KIJPUKTUK, NOVA SCOTIA (10 July 2023)
Carrie Low, a survivor of a violent sexual assault, reported the incident to the Halifax Regional Police (“HRP”) in May 2018. Over the past few years, she has been re-traumatized from the mishandling of her case. In response to the Sexual Assault Investigative Team (“SAIT”) ineffective and traumatic investigation, Ms. Low filed a complaint against the HRP. Her experiences are indicative of a larger, troubling pattern of misconduct within policing agencies when it comes to investigating crimes against women.
Beginning Monday, Ms. Low will have the opportunity to share her story at the Police Review Board hearing. The Police Review Board is the last option available for the public to hold police to account. PATH urges the Board to recommend the necessary systemic changes highlighted by this case. For survivors to receive the care and justice they deserve, SAIT must be reformed.
Jason Cooke, KC and Cydney Kane of Burchell Wickwire Bryson LLP, Ms. Low’s lawyers for the hearing, describe their goals as follows:
We are seeking answers before the Police Review Board, about where this investigation went wrong, how to hold those individuals or systems accountable, and how to prevent this from happening again. We are glad to be representing Carrie and to support her mission to change how the legal system treats victim-survivors of sexual assault and police misconduct.
Ms. Low herself had the following to say in advance of the hearing:
I filed a police complaint against the Halifax Regional Police due to their insufficient investigation, discriminatory actions, and apathy after reporting that I was the victim of a drugging, kidnapping, and gang rape by multiple men. The province’s prolonged police complaint system is ineffective, and obstructs healing and the pursuit of justice for victims and survivors. The evident lack of transparency and accountability within the police system highlights the need for essential reforms in policing practices.
As citizens, we must use our voices to demand the necessary changes in our province's policing system. Let us stand united as I strive for transparency, accountability, and meaningful change, so that no one else has to endure the hardships I have faced.
The Police Review Board hearing will be open to the public and will commence on July 10, 2023 at the Delta Hotel Dartmouth, located at 240 Brownlow Avenue, Dartmouth, in the Burnside AB Room.
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Co-Director of PATH Legal