Edmonton police suspended in 'sweatbox' case
Two Edmonton police officers were suspended without pay Monday after they were found guilty of insubordination and discreditable conduct in the so-called "sweatbox" case, where nine homeless people were picked up on Whyte Avenue and driven around in a crowded police van.
Const. Patrick Hannas was suspended for 50 hours without pay for the Police Act violations.
Const. Lael Sauter was given a 40-hour suspension without pay. The two officers will also forfeit a combined 60 hours of overtime.
The presiding officer of the disciplinary hearing, Calgary Police Insp. Paul Manuel, recommended the Edmonton Police Service donate the overtime money to homeless shelters, or other facilities in the city that help homeless people who are intoxicated.
The officers were accused of picking up nine homeless aboriginal people on Whyte Avenue in May 2005. The witnesses said they were driven in the crowded, hot van for as long as 90 minutes until they were dropped in a north Edmonton parking lot.
In his ruling on Nov. 5, Manuel rejected suggestions the officers' actions were mean-spirited or racially motivated, stating that he believed the officers had a genuine concern for the people they transported that day.