Skip to content

New Westminster police not being investigated for racism

The Office of the Police Complaints Commissioner will not be pursuing an investigation of the New Westminster Police Service on accusations of racism.

The Office of the Police Complaints Commissioner will not be pursuing an investigation of the New Westminster Police Service on accusations of racism.

The charges came from African immigrant activist Paul Mulangu, in response to police presence at dances, weddings and funerals held at the Centre of Integration of African Immigrants on Carnarvon Street.

New Westminster police received the complaint and forwarded it to the commissioner last week.

Sgt. Gary Weishaar said New Westminster police learned Friday that Mulangu's complaint did not meet the threshold to warrant a full investigation.

"It has to be substantiated. It has to constitute a misconduct. It can't be a complaint that's frivolous or vexatious," Weishaar said. "We did get a response back from the Office of the Complaints Commissioner. A copy was sent to us and Mr. Mulangu, and it advises him that his complaint is inadmissible. It does not meet the criteria."

Mulangu had said the police presence was only because of large groups of black people gathering in one place though Weishaar said police were simply responding to calls.

Weishaar said New Westminster police have responded to 17 calls for service at the centre since January,

"That includes noise complaints from citizens, that includes assaults, uttering threats etc.," Weishaar said, though he could not say if any of the calls resulted in arrests.

"Obviously we had a problem there. We were called by citizens 17 times and that was our response."

Weishaar, who also oversees recruiting for the New Westminster Police, said every applicant who wants to join the police is carefully screened until a file on the applicant the size of a Lower Mainland phone book is built up and no one who demonstrates any racism or bigotry would be hired on.

"That is absolutely one of the key elements that we're looking for in men and women who work in our police organization - how do they deal with others? How do they get along with others? How do they treat others," he said. "We cover off absolutely every dimension that one can cover off regarding a person's lifestyle and their integrity. That's what it's all about.

"That covers off anything to do with bias or bigotry or racism. It just wouldn't happen. We would find that person somewhere in our process and they would be discounted immediately," he said.

push icon
Be the first to read breaking stories. Enable push notifications on your device. Disable anytime.
No thanks