Edmonton police have been ordered to conduct a new investigation into a lawyer's complaint that officers used a Taser stun gun on him during Stanley Cup celebrations on Whyte Avenue in 2006.
Brian Fish filed a complaint with the province's Law Enforcement Review Board after an internal police investigation found no wrongdoing by two officers. The hearing was held last fall.
In a ruling released Thursday, the review board called the original police probe "inadequate" and ordered Fish's complaint be sent back to Chief Mike Boyd for reinvestigation.
"Based on the fact that at least two officers referred to in the complaint were not even identified as relevant to the investigation, the board concludes that the investigation was deficient," acting chair Kathy Grieve writes in the decision.
Fish told CBC News he was pleased with the ruling and said he felt it was important for police to conduct a new investigation, even though the incident took place four years ago.
"I think the police chief and the police upper echelons and the police union just don't get it," he said. "And it is important for them to understand that they are servants of the public. They are not oppressors."
Officer incorrectly identified
The board examined 14 photographs taken by Fish on June 17, 2006. Fish's son Nigel had been on Whyte Avenue during celebrations after the Edmonton Oilers forced a Game 7 in the Stanley Cup finals when they beat the Carolina Hurricanes.
Nigel Fish called his father after police arrested his friend, expressing concerns police were "out of control." When Brian Fish arrived, he started taking pictures of another arrest, which caught the attention of an officer, who ordered him to stop.
When he refused, Fish alleges, he was knocked to the ground and an officer used a stun gun on him. Fish says he was handcuffed and detained.
He wasn't released until hours later, when he finally agreed to give police his name.
The board found one of the officers who is the focus of the complaint was misidentified in two of the photos. No attempt was made to identify or interview the correct officer during the internal investigation.
Edmonton police also never attempted to interview another officer, shown in three of the photos, who allegedly mistreated Fish's son.
"The lack of clarity concerning the identities of just who the respondent officers were, and which other officers could provide insight into the complaint, lead the board to conclude that the only reasonable outcome of this appeal is to direct the chief to reinvestigate the appellant's complaint," Grieve writes.
The board ordered police to find and interview those two officers — and document the attempt if they are not successful in identifying one of the officers — as well as identify and speak to other officers shown in the photos.