Calgary police erred in Sean Chu sex abuse allegations: commission


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Calgary police dedicated errors of their 1997 inside dealing with of high-profile sexual-assault allegations towards Sean Chu, who’s now a metropolis councillor, the Calgary police fee mentioned Thursday.

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The accusations made towards then-constable Chu emerged throughout final fall’s civic election and led to calls by fellow lawmakers and plenty of Calgarians for his resignation.

Following the fee’s personal investigation, it mentioned it discovered some disciplinary protocols weren’t adopted by police.

“Some insurance policies and processes . . . weren’t correctly adopted through the inside investigation, principally round when a disciplinary investigation was accomplished and the way info was communicated to the youth who reported that she had been sexually assaulted by the officer,” mentioned a press release launched by the fee, which supplies civilian oversight of the Calgary Police Service.

These lapses didn’t have an effect on the result of the case since an investigation and disciplinary listening to did happen, mentioned the fee, which added “the errors created vital delay and distrust within the course of.”

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Whereas there are not any authorized grounds to reopen the case, fee chair Shawn Cornett mentioned she hopes its efforts will stop such lapses from occurring once more.

“A teenage woman got here to the service with severe allegations about an officer and the service didn’t present her with the compassionate assist she wanted to navigate a posh and intimidating course of,” mentioned Cornett.

“It was not OK then and it could not be OK now.”

Stories of the problem first emerged simply days earlier than the 2021 municipal election that Chu was discovered responsible of discreditable conduct over an incident of inappropriate bodily contact with a 16-year-old woman in 1997, when he was a Calgary police officer in his 30s.

The woman reported to police that Chu assaulted her at his residence, and whereas no prison costs have been laid, she subsequently complained in regards to the investigation to the Regulation Enforcement Evaluation Board.

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The LERB dominated the police service wanted to conduct a disciplinary investigation and, in 2003, a proper reprimand that lasted 5 years was positioned on Chu’s file.

Chu publicly addressed the problem shortly after profitable a 3rd time period in workplace final October. He admitted to what he known as “consensual touching” with the woman at his residence after his shift.

He mentioned he met her whereas in uniform, on responsibility, however mentioned he didn’t know she was underage as a result of he encountered her at a “licensed institution” the place individuals must show they have been 18 to enter.

The woman additionally filed a civil lawsuit towards Chu in 1999, and her assertion of declare outlines a really totally different model of occasions.

She mentioned Chu knew her age as a result of he’d first met her just a few years earlier, they usually’d spoken on the telephone or met by likelihood a number of occasions earlier than the alleged assault in 1997.

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She moreover alleged Chu was presupposed to be giving her a journey residence from a restaurant — not a bar — when he as an alternative took her to his residence, and mentioned he produced his police service weapon “to beat her resistance to the sexual assault.”

On Thursday, the police service mentioned its dealing with of the Chu case wouldn’t be repeated at the moment, following an overhaul of its protocols.

“The grievance course of that dates again to 1997 on this case wouldn’t meet our present requirements or expectations round compassionate {and professional} communication with a complainant, particularly on this case a youth,” the police mentioned.

On account of this work, our Skilled Requirements Part now has clearly outlined processes and expectations for the methods through which investigations are performed, governance oversight of file assessment and the methods through which we talk with complainants.”

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The fee mentioned the police service’s prison investigation into the matter and its resolution to not lay costs towards Chu have been past its mandate, however the suggestions it has made have already been fulfilled by the police service, which it described as totally co-operative with its assessment.

The most important change is that the province would now be notified of a police misconduct case involving a sexual-assault allegation, and the file can be independently investigated by, or at the very least reviewed by, the Alberta Severe Incident Response Group,” the fee mentioned in a press release that echoed the police service’s personal Thursday remark.

– With information from Madeline Smith

Twitter: @BillKaufmannjrn

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