Nova Scotia

Black man jailed over phone call in park says Halifax police mistreated him

A Halifax man is alleging racial profiling played a role in his arrest and jailing after he and his spouse pulled their vehicle into a park to make a phone call in 2018.

Adam LeRue says police arrested, fined and jailed him for being in the Dingle after hours

Adam LeRue says he was mistreated and racially profiled by Halifax Regional Police (Steve Lawrence/CBC)

A Halifax man says racial profiling played a role in his arrest and jailing after he and his spouse pulled their vehicle into a Halifax park to make a phone call in 2018.

Adam LeRue says he was targeted with hefty fines for being in the Dingle park's parking lot after hours on the night of Feb. 12, 2018, while others in the area weren't punished.

Lerue is Black. His wife, Kerry Morris, who is white, is also alleging she was mistreated when police removed her from the couple's vehicle.

LeRue says he was charged with obstruction of justice and taken to jail, where he suffered overnight as he didn't have access to a puffer for his asthma.

LeRue and Morris tried to bring their complaint before the Nova Scotia Police Review Board Wednesday.

But lawyers for Halifax police constables Brent Woodworth and Kenneth O'Brien argued the board didn't have jurisdiction to hear the couple's complaint.

Board asks for summer submissions

The officers' lawyers argued before the board that the hearing had to be abandoned because Halifax police failed to comply with a deadline to submit their findings to the Nova Scotia Police Complaints Commissioner.

LeRue and Morris, as well as the municipality's lawyer, Katherine Salsman, said it would be unfair to deny the couple a hearing when the police department itself was to blame for the delay.

The three-person board ruled the parties should make submissions during the summer, after which it would issue a written decision on whether the case can proceed.

Dean Stienburg, president of the Halifax Regional Police Association, told reporters the union is confident that if a hearing proceeds the officers' actions will "be determined to have been appropriate under the circumstances."

MORE TOP STORIES

now