Monday, November 02, 2009

Nathan Cullen introduces RCMP civillian oversight bill to Parliament

"[We] are attempting to restore public confidence in the RCMP,” Cullen said. “A system where police investigate police is no longer good enough. It raises doubts among the public, and robs RCMP officers of one of their most important assets: public trust."-- Skeena-Bulkley Valley NDP MP, Nathan Cullen outlining the background behind his bill introduced in Parliament on Monday.

With the mother of Ian Bush in the public gallery, Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP Nathan Cullen introduced a private members bill to Parliament on Monday, calling for the creation of a Civilian Investigation Service. The service would investigate death or serious injury occurring in R-C-M-P custody.

Mrs. Bush's son Ian, was shot by a police officer while in RCMP custody in Houston in 2005, a tragedy which led to a provincial inquiry into the incident and provided Mr. Cullen with the basis for his bill introduced today.

It was one of a number of police related shootings and in custody deaths in recent years that have led to a growing call for reforms to the way that the RCMP and other police forces of British Columbia (and Canada for that matter) investigate themselves.

Private members bills rarely get very far in the Parliamentary process, but it is hoped that the Cullen bill will provide the launching board for reforms and accountability when it comes to matters involving the Federal Police Force.

CFTK News-- Cullen Calls for Stronger Civilian Oversight of RCMP
Vancouver Sun-- Bill proposes civilian probes of custody deaths

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