Chief De Caire should resign, says Steve Mesic's father-in-law

People have no respect for Hamilton’s police service anymore, and its chief should resign, says the angry father-in-law of a man fatally shot by police last year.
Norm Dorr, far right, sits next to daughter Sharon Dorr during a Hamilton Police Service board meeting last year. The two have concerns about police silence around the shooting death of Sharon's fiancee, Steve Mesic. On Monday, Dorr said in an angry presentation that Chief Glenn De Caire should resign. (Samantha Craggs/CBC)

People have no respect for Hamilton’s police service anymore, and its chief should resign, says the angry father-in-law of a man fatally shot by officers last year.

During a raucous police services board meeting on Monday, Dorr cited numerous cases of officers charged while Glenn De Caire has been chief. That means he should resign, Dorr said.

De Caire’s contract expires at the end of 2014, and he will not seek its renewal. But Dorr wants De Caire gone even earlier. He also wants De Caire to release unedited incident reports related to the fatal June 7 shooting of his son-in-law, Steve Mesic.

“That’s all we want from you before you leave, and hopefully it’s soon,” Dorr said.

About 25 people listened from the gallery, calling out “liar!” and “murderers!” as De Caire attempted to respond to Dorr. “Members of the Hamilton Police Service in their work every day go out to protect our community,” De Caire said before being stopped by vice-chair Walt Juchniewicz following shouting from the audience.

Juchniewicz adjourned the meeting for five minutes to restore order. Many in the audience were friends or family of other people killed by police, such as Phonesay Chanthachack and Andreas Unkerskov-Chinnery.

“It’s time for (the chief) to leave,” Dorr said afterward. “Everything’s happening on his watch.”

Dorr cited several cases of police misconduct. Among them was Sgt. Derek Mellor, who worked with the service’s anti-human trafficking initiative. He recently pleaded guilty to Police Services Act charges related to having sexual relations and sending lewd messages to sex workers and people connected to cases.

Last year, Inspector David Doel retired in the midst of a misconduct hearing related to 14 Police Services Act charges. He was suspended with pay for four years.

“There is no respect for the police force anymore,” he said.

Dorr also takes issue with a private February meeting where the board voted – not unanimously — to edit the report of the Mesic incident before releasing it to the media. De Caire maintains this is necessary for several reasons, including that it contains medical information about people involved.

The Special Investigations Unit investigated the Mesic incident and found the officers not at fault. The coroner is holding an inquest later this year.

The Mesic and Dorr families have been attending every police services board meeting since last September.


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