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Probe into Victoria police officer linked to TikTok video, OPCC says

In a seven-minute video, a woman identifies herself as the person who lodged the complaint and makes numerous allegations against a VicPD officer.
Victoria Police Department headquarters on Caledonia Avenue. TIMES COLONIST

B.C.’s Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner has confirmed that it sought an investigation of a Victoria police officer and that allegations against him were made in a video posted to a social-media site.

Victoria police said Tuesday an officer had been suspended during the course of an investigation into a misconduct complaint made this year.

In a seven-minute video on TikTok, a woman identifies herself as the person who lodged the complaint and makes numerous allegations against a Victoria police officer, including that he took explicit videos of her and held them as collateral to prevent her from telling his wife about their sexual relationship and that he didn’t do anything with information she shared about a sexual assault.

The woman says she met the officer at the age of 15 while she was dating his son and struggling with addiction. The two reconnected last year, she says, and eventually started an intimate relationship this spring.

“[He] was very adamant that he makes sex tapes as reassurance I wouldn’t tell his family and his wife. Otherwise, if I did, he was going to post them online,” she alleges in the video.

The woman says she told the officer that his son sexually assaulted her, but he did not report the information to the police department and didn’t encourage her to do so.

She alleges she wasn’t taken seriously by other officers when she tried to report the officer’s behaviour.

The Times Colonist is not naming the officer because no charges have been laid.

The woman released the video in late November and it was re-posted this week.

The OPCC assigned an external agency, the Vancouver Police Department, to investigate the complaint of misconduct due to the seriousness of the allegations, a spokesperson said in an email. That choice was made to keep the investigation at arm’s length from Victoria police to prevent perceptions of bias.

Victoria police said Tuesday the Vancouver police received new information about the complaint this week and advised the department that the officer would be suspended immediately.

The OPCC says it does not investigate allegations of misconduct, but ensures allegations are fully investigated in the public interest. It has no involvement in the decision to suspend an officer. Chief constables can reassign or suspend an officer pending an investigation under the Police Act or if there’s an allegation the officer committed an offence.

The commissioner of the OPCC has determined it’s in public interest to release limited information, the OPCC said.

The Victoria Police Department and the OPCC should be more transparent with the public about allegations that have now been made public, said Kash Heed, a former minister of public safety and solicitor general and former chief of the West Vancouver Police Department.

If there is misinformation being spread online, there’s an onus on the police and OPCC to correct that, said Heed, a current Richmond city councillor.

The challenge with some information being shared publicly is that people can come to conclusions while lacking some of the story, he said.

It will likely be months or years before the investigation concludes, Heed said.

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