Criminology expert Darryl Davies calls on city to do something about Police Association president’s actions
Dear Mr. Egli,
The latest instalment of policing chaos in this city comes at the hands of Matt Skof, the President of the Ottawa Police Association.
It's beyond belief that Matt Skof would post a video to YouTube and publicly call Charles Bordeleau, the Ottawa Chief of Police, a liar without facing any consequences. It's an act of extreme insubordination and city council and the Police Services Board must do something to reaffirm public confidence in Ottawa’s police. The public needs to be assured that the police force in the city has a functioning chain of command.
The issues raised by Matt Skof should be dealt with at city council or by the Ottawa Police Services Board, but they certainly shouldn't be posted on YouTube without consequence. Instead we see turmoil rocking the OPS because Skof appears to have absolutely no regard for the untold damage such a video could do to this City and, more importantly, the credibility of the Ottawa Police Service. This video has been posted for the world to see and it is a disgrace that no one at City Hall (specifically the Mayor) is calling him out for it. Skof's action follows his previously ignorant and egregious comments after the violent beating death of Abdirahman Abdi at the hands of Ottawa Police Constables Dave Weir and Daniel Monstion. He said "To suggest that race was an issue in this, it's inappropriate." Skof made these remarks before any investigation determined whether or not that was the case, which infuriated many in Ottawa's Black community.
This is part of the continuing saga that shows the Ottawa Police Association, the Ottawa Police Services and the Ottawa Police Services Board are in a crisis. We have police (SKOF) filing complaints against the Chief with the OIPRD. We have the President of the Ottawa Police Association running around talking about 'his' men as though he is the de facto Chief of Police. We have a Chairperson of the Ottawa Police Services Board who appears not to have a clue about how to address the issues and a Mayor that has steadfastly failed to speak out on the policing crisis in our city. The track record of police misconduct in this city borders on inexplicable.
As you are aware, Dan Donovan, Publisher and Managing Editor of Ottawa Life Magazine, myself and many others involved in criminal justice matters have been writing and speaking out about problem policing in Ottawa for many years. Despite this fact, city councillors remain unconcerned and asleep at the switch. Pretending the problem will simply go away is not an option.
I think that it’s time the provincial government stepped in and brought an end to this chaos because it’s clear that Ottawa City Council has completely lost control over policing in this city. The death of Mr. Abdi is just another gross blight on policing in Ottawa.
I am requesting that you send a letter to the Honourable David Orazietti, the Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services who is responsible to the taxpayers for policing in this province. I would like you to formally request that a management board be established by the province to restore some sanity to the policing mess that we have in the City of Ottawa. It's clear that our municipal officials are doing and saying nothing and for the Mayor to be telling the media (which he did recently) that we have a superb police force clearly shows that he is completely out of touch with reality.
Since it’s clear that the Mayor and Ottawa City Council are doing nothing in a serious and substantive way to address the problem, I am formally calling upon you to take action. The taxpayers of this city deserve nothing less. You can view the original YouTube video below.
Darryl T Davies