N.W.T. woman gets 60 days jail for threatening gay RCMP officer
Judge increased sentence because threats focused on officer's sexual orientation
A Behchoko, N.W.T., woman was sentenced to 60 days in jail Thursday for threatening an RCMP officer and resisting arrest.
The sentencing judge said he increased the sentence because the threats focused on the RCMP officer's sexual orientation. The officer is openly gay and says in his job, people have often targeted him for that.
The prosecutor said Diane Koyina used the word "faggot" at least 60 times while threatening to beat up the RCMP officer.
It happened last August after Sgt. Jeremie Landry — then a corporal — found the 34-year-old passed out on a Behchoko street and was taking her to the detachment jail.
Landry says he's experienced that kind of abuse many times in the smaller communities he's worked in, where people are more likely to be aware of his sexual orientation.
"Normally, when someone that we're dealing with is making comments towards us, it could be comments that someone could call anyone, but when they're more personal, it does have a greater impact, obviously," he said.
Landry is now in charge of the Vegreville, Alta., detachment. He says he's had to develop an even thicker skin than most police officers, and that helps him better understand the struggles other homosexuals endure.
"I'm able to relate to them more, because, you know, I've been through situations myself where people have been very nasty," he said.
"So I think that's also made me a better police officer and made me more empathetic toward others."
Landry says his fellow officers support him, which has helped him deal with the abuse.
In court, Koyina's lawyer said she's sorry for the way she acted and said she wants to go to Alberta for addictions treatment.