Police should not be probing officer wrongdoing, says chief

Police should not be investigating police officers accused of wrongdoing, says Rod Knecht, chief of the Edmonton Police Service.

Rod Knecht asks province to take away responsibility for investigating their own officers

Police should not be investigating police officers accused of wrongdoing, says EPS Chief Rod Knecht. 2:06

Police should not be investigating police officers accused of wrongdoing, says Rod Knecht, chief of the Edmonton Police Service.

"I don't think the police should be investigating the police at all," he said.

This week CBC News told the story of former Edmonton police officer Derek Huff who says he saw fellow officers severely beat a suspected drug dealer in 2010.

That allegation is now under investigation by the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team, (ASIRT), but Huff said his complaint was ignored for more than two years and he was labelled a rat.

While Edmonton police deny a cover-up, Knecht says the optics are bad.

He has asked the province to take the responsibility for investigating their own officers away from the Edmonton Police Service.

ASIRT is charged with investigating serious injury or death that may have resulted from police action, as well as "matters of a serious or sensitive nature."

Knecht wants to go further, to have an independent organization to do all investigations of police.

In Ontario, the all-civilian Special Investigations Unit handles most serious complaints against police.

But Alberta Justice Minister Jonathon Denis says that might not work here.

"Different types of processes may work for different police forces in different parts of the country," he said.

Denis said he's considering Knecht's request, but it depends on whether other police forces will support it and the province can afford it.

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