Thursday 21 February 2013

If only Circe* were around to set things aright...

In July of last year, after the Missing Women Commission of Inquiry presentations had been concluded and before Oppal's final report was released, I wrote a DJ! post about the controversy surrounding Coquitlam RCMP officer Cpl. Jim Brown.

In light of ongoing criticism of the RCMP, of charges of sexual harassment against female officers and of reported incidents of systemic and individual violence against indigenous women, I wondered what had happened to him. 

Brown's right to privacy, an entitlement to satisfy his transgressive sexual appetites and the privilege to separate personal pursuits from his professional duties were nimbly defended by a faux-menist blogger who declared private acts didn't "necessarily" impinge upon the public world, as though the dedicated practice of hard-core activities that featured the brutal degradation and humilation of women by a cop enmeshed in Pickton's network, belonged to a completely separate reality. 

By implying that an accountant's or a plumber's BDSM diversions wouldn't affect their work, ethical issues and red flags about the officer's conduct were smoothly dismissed by this blogger.  Interestingly enough, his response to a female cop's abusive deportment was not equally indulgent. 

A quick search reveals this, from last October.  Public reaction to Cpl Brown's activities triggered an organized campaign of damage containment by the RCMP.
In an affidavit filed in court describing himself as “not a mere informant” but “an agent” directed by the force, Grant Wakefield says he provided the RCMP with that material and accused Cpl. Brown of engaging in sex while on duty and being involved in bondage- and domination-themed websites.

The RCMP found no evidence of criminal wrongdoing, but concluded “allegations of professional misconduct appear to be supported.”

The RCMP said Cpl. Brown has been suspended since July.

On Aug. 18, the Mounties raided Wakefield’s home and seized his computers.

Along with the B.C. Civil Liberties Association and media outlets, the New Westminster man is asking the court to unseal the information police used to obtain the controversial warrant to invade his apartment.

One wonders what might connect the RCMP's innumerable undisclosed "failures" during the Task Force investigation into missing DTES sex trade workers, Cpl Brown's proclivities and Commissioner Bob Paulson's fast and furious response to the Human Rights Watch report last week.

Also, it appears Cpl. Jim Brown is suing Wakefield and lawyer Cameron Ward, who acted as counsel to several of the families of missing and murdered women during the Missing Women's Commission of Inquiry for damages.  His claim is the very demonstration of tactics an accused bully will use to shift focus away from the harm he may have perpetrated, to his own alleged suffering as a victim.
The claim accuses Wakefield, along with Jane and John Doe, of improperly obtaining photos of Brown in bondage, domination and sado-masochistic scenes from a fetishist website, and sharing the images with the police and media.

It further states the three were behind a "false and defamatory" online campaign that was "deliberately calculated by the defendants to expose (Brown) to contempt, ridicule and hatred, and to cause other persons to shun or avoid (Brown), and to lower (Brown's) reputation in the eyes of right-thinking members of the community, all of which has in fact occurred."

The court document states the officer, who remains suspended from his job, has suffered "substantial and persisting" injury to his personal and professional reputation as a result of Wakefield's alleged actions. His pride and self-confidence have also been damaged, the claim states. Ward, meanwhile, is accused of writing and publishing defamatory blog posts that questioned Brown's role in the investigation of serial killer Robert William Pickton.

According to the claim, Brown played a minor role in the Coquitlam RCMP investigation that later led to Pickton's arrest and conviction on six counts of murder.

The claim states Ward's conduct "is sufficiently egregious to warrant an award of punitive damages."
Oddly, he's not included the RCMP in his suit though it seems his colleagues instigated the events that led to the revelation of his off-duty amusements.

Meanwhile, Marnie Frey's family's request to secure her remains for burial - she was one of the DTES women killed during the Pickton farm carnage - was handled in a desultory and improper manner.

*The title is inspired by Circe's mythical sorcery which transformed men into swine.

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