Stan Lowe states
his guiding principle:
Bigshots should be accountable
to no one
People will not be able to freely exercise their discretion
because theyre concerned about one day
being brought to an inquiry.
That incredible remark came from police complaint commissioner Stan Lowe in May 2008, when he was a Crown attorney with B.C.s Criminal Justice Branch. Lowe was arguing that people should not have to answer for their decisions at least not when theyre important people, like Crown attorneys.
Lowe was speaking on behalf of two colleagues who didnt want to tell a coroners inquest why they recommended bail for Peter Lee in summer 2007. They did so despite a credible statement from Lees wife, who said he intended to kill her and her family.
The following September Lee did just that. He killed her, their six-year-old son, his wifes parents and himself.
The coroners efforts to have the Crown testify sparked Lowes incredible remark, a brazen statement that people (important people, anyway) shouldnt be held accountable for their actions.
This lack of accountability continues with Lowes current job. True, the job came after he was savaged in the media for his shameful decision in the Dziekanski case. But just one week after that decision, with barely a peep from the press, Lowe was appointed B.C.s police complaint commissioner for municipal cops.
No journalist has publicly asked how Lowe can hold public confidence in such a position after he stated that the five Taser blasts and other brutal treatment inflicted on Dziekanski were reasonable and necessary. No journalist has asked how Lowe can hold public confidence when hes so obviously at odds with Thomas Braidwoods recommendations on Taser use and Paul Kennedys findings on the four RCMP officers involved. No journalist has asked how Lowe can honestly assess evidence when he claimed Dziekanski was resisting arrest in fact Dziekanski was writhing in pain from the Taser.
As for the rest of us, we cant challenge Lowe on anything. Hes a law unto himself. As police complaint commissioner, Lowe is a statutory officer, an independent officer of the legislature. That means no one, not the Ombudsman, nor any cabinet minister, nor the Speaker nor even the legislature itself can hold him accountable. Lowe faces no watchdog, no oversight, no review, no appeal, no checks and balances, no nothing.
There might be sound reasons why positions like that exist. But the people appointed to those positions must show the highest integrity. Its fair to ask whether Lowes past comments and his decision on the Dziekanski case show such integrity. And while on the subject of integrity, its also fair to ask how the hell characters like Rollie Woods and Bruce M. Brown can be entrusted with unaccountable positions. Beyond a doubt, at least two of the ex-cops on Lowes crew of ex-cops are clearly biased in favour of cops.
They get away with it because theyre unaccountable. They work for Stan Lowe, an independent officer of the legislature. But in this case, independent officer seems to mean no more than unaccountable bigshot.