Calgary police Chief Roger Chaffin disputes social media claim of racial profiling
Blogger says officer suspended her licence and impounded her car after searching for marijuana
Calgary police Chief Roger Chaffin hit back on social media after an online post accused an officer of racial profiling during a recent traffic stop.
"Just as I stand up to express my disappointment in moments where public trust is compromised, I stand up to share my distress in finding that a member of the public has purposely misrepresented their interaction with one of our officers," reads Chaffin's post to the CPS Facebook page on Friday.
"This citizen alleged that they were racially profiled and treated unfairly after being stopped. I have had the opportunity to view [video] of the incident in its entirety. These allegations are categorically untrue and the police officer that this citizen is referring to, has my full support and confidence in how he handled himself."
The Feb. 23 post by blogger Sunday Omony — which has since been deleted — says her licence was suspended for seven days and vehicle impounded for 30 days after she was stopped and searched for marijuana — with none being found — then given a breathalyzer.
"I was a victim of police harassment and set up," it reads. "This officer hated me so much for no reason. His anger towards me was sad to witness. I feel sorry for his next target."
The post says Omony drove by a police car parked on 16th Avenue N.W. — however no date is given — and was followed. Once stopped, the post says she was shouted at by one of the officers before being told to get out, so she and her vehicle could be searched for marijuana. None was found.
She was then placed in the cruiser and given a breathalyzer before being given a ticket for failing to stop for police and her licence was suspended and vehicle impounded, the post reads.
Omony says she asked for a ride from the officers, but was left on the side of the road.
"Sometimes it doesn't matter if you're innocent," reads the post. "Some officers are on a power trip and will use their power to exploit people and take advantage of them to push their own personal agenda."
Chaffin disputed that account.
"After failing to stop for nearly 20 blocks while being followed by a police vehicle that had their lights and sirens on, the officer and his partner dealt with the citizen with courtesy and professionalism," he said.
Chaffin says CPS members attempted to reach out to Omony several times by phone, email, social media and even a registered letter, however they have not received a response.
Reached Saturday by CBC News through social media, Omony supplied a statement, which was also posted online earlier in the day.
"I have great respect for the Calgary Police Service and their efforts to keep our communities safe," it read in part.
"This was an unfortunate situation between the officer in question and myself. This incident was not a car chase. I didn't go over the speed limit and I didn't pass any red lights. As per me driving 20 blocks as mentioned by CPS, this was their estimate. I was driving on the highway bridge alone in my car at approximately 1 a.m."
Omony again reiterated that the officers who stopped her accused her of having marijuana in her car, however she and the vehicle were searched and none was found.
Despite Chaffin saying CPS reached out to her, Omony's post also says she has not been contacted by the Professional Standards Unit but is open to having a conversation around race relations.
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