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Cops will take report seriously

Edmonton Sun

NEWS

Wednesday, September 26, 2001

Cops will take report seriously

Release of woman's study on police misconduct greeted with more allegations

By DAN PALMER, EDMONTON SUN

Any new allegations of police misconduct generated by a report written by a self-proclaimed family advocate will be taken seriously by city cops, says a spokesman for the force.

"Anybody who has a concern about an investigation has to let us know so we can do something about it," Sgt. Jeff Anderson said yesterday.

Louise Malenfant of Parents Helping Parents said she received at least four phone calls yesterday from people alleging police misconduct similar to what she outlined in her report.

"I've been on the phone all day," she said.

The 42-year-old's report - compiled over a year after she reviewed court documents and interviewed witnesses in three alleged child abuse cases - claims such things as a cop in the child abuse unit allegedly telling a witness a man was guilty of abusing a child before the man was convicted of a crime.

"They're basically becoming judge and jury, determining the guilt of the accused," she said.

The Sun also received a handful of calls yesterday after a story about the report was published.

One man, who asked not to be named, alleged a cop told a witness that his male relative, who is accused of sexual assault against a woman, was guilty before being convicted of a crime.

Stephen Jenuth, president of the Alberta Civil Liberties Association, said the administration of justice can be put in danger if police unfairly influence a witness.

"Police should be very careful about what they say to a witness because it could taint evidence and could convict someone who's not guilty," he said.

The city police internal affairs division is now investigating the allegations in Malenfant's report.

Anderson said he couldn't talk about the allegations.

"It certainly wouldn't be fair to talk about something when it's under investigation," he said.

However, if more concerns about the police surface because of the Malenfant report, the public is encouraged to send a complaint to city cops, said Anderson.

The sergeant was surprised so many people had contacted Malenfant and The Sun.

"I don't recall concerns in the past, perhaps it's something that needs to be dealt with," he said.

Malenfant said she's happy that her work has created such a stir, but added she's disappointed that so many people have contacted her.

That's because the new calls to her mean that there may be more problems within the city police that need to be addressed.

"I'm not happy so many people (allegedly) suffered," she said.

If, after researching the new cases, she believes the callers' cases are valid, she said she plans to prepare another report and submit it to the Edmonton Police Service.

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The report that got things rolling

Original article in the Edmonton Sun: Guilt before proof?

Follow-up Sep.27, 2001: Response thrills report's author

Report Rocks Edmonton Child Abuse Police — Editorial in Edmonton Sun, Sep. 30, 2001

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Posted 2001 09 25
Updates:
2001 09 27 (added links to follow-up article in the Edmonton Sun and to report that got things rolling)
2001 09 27 (added link to second follow-up article)
2001 10 02 (added link to editorial Report Rocks Edmonton Child Abuse Police in Edmonton Sun)


Parents Helping Parents

Louise Malenfant

malenfant.jpg (2818 bytes)

Family Advocate, Parents Helping Parents

Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Louise Malenfant passed away in 2006.  She is being missed.

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