Taman quits police commission

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The man whose wife's tragic death — and the botched investigation and prosecution that followed — led to the creation of the Manitoba Police Commission, and an independent police unit to investigate officers, has resigned from the commission.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 15/04/2016 (2317 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

The man whose wife’s tragic death — and the botched investigation and prosecution that followed — led to the creation of the Manitoba Police Commission, and an independent police unit to investigate officers, has resigned from the commission.

Robert Taman’s wife Crystal died in 2005 when a truck, driven by an off-duty Winnipeg police officer who had fallen asleep, slammed into the back of her car while she was stopped at a red light on Lagimodiere Boulevard.

Taman, who said on Friday his resignation takes effect immediately, said he has left the MPC because of a “difference in opinion.”

RUTH BONNEVILLE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS FILES Robert Taman

“I still don’t believe police should investigate police,” he said. “That’s the reason for my resignation.

“Sometimes, though, I feel we are no better off than before the IIU (Independent Investigation Unit) and the police commission in many ways.”

The provincial government created the police commission in 2010. A spokesman said its first job was overseeing the creation of police boards in the province and helping arrange training for their members and civilian monitors.

The province later set up the Independent Investigation Unit to investigate serious cases involving police, including when an officer kills somebody.

Under the Manitoba Police Act, the only involvement the commission has with the IIU is appointing civilian monitors to oversee some of its investigations.

In 2014, then-justice minister Andrew Swan announced that eight existing police officers were being hired as investigators for the IIU, some of whom were Winnipeg police officers.

Swan said it was OK to hire the officers because there would be civilian oversight of the unit and over time others would be hired, including retired officers.

But Taman said the final straw for him was the recent seconding of an active Winnipeg police officer into the IIU.

“I think there’s enough people out there more suited,” he said.

“Some feel nobody can investigate crime except by police, but I don’t agree.”

kevin.rollason@freepress.mb.ca

Kevin Rollason

Kevin Rollason
Reporter

Kevin Rollason is one of the more versatile reporters at the Winnipeg Free Press. Whether it is covering city hall, the law courts, or general reporting, Rollason can be counted on to not only answer the 5 Ws — Who, What, When, Where and Why — but to do it in an interesting and accessible way for readers.

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Updated on Friday, April 15, 2016 1:37 PM CDT: Typo fixed

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