[Hpn] Trial of Saskatoon police officers for abandoning Native men in dead of winter in dead of winter

Graeme Bacque graeme2@funcow.com
Tue, 22 Aug 2000 12:19:34 -0400


http://cbc.ca/cgi-bin/templates/view.cgi?/news/2000/08/21/saskcops000821
Protesters ready for Saskatoon police trial
WebPosted Tue Aug 22 00:40:07 2000

SASKATOON - Two veteran police constables in Saskatoon are preparing for a 
controversial court case. Ken Munson and Dan Hatchen are accused of 
abandoning a native man, Darrell Night, on the outskirts of the city in the 
dead of winter.

The case has sparked allegations by many aboriginal people of violence and 
racism in the police force.

Maria Shupenia was one of the demonstrators in front of the court house on 
Monday carrying a banner she said represented the blood on the hands of the 
people responsible for leaving three aboriginal men near a power plant last 
winter.

Two of the three men were found frozen to death. The other man, Darrel 
Night, managed to get help.

"This is something we can't let go," Shupenia said. "It's not just an 
aboriginal issue, this is part of the whole community and we need to stand 
up for people who have less of a voice."

Night complained that two Saskatoon police officers picked him up in the 
city, drove him to the outskirts of town and left him in freezing 
temperatures.

Constables Hatchen and Munson have been charged with assault and unlawful 
confinement.

The preliminary hearings for the two police officers are scheduled to begin 
in about three weeks. On Monday, the officers' lawyers were in court, 
laying out the groundwork for the hearings.

Both Hatchen and Munson were suspended after the charges were laid. 
Saskatoon chief of police Dave Scott says they'll remain off duty, for the 
time being at least.

"I will wait until the evidence is produced at both preliminary hearings 
before I make any further decision  using common sense and what's 
reasonable in law," said Scott.

Munson and Hatchen have been put back on the payroll. The Saskatchewan 
police commission ruled last Friday they deserve to be paid, because the 
two officers have been co-operative and honest throughout the investigation.