Lethbridge Police officers demoted for surveillance of former Environment Minister
Lethbridge West NDP MLA Shannon Phillips. Photo credit to Shannon Phillips on Facebook
Shannon Phillips is calling for an out-of-province investigation after discovering two Lethbridge Police officers were demoted late last week for surveilling her, for personal and political reasons, back in 2017.
The then Environment Minister filed a complaint after photos of what she calls “an informal brunch with friends” showed up on Facebook along with false information about why she was there.
It was in the midst of contentious legislation aimed to restrict off-road vehicle use in an environmentally sensitive area of the Castle region, something Sergeant Jason Carrier and Constable Keon Woronuk had a shared interest in.
A disciplinary hearing decision issued late last week states that in addition to posting the photos and a long caption criticizing Phillips and the NDP government, Woronok also tried to follow one of the meeting attendees to see if the driver committed an infraction while searching the vehicle licence plate in the Canadian Police Information Centre database.
Each have been temporarily demoted, Carrier from sergeant to senior constable for one year and Woronuk from senior constable to first-class constable for two years, but Phillips says that doesn’t make her feel safe.
She says “I would suggest that a mere demotion and still being able to drive by my house at any point that they want, is not an acceptable outcome to me. If an officer in this town, or officers, are going to place someone under surveillance because they don’t agree with them, what does that mean for overall community safety?”
Phillips says she wasn’t even discussing Castle region with meeting attendees that day but the re-introduction of Bison to Banff National Park.