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Delta Police to face public over controversial investigation into chief’s wife

Last Updated Jun 30, 2020 at 7:27 am PDT

(Riley Phillips for NEWS 1130)
Summary

Public invited to attend Delta Police Board meeting amid controversy around investigation into chief's wife

Delta Police Chief Neil Dubord’s wife at centre of assault allegation against South Asian woman

DELTA (NEWS 1130) — Delta police are turning their regular board meeting into an open online forum for the public to address allegations the force tried to sweep an investigation into the police chief’s wife under the rug.

The meeting is in response to concerns that a report filed by Kiran Sidhu, alleging an assault by Lorraine Dubord, was mishandled by officers in Delta, in early June.

“I would like to be there to offer truth and validity,” says Sidhu of Tuesday morning’s meeting, adding this is a chance to examine broader systemic issues within the force, including a lack of female officers of colour.

“When I initially reported the crime I asked for a woman of colour officer to respond and they were not able to deliver on that in any way at all during the three or four day investigation,” says Sidhu.

Sidhu describes walking along Centennial Beach when the tide came in quickly and she was forced to balance using a private fence near a large home before being confronted by the homeowner.

After a brief and tense exchange, the woman, who is now known to be the wife of Delta Police Chief Neil Dubord, threatened to spray Sidhu with a hose and followed through on that threat.

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Sidhu says that she was never told by Delta police that the accused was related to the police chief and she found out who her assailant was independently.

She says the investigation wasn’t escalated to a supervising officer until she learned Dubord’s identity.

“That makes it seem a little duplicitous in so many ways. Everybody clearly knew it was the wife of the police chief, everybody but me, in the whole process, until I found out on my own,” she says.

“I found that to be very disturbing, just as someone who filed, or reported, a crime.”

Sidhu says, while she lives in Surrey, she would have expected police to interview her in person, especially once she learned Dubord and another witness were interviewed in person.

“They didn’t give me the dignity of an in-person meeting,” she says.

“It would have been great if they could have been transparent from the get-go and that’s really, I think, a big mistake they made in trying to keep that quiet, which is also kind of silly because how are you going to keep this quiet when they have this giant home in this high-profile area? Of course you would find out that it’s the police chief’s home,” says Sidhu.

Online, some have expressed dismay that the chief has been “dragged through the mud” despite not being involved in the investigation.

Delta police say the chief recused himself from the beginning of the investigation.

After the case was closed, Sidhu filed a complaint about the investigation, which is now being reviewed independently by Surrey RCMP.

Meanwhile, a University of Victoria law student and Delta resident has written a letter to Chief Dubord, expressing her frustrations about the relationship between people of colour and police.

Dhatt says the actions take a toll on South Asian women like herself, and make them “feel less safe and valued in Delta when the police do not take a racist assault seriously.”

“How can the South Asian community in Delta and other minority communities in Delta have faith in you to protect them when you cannot acknowledge the extent of the damage caused by your wife’s actions?” she asks.

Meanwhile the Deputy Chief Constable and Chief Dubord have issued statements and Lorraine Dubord has apologized.

Related video: Delta’s police chief speaks out

Claiming he has not been involved in the process at any point, Dubord says he won’t speak any further on the issue.

Transparency and accountability are essential in maintaining and building trust with the community. Given the recent, meaningful and important discourse taking place around systemic racism, discrimination and violence in North America, I understand that transparency and trust are critically important – especially from those in the police department.”

-With files from Mike Lloyd