Law student calls for veteran homicide detective’s ouster after class lecture

A University of Alberta law student is calling for the suspension of Edmonton’s best-known homicide detective — a city cop of more than 30 years — over comments she claims he made as a guest lecturer.

Caitlin Dick, a second-year law student, alleges city police Staff Sgt. Bill Clark made derogatory comments about defence lawyers, referred to a homicide victim’s race and called criminals maggots during a presentation to her class on Nov. 1.

Tom Engel, a defence lawyer and well-known police critic, is representing Dick’s case and filed a complaint with the city’s acting police chief over Clark’s alleged comments Wednesday.

“This is not the first time that Staff Sergeant Clark has faced trouble and controversy regarding public statements he has made,” the letter of complaint to acting Chief Kevin Brezinski reads. “He has been disciplined previously. Despite that, he has demonstrated that he is ungovernable and unfit to serve as a police officer.”

“He should be suspended immediately or put into some sort of a position where he is no longer involved in investigations and prosecutions.”

In an emailed statement, police service spokeswoman Cheryl Sheppard said the acting chief has received the letter and has ordered an investigation by the Professional Standards Branch (PSB).

“He is concerned by the comments attributed to a member of the Edmonton Police Service,” Sheppard said. “Pursuant to the provisions of the Police Act, the Chief has directed that a PSB investigation be conducted into the allegations.”

Clark did not respond to an emailed request for comment.

In a Thursday interview, Dick said: “When the police say things that are so blatantly shocking and inappropriate, and when they act in a way that is unbecoming of the role they’re supposed to play, we shouldn’t be scared to speak out.”

Dick, in her complaint, said the detective was a guest of …read more

Source:: Edmonton Journal

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