CTV News Story on corruption in BC’s Chief Firearms Office

The CTV did a story on the lawsuit filed recently by Travis Bader against numerous RCMP members and the provincial government.  It was through filing the lawsuit that Bader learned about the involvement in his case by Constable David Clarke, now suspended (with pay) and facing about 15 charges, including theft of police property, theft and sales of marijuana, and possession of a bunch of unregistered firearms.  You can watch the CTV news story from their website at http://www.ctvbc.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20101223/bc_clarke_lawsuit_101223/20101223?hub=BritishColumbiaHome

Travis Bader owns a company called Silvercore Advanced Training Systems.  His company trains people, including law enforcement personnel, how to use firearms properly in a variety of scenarios.

Unfortunately for Mr. Bader, one RCMP member who works in the office of BC's Chief Firearms Officer, decided that he wanted into that business too.  I say unfortunately, because that RCMP member used the power of his office to start an investigation into Mr. Bader's business and ultimately seized all firearms owned by the company, and charged them with numerous charges.

Charges that were later dropped by the Crown, although nobody will say why.

"Neither I nor my company have ever contravened the law, yet we were subjected to the full weight of the law and treated publicly as criminals of the highest order. Then numerous court appearances, only to have the charges put over to a later date, multiple deals offered to admit guilt to ever-decreasing charges, and then a stay of proceedings when these avenues failed to have me admit to something I was totally innocent of ever doing."

None of that seemed to matter to RCMP firearms officer Jeffrey Edward Harrison.

Harrison had opened his own firearms training business, and apparently decided he wanted the business sector all to himself.  He instigated the investigation into his business competitor, knowing full well, one must assume, that there would be some severe negative consequences for his business rival.

RCMP documents obtained by The Province show Harrison provided information to police about Bader's father Gordon before the raids, and participated in the decision to obtain search warrants for Silvervore and Gordon's property.

Bader's lawsuit, filed this past May, lists three police members, including Jeffrey Edward Harrison and recently disgraced Constable David Clarke, who was just charged with drug dealing and possession of numerous unregistered firearms.  The lawsuit alleges wrongful arrest, false imprisonment, tresspass, assault and battery, negligent investigation and malicious prosecution.

If what he alleges is true, and I have no reason to disbelieve him, I really hope the Bader family is successful, especially on the malicious prosecution charge.  This is not the first case of a police member abusing his power here in British Columbia, and sadly, I fear it won't be the last.

The decent and honest members of our police forces deserve far better than the likes of Harrison and Clarke dumping garbage all over them like this.

Harrison is not the first RCMP member to attempt to use his badge to take business rivals out of the game.  Former RCMP member Kevin Stadnyk tried the same thing with the movie industry a few years ago.  Stadnyk, now deceased, had tried to muscle into the business of supplying firearms to movie sets, actions which sparked an internal RCMP investigation into his business dealings.

The Vancouver movie industry didn't take too kindly to that sort of thing, and nor should they.

There's truly nothing more disgusting than a policeman using his badge for personal gain.  Harrison's actions are despicable, not only for what they've done to the Bader family and business, but more importantly, for what they've done to tarnish the image of the many fine, honest and upstanding RCMP members across this country.

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