Former Vancouver police chief Jamie Graham.

Vancouver’s former police chief Jamie Graham is working at Simon’s Bike shop on Robson St., selling bikes. And that’s where he should stay, say members of Canadians Opposing Political Psychiatry. Graham’s record as Vancouver’s chief of allowing constables to practice Soviet-style political psychiatry and evidence fabrication, makes it is nothing short of criminal, in the view of COPP members, that he was one of three men short-listed to become the new police chief of Victoria, the capital city of British Columbia. The Victoria Police Board says they have made their choice – they made it just days before last Saturday’s election which would end Mayor Lowe’s term — and media rumors are that they have chosen Graham.

When Simon Coutts, owner of Simon’s bike shop, got wind of the rumor, he telephoned Graham and asked him “point-blank” if he was leaving and if he was going to give two weeks notice. Graham laughed and said, “No comment, Simon.”

But Graham can’t stop COPP members from commenting on his record of Soviet-style political psychiatry. COPP has asked the Victoria Police Board in writing to review the fact that Graham put Vancouver on the global map for allowing his constables to practice Soviet-style political psychiatry and evidence fabrication. In fact, it was Soviet-style political psychiatry practiced under Graham that triggered the current international boycott of diplomas issued by the Vancouver School Board. Photo of Victoria Police Board members: Mayor Lowe [outgoing] of Victoria, Chair; Mayor Clement of Esquimalt, Catherine Holt, Ralston Alexander, Christine Stoneman, Ken MacLeod, Lindalee Brougham, Kathy Mick [Since this article was written, Catherine Holt, in the back row on the left wearing a grey suit, resigned from the Board saying, “[T]here is public concern about both the process, this board and the candidate.”

A paper trail reveals that under Graham a bureaucrat could call the VPD and arrange to have a critic visited by an armed police constable and a psychiatric nurse and assessed for “apprehension” to a mental hospital. One such case exposed by COPP involved the Vancouver School Board, another involved United Way of Vancouver & the Lower Mainland.

The Vancouver School Board arranged for a woman to be visited by Car 87 under fraudulent pretenses in Nov. 2002, after she informed the Board in writing just weeks before an election that she intended to campaign about their mishandling of bullying complaints. Her letter announcing her intent to campaign in the election was the sole evidence turned over to the Car 87 psych nurse to be used against her. The official reason given for the visit on the official Car 87 form was that she had made “freedom of information requests”. Graham’s police-school liaison who approved the visit, Sergeant Garry Lester, was caught on tape admitting that he had approved the Car 87 visit under pressure from VSB bureaucrats AFTER he had emphasized to them that there was “nothing untoward” about this woman’s conduct.

The targeted woman was sufficiently terrorized by the VPD’s Car 87 visit that she did not campaign in the School Board election.

When Graham received a formal complaint about the tactics used against her, he gave them the thumbs up.

The case of the United Way politically-motivated Car 87 visit apparently resulted from United Way Director Ron Dumouchelle feeling stung by a Report on United Way which criticized practices funded by donor dollars. As the Report was being disseminated in the fall of 2002, Dumouchelle recruited the VPD — they had a cozy relationship as the VPD was collecting donations for the United Way campaign — who then relentlessly “harassed” one of the authors at her home.

On the day that one of Graham’s constables, Lee Patterson, was briefed at United Way campaign headquarters in Vancouver, he wrote a police report in which faked text was inserted and presented as having been quoted from the Report on United Way – fake text that was clearly intended to make the author appear to be a ‘nut case’. It was claimed, for example, that in the Report on United Way, the author had gone on about “couch trips”. This phrase did not appear in the Report on United Way and the author says, “I have no idea what a couch trip is”.

Even after Patterson’s partner J.P St. Amant admitted in the police report that he and United Way had agreed that this was “not a criminal matter”, it was clear from his entries in the police report that he remained under pressure from United Way to get the Report on United Way out of circulation. But when an author knows her rights and has asserted her right to remain silent, who ya gonna call?  Car 87.

The author’s claim that Car 87 stalked her at her home “ruining my Christmas holidays” and smeared her, is supported by the paper trail. So is the fact that Constable St. Amant illicitly arranged for her medical records to be dictated verbatim to him over the telephone. St. Amant then gratuitously inserted information about her physical body into his report for no apparent purpose than “to humiliate me”.

These tactics were given the thumbs up by Graham.

In fact, Graham allowed a promotion for Inspector for Warren Lemcke, the Sergeant who had approved the Car 87 visit and supervised St. Amant as he unlawfully helped himself to female medical records just minutes later. Lemcke was promoted despite Graham’s knowledge that he had approved the Car 87 visit under “fraudulent pretenses”; Lemcke had approved the visit despite 15 entries in the police report confirming that there was “no evidence” that the author posed a “physical risk.”  

When the author later sought accountability for this political psychiatry, she would become the target in late 2004 of what could be construed as extortion under color of authority. Prior to that though, the author had followed instructions from the Health Authority to submit her complaint in writing. As requested, she made submissions to the Health Authority’s Car 87 supervisor Lori Ross, Community Relations Director Jan Fisher who admitted in a taped telephone call that Car 87 was not intended for people who posed no physical risk and that “you might get an apology”, and to the Health Authority CEO Ida Goodreau.  When the author learned that despite this scandal, Ida Goodreau had joined on the Board of Directors of United Way, she wrote to her in her capacity as a United Way Director and requested that she step down until the case was investigated. Almost instantly, less than half an hour after the author had faxed the letter to Goodreau’s office, she received the first of a series of disturbing voice mail from one of Graham’s detectives, Keith Dormond.  

Due to the swiftness of the response and the fact that Dormond appeared to be under intense pressure, the author believes “orders were coming from high up”.  

In one voice mail message, Dormond revealed that the VPD had yet again unlawfully accessed confidential medical information from the Health Authority.  As if “taunting” the author from his cell phone in his car, Dormond listed documents he had in front of him; they were the submissions she had made to Fisher, Ross, and Goodreau containing confidential medical information. Dormond informed the targeted woman via voice mail — she has stored copies of the voice mail in a safe deposit box — that if she dared contact Health Authority staff about this issue again, she would be charged with “criminal harassment”. He informed her that he intended to use her written submissions to Health Authority management against her.  COPP has determined that there is nothing remotely criminal about her polite submissions. 

Dormond also attempted to intimidate the author into ceasing to obtain documents to support her case. He warned her on her voice mail that if she ever again contacted “Karen Wong” at the Health Authority, she would be charged with criminal harassment.  Karen Wong was the Freedom of Information clerk at the Health Authority who had aided the author in obtaining the contents of her Health Authority file under the Act. There was no harassment involved in their communication; in fact, the author has correspondence from Karen Wong inviting further contact.  It was through documents obtained by Freedom of Information requests to both the police and the Health Authority that the author had learned exactly what sections of her medical records had been unlawfully dictated to police over the telephone.  When listing documents that he had in front of him and would use against her, Dormond included her communication with Karen Wong, confidential communication which he had illicitly obtained as there is nothing illegal about obtaining copies of records in one’s medical file under the Freedom of Information Act. 

“They knew I wanted a criminal investigation into those involved in the Car 87 visit,” says the woman. “They wanted me to drop this whole thing.”

In the threatening voice mail, Dormond also offered to make an agreement with the author to destroy documents in her case. She points out that when a criminal investigation is being requested into Car 87 fraud — Dormond mentioned on the voice mail that he knew she was pressing for a criminal investigation — the last thing a detective should be doing is offering to destroy “evidence” in the case.

Not only did Dormond continue a phone harassment campaign after the author told him she would not be speaking to police, he repeatedly showed up at her home, pounding on her door, even peeping through the window. “I saw his face pressed up against the window,” she says. “That’s how I know what he looks like.” She described him as a tall Black male, muscular, around thirty years old. Dormond actually alluded to the fact that he had peeped into her home, stating in one voice mail, “I could see movement in there.” 

The complete lack of evidence against the author did not deter the Graham adminstration from keeping the pressure on her to stop pursuing the issue of Car 87 fraud. A year after receiving the voice mail from Dormond, she was still attempting to get a copy of the police report he would have wirtten while leaving voice mail at her home. The VPD blocked the report’s release, informing the woman that she remained “under investigation”. 

Graham was made aware of the ongoing harassment of this author.

     

In yet another case of alleged corruption, Graham’s ‘finest’ were recruited in late 2002 to harass a secretary, one of several who had spoken up about unfair labour practices at CUPE Local 116 at UBC.

CUPE was staffing this Local office exclusively with non-union secretaries and firing them when they spoke up about working conditions. One secretary had taken CUPE to court in an attempt to get a pension. Another secretary, the only one who was not fired but had resigned with a glowing letter of reference, found the VPD at her door, pounding and kicking, after she raised the issue of unfair labour practices at CUPE. “Megan Herrmann phoned me,” says the secretary. “She’s a constable.” Herrmann wanted me to shut up about unfair labour practices inside CUPE, the woman recalls. The VPD doesn’t actually have jurisdiction at UBC; the RCMP does.

Guess what the VPD and the union brass considered “evidence”? A written outline of unfair labour practices that the secretary had given to BC Fed President Jim Sinclair and CUPE President Barry O’Neill was filed in the VPD Property office. They had no real evidence against this woman which is why COPP members believe that Constable Herrmann resorted to smear by mentioning “Car 87” in her report. Herrmann and her partner, Keven Ng, do not appear to have actually called Car 87 though.

The secretary believes that Constables Herrmann and Ng were doing CUPE a favor by harassing her — a favor that apparently was extended to include evidence-tampering. The police report — the secretary obtained a copy shortly after the case was closed — reveals that she was investigated for “WORKPLACE HARASSMENT”. The secretary informed Sinclair roughly a year later that he was going have trouble living that one down. Then suddenly, mysteriously, the VPD retroactively altered the official “offence” for which the woman had been investigated. It was changed in the police report to, “HARASSMENT/OBSCENE COMMUNICATION.” This was a year after the case had been closed. The secretary calls this “corruption”. Others have called it evidence-tampering.

Chief Graham was made aware of it in writing.

Constable Megan Herrmann has since received a promotion to Detective Constable.

Although Graham has been found guilty of “discreditable conduct” by Police Complaints Commissioner Dirk Ryneveld in unrelated cases, he has never been found guilty of supervising political psychiatry, evidence fabrication, extortion, harassment, or evidence-tampering. “That’s because he’s never been investigated,” insists an alleged victim. COPP has asked the Victoria Police Board to ensure that evidence of politically-motivated abuses of VPD power under Graham are finally investigated.

Car 87 is an effective tool as it leaves a political adversary tagged with a “DISTURBED PERSON” notation adjacent to their name on the police computer system for “99 years”, a fact the VPD has acknowledged in writing. Legislation restricts Car 87 visits to individuals at “imminent” risk of killing themselves or others. The Health Authority’s Jan Fisher acknowledged that it was never meant to be used against people who author a Report on United Way or express an intent to campaign about VSB issues in an election. COPP’s position on political psychiatry is clear. Once a person perpetrates political psychiatry or uses a position of authority to cover for perpetrators of political psychiatry, a political psychiatry record will remain attached to their name as long as it remains attached to the name of the victim. Jamie Graham has been tagged with a political psychiatry record.

If COPP members get their way, Graham will be passed over for the job of chief and only one question will remain: “Would you buy a bike from this man?”

Be Sociable, Share!