Lethbridge police chief suspends five officers with pay as the investigations about the circulation of inappropriate images begin. The suspension memes were circulated to the disrespectful Lethbridge Police Service (LPS) officers.
Constable Keon Woronuk and Sargent Jason Carrier initially photographed Phillips while dining at a local Lethbridge restaurant with two people. They then posted online with a caption that read, “everyone’s favorite hypocrite’. Then, they attempted to follow Phillips after diner but lost the vehicle at a traffic red light. The two officers had previously tried to oppose Phillip’s plan to eliminating off-highway vehicle use on designated trails in Castle Provincial Park.
After the circulation of images involving NDP MLA Shannon Phillips, the two police officers tried to spy on Phillips. They were, however, disciplined by being demoted. Now, the other five officers are being investigated for trying to search the MLA’s private information on the police databases without any investigative justification.
According to Shahin Mehdizadeh, the LPS Chief, the investigation may be damaging, but it is needed to ensure the transparency and integrity of the organization. In the email, Mehdizadeh also insisted that there will be some rough times for the LPS employees noting that the suspended officers will also have the support they need as they undergo the process.
Although the two officers were demoted for their misconduct. Philip says that the disciplinary process is tainted, flawed, and inadequate. The LPS came under scrutiny recently when it was revealed that a former inspector who was also the head of victims’ advocacy had a sexual relationship with a client who was also a victim of domestic violence.
Due to the ongoing controversy involving LPS, Kaycee Madu, the Alberta Justice Minister met with the chief and chair of the police commission met on Tuesday whereby he called for immediate action over the alleged misconduct. However, Mehdizadeh said he would take a balanced approach in the investigation.