BCCLA demands watchdog investigate RCMP actions against critic
New information in unsealed court documents has the BCCLA demanding an investigation into the RCMP for seizing the computers of a man who says he was helping unhappy RCMP members post their concerns online. On August 18, 2012, Grant Wakefield’s computers and cell phone were seized in a joint RCMP Major Crime and New Westminster Police Department operation.
The RCMP has confirmed that Wakefield was the informant whose information and photographs started high profile code of conduct and criminal investigations into Port Coquitlam RCMP officer Jim Brown’s activities. Simultaneously, Wakefield was also anonymously assisting disgruntled members of the RCMP to run a blog called the “Re-Sergence Alliance” blog, a blog that posted alleged RCMP front line member concerns about RCMP management and policy online.
Although the RCMP says their primary concern in keeping the Court document secret was Grant Wakefield’s privacy, the BCCLA says that new unsealed information reveals for the first time the full extent of the RCMP Major Crime section’s efforts to seize Wakefield’s computers and phone.
“When Mr. Wakefield received threats against his life after bringing his information about Jim Brown to the RCMP, he called 911. When the New West police responded, they spied on him, gathering information about his computers and providing that information to the RCMP,” says David Eby, Executive Director, of the BCCLA. “The RCMP then used that information to seize the same computers Mr. Wakefield was using to help disgruntled and anonymous RCMP members.”
Eby said that despite the fact the threats appeared to have been made against Wakefield by someone with inside information about the Jim Brown investigation, the RCMP appear to have focussed their resources on seizing Wakefield’s computers.
“We’re asked to believe the RCMP used the resources of their major crime section, computer forensics team, the Federal Department of Justice, and a search warrant, to investigate what amounts to conspiracy theories posted in the comment section of an erotic blog and a Twitter account with thirteen followers,” said Eby.
“Defamatory comments are made every day on the internet, and the RCMP doesn’t send their major crime team to investigate. What makes this case unique is that the man who had his computers taken away by the police was using those computers to help unhappy RCMP members publish their concerns online.”
The BCCLA is demanding the Commission for Public Complaints investigate the entire RCMP operation against Grant Wakefield, and has written to them to file a complaint. Read the letter to the Commissioner by clicking hereSee a copy of the search warrent by clicking here
This is one heck of a read, should you take the time, it is 74 pages long and full of interesting revelations. (Terrace Daily comment)