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Rough times for the Calgary Police Service continue. Their integrity deficit shows no sign of letting up, either.
Calgary Police Association President Les Kaminski and Constable Brand Derrick both face charges as a result of an Alberta Serious Incident Response Team investigation.
Les Kaminski faces charges of assault and purjury. Constable Brant Derrick faces charges of assault causing bodily harm.
The Calgary Police Association stands behind both officers says Mike Lomore, VP of Administration.
"We support both officers facing these charges. They're only allegations right now."
Lomore also took a swipe at Alberta's Serious Incident Response Team.
"This is ridiculous and it shouldn't happen. These officers have suffered a great deal of stress. Their names are being besmudged in the press as to what they're involved in."
That pettiness doesn't help his cause.
Criminologist Ritesh Narayan says Kaminsky should step down as CPA president.
"However, in terms of ethics and integrity, maybe he shouldn't have stepped down, but he should have at least stepped aside — at least I'm hoping he would — while he's being investigated for this. It's very important to note this is not just a Sgt. Kaminski or Const. [Brant] Derrick problem. I think this is more of an institutional problem — a Calgary police subculture problem."
The charges against Kaminsky stem from a traffic stop where Jason Arkinstall alleged that charges he threatened officers were bogus. Turns out the trial judge agreed. The Honourable T.C. Semenuk, trial judge in the case against Jason Cyrus Arkinstall, ruled Sargent Kaminsky was not a reliable or credible witness.
"His lack of notes on material particulars, the variance in his viva voce evidence and what the Court observed on the DVD marked Exhibit 2, and his being shaken on cross-examination by Defence Counsel, led me to conclude that he was not a credible or reliable witness."
Justice Semenuk went on to imply Kaminisky and his fellow officers were less than truthful.
"The Court having rejected the evidence of Constable Derrick, Sargent Kaminsky, and Acting Detective O’Neill as being unreliable and not credible, the Crown has not satisfied me beyond a reasonable doubt that the Accused uttered any threats to kill."
Innocent until proven guilty is one thing, the appearance of impropriety is quite another.
The heart of the matter is, as criminologist Ritesh Narayan says, one of integrity. It is not enough for a police officer to be above reproach. He must also appear to be above reproach.
Les Kaminski fails on both counts.
"There's obviously some onus on the board that they ought to have known, and if they did, why did they still go ahead with their nomination — because Mr. Kaminski came in as president as someone with a new hope of integrity and transparency within the CPS, and it clearly isn't helping."
A man of integrity would step down until the courts deal with his charges. A man of integrity would know he brings nothing but disrespect to the office of Calgary Police Association President until that happens.
Cops wonder why the mere citizens of Canada no longer respect our police forces. They need look no further than Calgary Police Association President Les Kaminski.