Police complaint commissioner closes file on Victoria jailhouse assault

Despite disagreement, no review on record will be ordered

A retired Victoria police officer’s assault conviction, his reprimand by his police chief and his recent retirement factored into the B.C. police complaint commissioner’s decision to not order a review of a 2010 jail-block assault.

Despite this, Stan Lowe said Tuesday he disagrees with Victoria Police Chief Const. Jamie Graham’s findings last fall that retired sergeant George Chong did not abuse his authority when he put prisoner Frank Blair in a chokehold. At the time, Blair was being fingerprinted in the department’s jail on Jan. 15, 2010.

Blair lost consciousness and was allowed to fall unguided to the floor where he received facial injuries that needed to be treated in hospital.

Chong, police jail supervisor and a 29-year police veteran, was criminally convicted of assault last November, and received a suspended sentence and 12 months probation.

A few months prior, Graham held an internal disciplinary hearing.

He cleared Chong of abuse of authority, but found him guilty of neglecting his duty when he failed to care for Blair’s injuries. Graham suspended Chong without pay for five days.

Lowe agreed with the chief’s ruling that Chong failed to provide prompt and diligent care to the injured prisoner. But the commissioner said he has “a reasonable basis” to believe that Graham was incorrect when he cleared Chong of abuse of authority.

Despite this, Lowe said the case does not require further review since it has already received extensive public attention through the criminal process “… and the interests of transparency and accountability (have) been met.”

“The public interest would not be served with the expense associated with this process, where the officer will no longer be engaged in policing,” Lowe said of Chong who  retired Feb. 1.

In response, Graham issued a statement saying, “VicPD respects the findings of the OPCC in this matter.”

The commissioner also noted he should never have allowed Graham to proceed with Chong’s internal hearing ahead of the criminal trial.

It is rare for an incident to result in criminal and Police Act proceedings, Lowe said, noting the two very different outcomes of the proceedings.

If the hearing had been held after the conviction, “… the Police Act process would have had the benefit of the factual findings of the court …,” the commissioner said.



Just Posted

BC Hydro to offer sale of Kings Road land to Saanich

Preserving land as park ‘a no-brainer,’ says neighbour

Victoria UnWined helps grant wishes for children facing critical illness

UnWined Vancouver Island raises money for Make-A-Wish BC & Yukon

Victoria teen with mobility issues stranded by stolen tricycle

The tricycle is described as customized light blue, three-wheeled tricycle with “white wall” tires

Saanich plants 60 trees to mark 60 years

Saanich Parks celebrates alongside National Tree Day, Sept. 26

Victoria’s Cool Aid Society unveils mural in celebration of 50th anniversary

The mural was created by Victoria’s artist-in-residence, Luke Ramsey

VIDEO: Tour de Rock rider says event provides badly needed support

Cancer survivor and volunteer firefighter Nicole Emery speaks about importance of fundraising tour

Rattie scores 3 as Oilers blank Canucks 6-0

Vancouver slips to 1-5 in exhibition play

Veterans Affairs ordered to take second look before supporting vets’ relatives

Liberal government ordered officials to adopt a more critical eye

Dead B.C. motorcyclist was member of group that raced down mountain road

Some group members record their rides on Strathcona Parkway and post times to page

Indigenous athletes in spotlight at BC Sports Hall of Fame

New gallery to feature Carey Price, Kaila Mussel and Richard Peter

B.C. couple who went missing on flight from Edmonton named by family

Family released a statement Wednesday saying they’re still intent on finding the two-seater plane

VIDEO: A close look at what you were breathing during the B.C. wildfire season

Electron microscope images show soot and tar particles generated by worst B.C. fire season

Island man calls 911 after being robbed of his drugs

Nineteen-year-old and 15-year-old suspects face multiple charges following robbery Monday in Nanaimo

B.C. could provide clues as to how New Brunswick electoral results shake out

Premier Christy Clark faced a strikingly similar scenario following the province’s 2017 election

Most Read