Police Complaint Commissioner Stan Lowe has announced an investigation of Abbotsford Police Department (APD) on charges of professional misconduct to be conducted by the Vancouver Police Department (VPD).
The charges stem from the arrest of marijuana activist Tim Felger in May of 2009 which included allegations, later thrown out of court, that he trafficked drugs and sold to minors.
In a notice of official investigation released by the Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner (OPCC) on August 20, 2013, Lowe stated;
“On July 3, 20L3, our office received the registered complaint oi Ur.(sic) Tim Felger. Mr. Felger Repofted (sic) that members of the Abbotsford Police Department executed a warrant at his store, ” Dakind” (sic), on May 13, 2009. Mr. Felger claimed that police seized his computer and other related equipment which was not named in the search warrant. When he asked for these items to be returned, police failed to promptly return them. Between March 8 and March L5,20t3, some of the items were returned to Mr. Felger, but they were damaged. Mr. Felger went on to say that, over two years ago, a member of the Abbotsford Police Department provided slanderous information to the media in relation to his selling marijuana to youth.”
Due to the length of times since the incident and for other reasons Lowe dismisses several of Felger’s complaints saying;
“Accordingly, pursuant to s. 83(1)(d) of the Police Acl and following careful and serious consideration of Mr. Felger’s complaint I direct that no further action under Division 3 of the Police Act is required or necessary in regard to the allegations pertaining to: the seizure of Mr. Felger’s properlry (sic), the damage to his security system during the 2009 seizure, and the allegedly slanderous comments made to the media by Abbotsford Police members.
However, Lowe believes some of Felger’s allegations merit an investigation.
“I have reviewed this complaint, and have determined that the Abbotsford Police Department Professional Standards Section may be placed in a potential conflict of interest if they were to investigate this matter. This is based on the involvement of current member(s) of the Abbotsford Police Department Professional Standards Section in the initial investigation of Mr. Felger.
“I am of the view, based on the circumstances alleged in this case, that it is in the public interest
that this matter be investigated by an external police force. Accordingly, pursuant to Section
92(1) of the Police Act, I direct that the investigation be conducted by an investigator from the
Vancouver Police Department who will be appointed for the purpose of this section by
Vancouver Police Chief Constable Jim Chu.”
On all of the many charges brought against him, Felger has now only been found guilty only of two counts of possession and faces one more trial before a jury in October. He has indicated he intends to sue the City of Abbotsford, the Abbotsford Police Department and former Abbotsford Downtown Business Association President (ADBA) and developer Bob Bos.
For the complete OPCC document simply click here.