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NEWS RELEASE · 18th January 2011
MP Nathan Cullen - Ottawa
New Democrat Public Safety Critic Don Davies (Vancouver Kingsway) and Member of Parliament Nathan Cullen (Skeena-Bulkley Valley) say the violent arrest of Buddy Tavares by Kelowna RCMP highlights the urgent need for serious reform and stronger oversight of Canada's national police force.

“When police violence against a compliant and non-violent citizen occurs, the public needs to know that strong and swift action will be taken,” said Davies. “Until RCMP oversight is strengthened, public confidence in the RCMP will continue to erode.

“The incident in Kelowna should be a wake-up call to the government that they have dragged their feet for too-long on RCMP reform,” said Cullen, who has introduced a Private Members Bill to create an independent civilian oversight agency for the RCMP. “The government has known for years that the system is broken, but even their own meagre reform bill is stalled in Parliament because they refuse to bring it forward for debate.”

Bill C-38 was introduced in June 2010, but the Conservatives, who control the House of Commons agenda, have not given it one minute of time for debate in Parliament.

Davies and Cullen were also critical of the RCMP response to the video of the arrest.

“When an officer is caught on video assaulting a citizen, the force needs to act swiftly and decisively,” said Davies. “It is insulting that the officer involved is simply relieved of duties, with pay, while the broken police investigation process drags on.”

“If the Conservatives are serious about RCMP reform, they cannot let this latest incident go unanswered,” concluded Cullen. “They should fast-track real legislation on RCMP oversight as soon as Parliament resumes, and restore Canadians' confidence in our national police force.”

See original story nd videos on this incident HERE.