Friday, November 13, 2009

Windsor police chief apologizes for conduct of officers in arrest of two Muslim men

Two weeks ago, the Windsor Police Service, acting on the request of the RCMP, arrested two Muslim men in Windsor pursuant to an extradition warrant. The men are suspected of relatively minor offences (fencing stolen computers) although apparently the offences are linked to an organized crime ring in Detroit.

During the arrest, the wife of one of the suspects was frisk searched by a male officer (there are no female officers with Windsor's Emergency Services Unit). It was this that led to concerns raised by the Islamic community in Windsor.

The Windsor Chief issued a bold and courageous apology for the conduct of his officers.

The Chief has pledged to revise his force's sensitivity training to ensure that this does not happen again as well as to try and promote female officers to this elite group of officers.

For a further discussion of the circumstances surrounding the frisk search, the relevant constitutional law and the implications of the Chief's apology, see Professor Tanovich's op-ed in the Windsor Star entitled "Police Chief's apology will go a long way".

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