British Columbia·CBC Investigates

RCMP investigating supervisor for allegedly simulating sex act on an eggplant

An RCMP supervisor who appeared to simulate fellatio on an eggplant while at work and who allegedly texted questionable comments about black policemen and the Black Lives Matter movement is being investigated for his conduct.

Investigation triggered when officer under his command was fired

Efforts to fire a probationary constable in Surrey, B.C., triggered a code of conduct investigation against his boss, who allegedly simulated fellatio on an eggplant while at work and sent derisive texts about the Black Lives Matter movement. (CBC)

A B.C. RCMP supervisor who appeared to simulate fellatio on an eggplant while at work and who allegedly texted questionable comments about black policemen and the Black Lives Matter movement is being investigated for his conduct.

CBC News has confirmed that the RCMP has launched a code of conduct investigation into Cpl. Dave Duplissie, which was triggered when a probationary constable under his supervision was fired.

Jesse Anderson says he complained to the RCMP about his difficulties with Duplissie and sent them a screengrab of the eggplant incident and screengrabs of text conversations while the RCMP was considering his dismissal. He later shared the images with CBC News. 

Screengrab showing Cpl. Dave Duplissie with an eggplant, as captured on video by one of the officers who was there. (Submitted by Jesse Anderson)

Anderson had been deemed "unsuitable" to "maintain a minimum standard required of a general duty constable," according to documents sent to him by the RCMP, and he was eventually fired in January.  

The report recommending his firing lists a series of alleged transgressions, including not reporting properly for sick leave, misuse of a government-issued credit card and misplacing a digital recorder, and accuses him of dishonesty and a lack of accountability.

'I was too scared'

Anderson worked at Surrey detachment, the largest in the country. He says he "didn't mesh" with his supervisor, Duplissie, who he alleges played favourites and made his workplace stressful. Anderson says he tried at least four times to get into a different unit but was denied. 

Jesse Anderson says he lost the job he loved as an RCMP officer because his reputation was tarnished by one supervisor. (Christer Waara/CBC)

He described the eggplant incident that happened at the detachment one night. 

"A member brought in an eggplant. [Duplissie] grabbed it and started to perform fellatio on it, in the office during shift, in uniform," he said. 

Junior officers gathered around joking about it, and one even recorded it. Anderson says nobody called Duplissie on it because he was the senior officer. 

Neither did Anderson. "I was the outcast already and I kind of wanted to keep my job at that time ... I was too scared," he said.   

Anderson also says Duplissie started making comments and sending derisive texts about the Black Lives Matter movement and about black police officers after one officer disclosed he has some black heritage. 

An image of a fist painted black sent by Cpl. Dave Duplissie to a group of subordinates, apparently mocking the Black Lives Matter movement. (Submitted by Jesse Anderson)

Anderson says that as a result of workplace stress, he was diagnosed with clinical depression in June 2017.

That was before his probationary period expired. He argues he should not have been fired, that instead the RCMP should have offered support, as the diagnosis came while he was still employed.

And he wants his job back. "I loved doing it. I did it for the people I was helping, not for my one supervisor who didn't like me and tarnished my name," he said. 

Anderson also disagrees with the report that led to his firing. 

"I have positive reviews [from] other supervisors who were newer to the area, where I was given positive commendations and applauded during our briefings for performing CPR and resuscitating a man," he said.

There are notes in his employee file to corroborate this. 

One of a series of text message threads in which Duplissie was being sarcastic or derisive about the Black Lives Matter movement. (Submitted by Jesse Anderson)

He also explains that he got into personal debt to pay for his RCMP move to Surrey from Kelowna and had to use the credit card to tide him over while he waited for reimbursement. He says he was told four different amounts for what he owed, delaying repayment. 

The RCMP became aware of the photo and texts in October 2017 and immediately launched an internal review that led to a formal code of conduct investigation, spokesperson Staff Sergeant Annie Linteau said in a statement to CBC News.

The CBC has confirmed independently that investigation is into Duplissie.

In the statement, Linteau also confirmed that Anderson was no longer employed by the force but would not provide the reason for his discharge, citing the Privacy Act.

Reached on his RCMP cell number, Duplissie declined to speak to CBC News. He also didn't respond to emails.

Lack of representation 

This is happening because RCMP officers are without representation right now, say advocates, who worry that due process is not being followed and that officers are being fired without sufficient investigation.

Courts have ruled that RCMP officers have the right to be represented by a union, but in the meantime, the force has shut down its staff relations representative program, a non-unionized labour relations scheme that was struck down by the Supreme Court of Canada in 2015.

"Since the Staff Relations Representative program has been struck down members have found themselves without any type of representation at all, and I think management is using that to their advantage to get rid of members that they don't want in the organization," says Rob Creasser of the Mounted Police Professional Association of Canada (MPPAC).

The move to unionize RCMP membership is currently caught up at the Public Service Labour Relations Board in territorial wrangling by associations who want to represent them. 

Changes to the RCMP Act in November 2014 to get rid of "bad apples" means that officers can be fired quickly but it also means they are free to speak out without fear of reprisal once they are no longer under the authority of the force.