Disgraced Richmond cop handed
criminal record for breach of trust
Kenrick Whitney withheld $650 during a police integrity test
Graeme Wood, Richmond News, Feb. 23, 2015
Kenrick Whitney leaves Richmond Provincial Courthouse on Jan. 13, 2015
following a sentencing hearing. Whitney pleaded guilty to breach of trust.
The public’s faith in the justice system weighed heavily on Vancouver Provincial Court judge Gregory Rideout when he handed disgraced former Richmond RCMP officer Kenrick Whitney a criminal record for breach of trust at a sentencing hearing Monday.
“The message must be clearly sent to police officers that when they commit breach of trust, while on duty, that any sentence that is imposed requires that deterrence be paramount to preserve the public’s faith in the integrity of the justice system,” Rideout told Whitney at the Richmond Provincial Courthouse.
Whitney was given a suspended sentence, 12 months of probation and 55 hours of community service.
The former BC Lion football player and 17-year officer pleaded guilty to breach of trust for withholding $650 and a hand tool he seized in what turned out to be a police integrity test in May, 2013.
Whitney was asking for a conditional discharge, which would have been his second, following an assault charge in 2003.
Rideout said granting yet another discharge would not be appropriate.
“The court should not look with leniency when a police officer acts …to advance or disguise his criminal activities,” he said, adding that the fact he took the money while on duty was particularly troublesome.
“Whitney’s breach of trust occurred when he was in a position of authority,” noted Rideout.
Rideout said in his decision he considered mitigating factors such as Whitney’s job loss, his family problems, the publicity surrounding the case and the fact Whitney pleaded guilty.
Last month, Whitney told the court that he was depressed and having personal problems at the time and had subsequently developed greater anxiety, depression and family problems.
But Rideout found that medical examinations didn’t prove he was clinically ill.
“I do not find his depressive state of mind sufficiently explains his conduct when he committed the breach of trust. His criminal behavior seems to be motivated by opportunity.”
During the internal police sting, which partly stemmed from allegations Whitney was using cocaine, an undercover police officer posed as a taxi driver who informed an on-duty Whitney, then working at Vancouver International Airport, that a man suspected of drug dealing left a bag in the back of the taxi.
When Whitney investigated the matter he seized the bag containing $850, bear spray and tools.
But Whitney kept $650 and one tool, after a helicopter tracked his movements.
Defense attorney Meagan Richards called it a $2 million mistake, noting Whitney has since lost his job, which paid him upwards of $100,000 annually, as well as his pension.
Since then Whitney has started his own business — a training gym in New Westminster.
Whitney said he wanted another discharge in order to travel to the United States for business and personal reasons, something he couldn't do with a criminal record.
Rideout said he wasn’t convinced a suspended sentence would necessarily hinder that opportunity. Furthermore, protecting the public’s trust in the police was of far greater consequence, he said.
In 2003 Whitney was discharged after pleading guilty of assault for slapping a man over a parking space dispute. He served 25 hours of community service. In 2007 the RCMP found him guilty of disgraceful conduct after he spat on a driver during a traffic stop while working for the Lower Mainland RCMP drug section.
More information about RCMP constable Ken Kenrick Whitney:
An ongoing RCMP disgrace for many years, Ken Kenrick Whitney’s back in court,
this time for stealing while on duty. But despite all the extraordinary leniency
granted to him, Whitney says he’s been punished excessively. The unmanly tough guy
also claims he can’t be held responsible for his own actions. More…
Richmond police officer
pleads guilty to breach of trust.
Const. Kenrick Whitney was a former BC Lion
with a history of assault while on duty
Graeme Wood, Richmond News, Oct. 30, 2014
Through at least 16 years of offensive, disgusting and vicious behaviour,
Mountie brass have supported RCMP constable Ken Kenrick Whitney.
Now allegations of theft and breach of trust have finally got this creep suspended.
Did RCMP bosses wait until he qualified for full pension?
What constitutes gross misconduct for RCMP officers questioned
Brian Hutchinson, National Post, Dec. 5, 2009
Its time to ditch spitting Mountie
An editorial in the Vancouver Province, July 21, 2009
Mounties pay docked for spitting on motorist
Lori Culbert, Vancouver Sun, July 19, 2009
RCMP officer admits to road rage
Glenn Bohn, Vancouver Sun, Oct. 9, 2003