[I substituted the names of the parties rather than "Subject Officer #10" etc. The report took a remarkable length of time to produce, and many calls to get it out. I will make comments on a follow up post after I have calmed down some. Keith Henson]
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Report of Investigation
Complainants: William G. Hagglund and Keith Henson Complaint Number: 2001-EXT-0364 Investigated by: Detective James Hogan (6274) Public Complaints Investigation Bureau
(2) TABLE OF CONTENTS
Title Page I
Table of Contents 2
Summary and Allegations 3
Witness List 9
Evidence and Exhibits 10
Investigator's Significant Log Note Entries 11
FILE NUMBER: 2001-Ext-0364
DATE OF REPORT: 2002-01-17
COMPLAINANTS: William G. Hagglund and Keith Henson
SUBJECT OFFICERS: 1) Detective Constable Robert Bonenfant (6169), Special Investigation Services
2) Detective Phil Glavin (4396), previously Special Investigation Services
SUMMARY OF COMPLAINT: The complainant Keith Henson was arrested on May 28th, 2001 in Oakville, Ontario on the basis of a Warrant For Arrest issued by Citizenship and Immigration Canada. The complainant William Hagglund was temporarily detained at the same time. Both complainants allege that the manner of their arrest and detention, respectively, was marked by an "improper, excessive and dangerous use of force" by the subject officers.
Although the arrest and detention were carried out by members of the Halton Police Service, it is the position of the complainants that the subject officers of the Toronto Police Service named above were in control of the incident. It is the further position of the complainants that the subject officers, either knowingly or unwittingly, were acting at the behest of or in a manner designed to assist the Church of Scientology in its alleged harassment and persecution of the complainants.
ALLEGATION: 1) The subject officers' use of force during the arrest and detention of the complainants was improper, excessive and dangerous and was done in order to harass and traumatize them because of their known status as critics of the Church of Scientology.
Unlawful or Unnecessary Exercise of Authority (Unnecessary Force) -Police Services Act sec. 2(1)(g)(ii)
The following is an opinion or belief held by the investigator after an analysis of the facts and the law relating to this matter.
Note: Because of the complainants' close personal connections, joint involvement in activities related to the Church of Scientology and simultaneous detention and arrest in the incident which forms the basis of this complaint, it has been decided to combine their concerns and investigate them as a single complaint.
Allegation No. l The subject officers' use of force during the arrest and detention of the complainants was improper, excessive and dangerous and was done in order to harass and traumatize them because of their known status as critics of the Church of Scientology.
Hagglund states there was no justification for utilizing the Halton Regional Police Service Emergency Services Unit in the detention and arrest of himself and Henson, as this lead to a high tension, armed and dangerous situation. He states that a check of police information sources such as CPIC would have revealed that, based on his record, he likely would have quietly surrendered Henson to police after a phone call. Hagglund states the subject officers could have determined that the allegations against Henson were untrue if they had done some small amount of investigating. He further states the subject officers "were aware from the outset that these allegations about Mr. Henson (Henson) were baseless" and that the officers' reliance on them to conclude he was a potentially dangerous person was "using the barest thread of legal justification for an excessive use of force when arresting Mr. Henson and detaining me. Their actions appear to have been designed either to bully or terrorize Mr. Henson and me".
Hagglund states that proof the subject officers knew Henson was not really dangerous, and therefore did not need to be arrested in the manner in which he was, lies in the fact that neither the vehicle the complainants were in at the time of arrest nor Hagglund # 1 's house, where Henson was a guest, were searched for explosives.
The concerns of Henson are in all important ways the same as those of Hagglund #1 .
Bonenfant states that on May 24th, 2001 he received information that a wanted fugitive from California (Henson) was residing in the Oakville, Ontario area. Henson fled to Canada after failing to appear for sentencing in a California court on May 16th, 2001 for a hate crime related offence. Bonenfant states that in the course of his investigation he spoke with a California District Attorney named Robert Swartz who advised him that Henson was a bombs and explosives expert who was known to have experimented with explosives during the 1970s. Bonenfant further states he learned Henson was believed to be
(5) receiving his file at the Fugitive Squad, Citizenship and Immigration Canada had issued a warrant for the arrest of Henson.
Bonenfant states on May 28th, 2001 he confirmed the fact that Henson was staying in Oakville. He states that, based on Henson's background in explosives, he believed the arrest of Henson would require appropriate methods to ensure potential public and officer safety issues were addressed. As a result Bonenfant states he solicited the assistance of Glavin, Hicks and members of the Halton Regional Police Tactical Team to arrest Henson.
At approximately 14:35 hours on May 28`h, 2001 Bonenfant states he saw both complainants in a parking lot at the Oakville Place shopping mall. He states he informed the Halton Regional Police Tactical Team, who had been briefed previously, to make the arrest when they felt it was appropriate. The Halton tactical team officers then effected the `high risk' arrest of Henson and the arrest warrant was executed. Hagglund was also detained briefly at this time.
Bonenfant states the degree of force used to effect the arrest and detention of the complainants was directly associated to the potential risk. Bonenfant denies the allegation that the amount of force used was excessive.
The memorandum book notes of Bonenfant support his statement in all material respects.
Glavin states that on May 28th, 2001 he was informed by Bonenfant that he was conducting an investigation into a male who was in Canada illegally, and that he and Hicks were going to conduct surveillance of the male at a location in Halton Region. Glavin states Bonenfant informed him that if located, the arrest of Henson would be `high-risk' due to his knowledge and experience with explosives and threats he had made of using explosives. Glavin states he advised the Halton Regional Police Tactical Team of the intent to arrest Henson. He states he made his way to the Oakville Place Mall where the Halton officers were briefed and then took up a surveillance position. He states Henson was arrested by members of the Halton tactical team and then taken into custody and transported to 22 Division.
Glavin states the degree of force used to effect the arrest was directly associated to the potential risk presented by Henson during the investigation. Glavin denies the allegation that excessive force was used during the arrest and detention of the complainants.
The memorandum book notes of Glavin support his statement in all material respects. Specifically, Glavin made the following entries in his memorandum book notes for May 28th, 2001:
-he attended at the Toronto Police Service Emergency Task Force building and spoke with Sgt. Roger Gibson (7297) about his concerns with the planned arrest of Henson in relation to the possible presence of explosives and weapons. Sgt. Gibson undertook to advise the Halton Regional Police Service of these concerns on behalf of Glavin.
-at 14:10 hours at the Oakville Place Mall he briefed Carroll of the situation and turned over responsibility for the takedown to him. Glavin and Carroll then discussed safety issues and the possibility of letting the complainants' vehicle leave the mall before making the arrest. It was decided to effect the arrest prior to the vehicle moving as it was felt this might be a safer option.
Hicks states that on May 28th, 2001 he was assisting Bonenfant with the investigation and surveillance of a wanted fugitive from the State of California (Henson) who was believed to be residing in the Oakville area of Halton Region. He states that the arrest of Henson would be considered "high risk" due to his knowledge and use of explosives and his threats to use the same. Hicks states Henson was located at the Oakville Place Mall and arrested by officers of the Halton Regional Police Service and his companion, Hagglund, was investigated by Halton officers at the same time. He states he had no contact with either complainant during the arrest procedure but did assist in the investigation and processing of Henson. Hicks denies the allegation that excessive force was used during the arrest and detention of the complainants.
The memorandum book notes of Hicks support his statement in all material respects.
Carroll was the officer in charge of the Halton Regional Police Service Emergency Services Unit on May 28`h, 2001. He states that approximately 11:05 hours he received a telephone call from Sgt. Roger Gibson of the Toronto Police Service Emergency Task Force advising him that the Fugitive Squad was coming to Halton Region to search for a subject wanted on an Immigration Warrant. Carroll states he spoke with Glavin by telephone at approximately 12:00 hours and was provided with information about Henson including his identity and the fact he was wanted for an outstanding immigration warrant from the United States. He states Glavin requested tactical support for the arrest of Henson due to his history of being familiar with explosives. He states three other tactical officers deployed with him as well as one officer attached to the K9 unit. Carroll states he made enquiries into the availability of a police explosives technician and determined that Sgt. Perkins was available for this duty if required.
Carroll states he met with Glavin at the Oakville Place mall at 13:30 hours. Information was provided to him that Henson had been a passenger in a vehicle that was now unoccupied. He was also informed that Henson was on foot inside the mall with a male companion. He states that various operational plans to effect the arrest of Henson were discussed and that he preferred a static apprehension. Carroll states the complainants returned to their car at 14:35 hours and were arrested and detained without incident. He states Hagglund was released from the scene and Henson was turned over to the Toronto officers.
The memorandum book notes of Carroll support his statement in all material respects.
(7> In the investigation of this allegation it became clear that the complainants hold very strong views about the Church of Scientology as a result of their lengthy and adversarial relationship with it. Underlying their specific complaint about the actions of the subject officers is the feeling that the officers were somehow involved in or part of a plan initiated by the Church of Scientology which targeted the complainants. This investigation revealed no evidence that the subject officers or any other members of the Toronto Police Service acted in this way or were otherwise unprofessional in their dealings with the complainants.
The decision to ask for the assistance of the Halton Regional Police Service Emergency Services Unit in the arrest and detention of the complainants was made by Bonenfant in consultation with Glavin and a supervisor of the Toronto Police Service Emergency Task Force. In arriving at this decision Bonenfant considered both what it was he was trying to accomplish and the various pieces of information he was aware of which might affect his ability to accomplish it. Bonenfant stated that he received Henson's file and learned that a warrant for the arrest of Henson had already been issued by Citizenship and Immigration. His job, therefore, was to locate Henson, arrest him on the strength of the existing warrant and have him brought before the appropriate authorities for an immigration hearing.
Bonenfant learned from an official of the California Department of Justice, District Attorney Robert Swartz, that Henson had a history of familiarity and proficiency with explosives. Bonenfant states he learned Henson was believed to be providing information on the construction of pipe bombs over the Internet. As a result of these pieces of information Bonenfant came to the conclusion that the arrest of Henson potentially involved higher risks than other types of arrests and that he should make some efforts to address these risks. There is nothing to suggest this was an unreasonable conclusion to arrive at.
Bonenfant communicated his concerns to Glavin and through him to a supervisor in the Emergency Task Force. These concerns were then communicated to the Emergency Services Unit of the Halton Regional Police as the arrest was to take place in Halton, and it is a rule of the Toronto Police Service to inform the relevant outside agency and invite their participation when operations are taking place in other jurisdictions.
Glavin briefed Carroll at the Oakville Place Mall prior to the arrest and together they discussed various options for effecting the arrest safely. They decided on a 'static apprehension' of the complainants as the safest way to make the arrest rather than other options , such as letting the complainants' vehicle leave the mall parking lot. Carroll was delegated responsibility for the takedown and the complainants were then arrested by members of the Halton Emergency Services Unit without incident.
It is instructive to quote Hagglund on the issue of the arrest itself. Although he and Henson assert in their allegation that the subject officers' use of force during the arrest was "improper, excessive and dangerous", he also writes in the same correspondence that "the Halton Police Emergency Task Force had acted professionally and gained total control of this situation in moments. They were, given the circumstances, courteous and considerate of the Grandfather they were arresting and the slightly overweight middle-aged local citizen they were detaining for the moment." Although the complainants express concern for the-safety of
(g> themselves, the involved police officers and passing citizens in the area of the arrest as a result of the way it was conducted, they also characterize it as being professionally done. No safety concerns related to the actual arrest were raised by any of the involved officers.
Hagglund suggests a check of his background and criminal record would have shown him to be an upstanding citizen, one who would have freely turned Henson over to the police and thereby removed the need for the kind of arrest which took place. The criminal record or lack thereof of Hagglund is neither relevant nor determinative in attempting to assess the safety factors surrounding Henson. They are two individual, separate people and it is no more reasonable or fair to assume one is a co-operative, law-abiding citizen because the other does not have a criminal record, than it would be to assume one is a dangerous criminal because the other does have a record. As well, due to the type of people the Fugitive Squad most often deals with, it is not their practice to make phone calls asking people to turn themselves in. Bonenfant had no information about Henson to cause him to stray from this prudent policy.
Finally, Hagglund asserts that the fact his house and car were not searched for explosives is proof the subject officers knew Henson was not really dangerous and did not need to be arrested in the manner in which he was. Bonenfant 's sole task was to locate Henson, arrest him on the strength of the immigration warrant and have him brought before the authorities for an immigration hearing. Bonenfant was not detailed to conduct an investigation of Hagglund nor did he receive any information suggesting Hagglund had any involvement with explosives or otherwise should be the subject of a criminal investigation. Bonenfant did receive information concerning Henson and explosives and acted on this information in a way he thought appropriate.
After careful review of the facts in this case it is found that the subject officers did not use force in an improper, excessive and dangerous way in the arrest and detention of the complainants.
Therefore, based on the available evidence, there is no police misconduct.
The allegation is unsubstantiated.