Discipline of Vancouver police officer to be reviewed by retired judge: commissioner

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The Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner of B.C. has ordered a review of the findings of a discipline investigation against a Vancouver police officer.

The independent office that ensures police misconduct inquiries are fair has determined the findings of a discipline investigation involving Const. Neil Logan were incorrect and a retired judge has been appointed to review the allegations.

Vancouver police investigated Logan after his former intimate partner, Alyssa LeBlevec, alleged he was abusive, belligerent and aggressive toward her while the two were on a trip to Oregon in 2017.

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The complaint commissioner’s review shows LeBlevec reported Logan smashed the window of the car she was driving, slapped her repeatedly on the face and physically restrained her from leaving their motel room.

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Vancouver police held two investigations, first proposing a 15-day suspension and, when the commissioner rejected that finding the department called for a six-day suspension and anger management classes.

In both discipline hearings the department only substantiated the smashed windshield, prompting Commissioner Clayton Pecknold to call for further review and appoint former provincial court judge Brian Neal as an adjudicator.

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A date for the Review on the Record has not yet been set.

Pecknold said in his decision released on June 1 that the Vancouver police review didn’t give proper consideration to all the evidence in the case and, despite corroborating details, accepted Logan’s claim that he did not hit LeBlevec.

“The evidence supports a serious level of violence in Constable Logan’s actions,” Pecknold said in his ruling, which also finds the original investigation of the case was thorough and complete.

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“Appropriate weight was not afforded to the evidence provided by Ms. LeBlevec,” he said, adding that evidence supports that Logan was drunk while LeBlevec was sober “and would therefore not have her memory impugned by intoxication.”

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Pecknold also questions how the discipline hearings could have agreed with Logan’s claims that because LeBlevec remained at the motel after she was hit, she did not fear for her life, and filed her complaint only upon learning Logan was seeing someone else.

“I find the decision of the discipline authority to be lacking in understanding and consideration of the impact of trauma and the dynamics of intimate partner violence,” his ruling said.

In an interview Wednesday, LeBlevec said she’s pleased the commissioner’s ruling recognized that the police department’s investigations lacked understanding of domestic violence.

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“It’s really disheartening that in today’s day and age we’re still at a point where victims are blamed.”

She said Logan was on desk duty in 2017 when the incident occurred and she later found out he was back on patrol, though Vancouver police did not directly alert her.

“I’d made it very clear to them that I was incredibly fearful of him and they failed to even notify me that he was back on the road, despite the fact that they knew that I lived and worked in Vancouver.”

A statement from the Vancouver Police Department said Logan’s employment status had not changed with the force, but it didn’t specify the nature of his role.

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Logan’s lawyer did not respond when asked about the commissioner’s latest findings.

LeBlevec said she’s speaking up in hopes of protecting other women.

“I personally have nothing but respect for the police officers that do their job with honour and integrity,” she said.

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“But what it comes down to is how the department chooses to take accountability for their officers and that has been completely lacking here.”

The matter against Logan is not the only one he faces before the Police Complaint Commissioner.

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Logan and fellow Vancouver Const. Eric Ludeman are also undergoing a public hearing related to misconduct charges stemming from a complaint of excessive use of force and improper entry into a private residence.

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In that case, the commissioner said the matter was investigated by Victoria police and referred to a retired judge for review.

A public hearing was ordered when the homeowner complained after the judge ruled that the entry was unlawful, but the officers had not committed misconduct.

The hearing began in March and should have wrapped up last month but a release on the commissioner’s website says it has been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and has not yet been rescheduled.

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