Province considering independent body to investigate police - Metro US

Province considering independent body to investigate police

The province’s justice minister said Thursday his thoughts are with the family of an Indian Brook woman who has been clinging to life in a Halifax hospital since suffering a stroke in a jail cell.

Justice Minister Ross Landry also told reporters he’s reviewing whether it would be better to have an independent body investigate the province’s police departments when necessary, instead of have one force investigate another, as is happening in the case of 44-year-old Victoria Paul.

Truro police reportedly arrested Paul early last Friday morning for public intoxication. She was kept in custody overnight along with her son, who was arrested at the same time for allegedly breaching bail conditions.

Deveron Paul told CBC News it took Truro police five hours to call paramedics after they couldn’t wake his mother up the next morning. Paul’s family expected her to be taken off life support at Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre Thursday.

However, Capital District Health Authority spokesman Peter Graham told Metro late Thursday afternoon Paul was still listed in critical condition at the hospital.

The Truro Police Service announced a review into how officers dealt with Paul, and Landry confirmed Halifax Regional Police are helping investigate what actually happened in the Paul case, adding he’s considering using independent investigators in the future.

“I’m presently reviewing that very issue and looking at it as a possibility,” Landry said following a cabinet meeting in Halifax. “Whether that materializes will take time.”

Landry said he actually started looking into the matter a few weeks ago, before concerns raised by the Paul case, “because I thought it was an important question to look at.”

He said he’s researching how other jurisdictions deal with such investigations and consulting with stakeholders to find out more.

“I take a strong interest in policing and the quality of service that we provide throughout the province,” he said.

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