Big internal quarrels at the Repentigny police

Big internal quarrels at the Repentigny police

MISE À DAY

A former high-ranking officer is suing Repentigny police and ex-colleagues for more than $1.8 million, alleging that the work climate there was “toxic” and that the service's leadership was plagued by turf wars.

The flawless career of Daniel Archibald, a police officer since 1997, would have gone into a spin after his promotion to the position of assistant director of the Service de police de la Ville de Repentigny (SPVR) in 2017, according to what he claims in his lawsuit.< /p>

When he was hired, the director of the service, Helen Dion, would have mentioned to him ” need his help in order to rectify the ethics within the service and more particularly the deviant behavior of certain senior leaders “, we read in the request filed recently at the Joliette courthouse.

According to the situation depicted in the document of about forty pages, a senior officer unhappy with a reassignment, Guy Bélair, would have at the same time left intend to file a complaint of psychological harassment against the director. 

Helen Dion would then have had “animosity towards the latter […] and will use Archibald to help him take Bélair in default ”, can we read in the request.

Deputy Director Daniel Archibald (left) is the one suing the Repentigny City Police Department as well as Director Helen Dion (right), in particular, for more than $1.8 million.

Omerta broken 

Moreover, the deputy director Guy Bélair will be identified as a suspect for a series of thefts that occurred in the offices of the SPVR, it is reported. In November 2018, Archibald claims to have recorded without his knowledge Bélair, who then admitted to having stolen a file to shred it, out of revenge.

The denunciation that will follow will ensure that relations between Archibald and his peers will have escalated, alleges the prosecution, because he would have thus broken the “Law of silence or omertà […] which concerns the illegal actions of fellow police officers”. 

We would then have advised Archibald that he “will have wind in his face”, he who claims to have then been insulted, intimidated and the target of hostile gestures by colleagues. To the point where the manager allows him to carry his service weapon 24 hours a day.

The most serious event is said to have occurred when his new home suffered a break-in in April 2019. The crime would have been carried out by a notorious delinquent, but ordered by a policeman, Archibald advances in his request.  

Meanwhile, the criminal and disciplinary investigations against Bélair were led by assistant director Sylvain Grenier, a close friend and long-time colleague who allegedly committed several obstacles, according to the lawsuit. 

Archibald would have wanted the situation to be reported under the Police Act. However, the director would have strongly opposed it, in particular so as not to “lose her police station”, according to the allegations of the request, which were not debated before the court.

Instrumentalized

In the end, there will never be any charges against Bélair.

In this whole affair, Archibald argues that his employer did nothing to protect him after he was “instrumentalized” by the Chief of Police, and that he was the victim of a constructive dismissal.

The former executive, who says he was diagnosed with post-traumatic shock, and his spouse are therefore claiming more than $1.8 million in moral and punitive damages from the City of Repentigny, director Helen Dion, Guy Bélair as well as Sylvain Grenier and Éric Racette, two other senior officers who allegedly participated in the climate of intimidation.

A maneuver to remove racialized police officers?

A scheme would have been put in place to exclude racialized candidates who wanted to become police officers in Repentigny, according to allegations contained in the lawsuit of a former deputy director of the service.

In August 2020, according to what is advanced in his request, Daniel Archibald would have discovered “disturbing information” while he was interested in the issue of racial discrimination and the lack of diversity within the Service de police de la Ville de Repentigny (SPVR).

Candidates had to send their CV, but also a copy of their driver's license with photo, identifying their ethnic origin and height in order to reject all “non-compliant” applications, he alleges in his lawsuit.  

< p>Not called for an interview

Archibald would also have known that black police officers from other services did not understand why they had not even been called for an interview when they applied to Repentigny. He informed the director of the SPVR, Helen Dion, who refused to verify the information, asking her to close the file.

He alleges that he had also discovered that the assistant director Éric Racette and his assistant Patrick Gaudreault would have camouflaged an event “ concerning ” concerning an officer in connection with his major drug use problems.

The police officer in question was then implicated in events where his impaired judgment was reported by the media and members of the ethnic communities of Repentigny , according to the court document.

Excluded from meetings

In addition, Archibald maintains in his lawsuit that he was kept away from two meetings on racial profiling, including one on media management. He was however in charge of this file, as well as media relations.

All these allegations, which will however have to be proven in court, resurface after several incidents of racial profiling were reported to Repentigny.

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