether the RCMP have been intercepting my communications and, more importantly, why such a response was deemed necessary,’’ Ward said.
Jordan Bateman, B.C. director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, called the timing of the raid “very suspicious.’’
“Obviously this blog embarrassed the RCMP and its senior staff,’’ Bateman said.
“They better have a rock solid legal reason for going in there.’’
The man under investigation by the RCMP requested anonymity for fears of his personal safety. He wrote in a letter to the media that he believes he is being targeted as the “truth emerges that they were responsible for uncovering Jim Brown’s secrets years ago and not dealing with them.”