Saskatoon Police Service says it has been exonerated by the province’s police watchdog. Mr. Ken Thomas filed a report with the Provincial Complaints Commission this past April alleging that he was picked up outside of a local bar, and taken outside of town where he was dropped off. A marathoner, he says he managed to make his way back into the city.
In a statement from Saskatoon’s Police Chief, Troy Cooper says the logs of GPS from the police vehicle fleet as well as video and audio recordings which are automatically activated in all cars, helped prove there was no contact between the Saskatoon Police Service and Ken Thomas on April 21st.
Chief Cooper explains that the GPS tracking in vehicles allows vehicle locations to be captured and police radios all transmit GPS locations – the information is stored in two redundant databases and is never purged. In addition to all that – the in-car video and audio systems also capture GPS information. In fact that equipment comes on automatically when emergency equipment is activated or the doors are opened. There is also camera equipment with sensors capturing all vehicles coming and going from police station security gates or parking garage doors.
Saskatoon’s new Police Chief also notes this is the first such allegation he has had to deal with as Chief but it is the seventh of such accusations made since 2012. In each case individuals claim they have been driven out of town and dropped off and each instance it was determined to be unfounded. In two cases, the complainant was charged with mischief. Right now, the province’s Crown Prosecutors are determining whether the current situation needs to proceed further.
The Neil Stonechild Inquiry sparked an investigation into the commonly known “starlight tours” which came to light in the 1990’s. While two police officers were fired in connection to that case, they were never criminally charged. Darrell Knight was a victim of a starlight tour, he lived, but two officer’s went to prison for Night’s incident.