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Watchdog probing alleged chat group with racist messages among Nelson police

Click to play video: 'More details emerge about the investigation into eight Nelson Police Department officers'
More details emerge about the investigation into eight Nelson Police Department officers
On Wednesday, Global News had the exclusive about the Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner's investigation into the behaviour of almost half the officers at the Nelson Police Department. Now that office confirms the complaint came from the police chief and involves alleged racist comments on a WhatsApp group chat. People in Nelson say they are surprised but there have been rumours in town for years. A Nelson Star reporter tells Global News that the chief is relatively new and making changes to one of the oldest police forces in the province – Jul 7, 2022

The Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner has confirmed an investigation is underway into the alleged actions of numerous present and former members of the Nelson Police Department.

“As a result of a request from the Chief Constable of the Nelson Police Department, a disciplinary conduct investigation was ordered on February 3, 2022, and is underway with respect to eight present and former Nelson police officers into potential misconduct under the Police Act,” the OPCC said in a statement to Global News.

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Global News previously reported the investigation involved racism-related allegations.

Read more: Nearly half the police department in Nelson, B.C. under investigation: sources

That fact has now been confirmed by the OPCC, which stated the probe is “…related to participation in a WhatsApp chat group and the sharing of inappropriate content and messages including alleged racist comments.”

Click to play video: 'Nearly half the officers at the Nelson Police Department are under investigation'
Nearly half the officers at the Nelson Police Department are under investigation

Nelson Chief Const. Donovan Fisher responded to an inquiry saying that he would very much like to comment, but “I am unfortunately held under confidentiality requirements of an ongoing investigation.”

Read more: ‘Appalling’ allegations at B.C. police undercover training course prompt investigation

He did, however, confirm that the department has 20 officers, including himself.

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The investigation is being conducted by the Vancouver Police Department under the civilian oversight of the OPCC.

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