Crown withdraws perjury charge against Calgary police union president
CALGARY — The president of the Calgary Police Association says his faith in the legal system has been reaffirmed now that both charges against him related to a 2008 arrest have been dropped.
Alberta Justice confirmed the Crown withdrew a perjury charge against Sgt. Les Kaminski on Monday.
“I know my responsibility to the public and the Calgary Police Service, and I would never, nor did I, mislead the court in any way,” Kaminski said in a statement.
“In addition, I have the utmost respect for the courts and the justice system. I am appreciative that the facts have been examined and I have received a fair review. My faith in our justice system is strong today.”
Kaminski, who was elected to lead the 2,200-member union in late 2016, had also faced a charge of assault with a weapon, but the Crown withdrew it last summer.
Both charges stemmed from a 2008 traffic stop in downtown Calgary that resulted in the arrest of Jason Arkinstall.
Another officer involved in that arrest, Const. Brant Derrick, was acquitted of assault last month.
Provincial court Judge Terry Semenuk acquitted Arkinstall in 2011 of uttering threats and said in his written decision that Kaminski and Derrick were not credible or reliable witnesses.
Kaminski said police work is inherently hazardous.
“I have dedicated my life to protecting our citizens from the criminal element, and I’ve spent over 30 years as a street cop trying to make Calgary a better, safer place to live,” he said.
“It is not easy to be a police officer accused of a criminal offence. In fact, it is most stressful. As difficult as this has been, I knew in my heart that when this was given a full, complete review, that the right thing would happen.”
The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team, which investigates all serious police actions, announced the charges against Kaminski and Derrick last January.
The Calgary Police Service said at the time that it had conducted a review after the Arkinstall trial, but in hindsight it should have done a wider formal investigation.
A complaint was lodged in December 2013 and ASIRT began its investigation early in 2014.
The Law Enforcement Review Board is conducting an inquiry into how authorities handled the allegations and whether there were any efforts to hinder public oversight.
- Lauren Krugel
News from © Canadian Press Enterprises Inc., 2017
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