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Internal police review of HIV arrest to be released in November

Co-chair resigns from police liaison committee; CHEO to get pancake cash

An update on an internal review of the police’s handling of an arrest in May — where a man’s photo, name and HIV status was released to the public — will be released in November, says Insp Joan McKenna, co-chair of the Police Liaison Committee to the queer community.

The internal review is based on two recommendations: to review the media relations policy and to explore options for future messaging around this type of incident.

As well, new details of a second report commisioned by police were revealed at the liaison committee’s Sept 20 meeting. Staff Sergeant John Medeiros spoke about the role of the Criminal Incident Critical Situations (CISC), which was formed on Aug 18 to address relations between police and the gay community.

The CISC team is composed of police and civilian volunteers who are interviewing members of the community and organizations upset with the police actions regarding the handling of HIV criminalization issues.

Medeiros was unsure of when the report would be released as the situation is “rather unique and quite a complicated issue.” Although Medeiros was uncertain of the time frame, he was adamant that such a review was positive.

“Please don’t underestimate the role that this committee has in addressing the issue,” says Medeiros.

Also at the meeting, it was announced that Marion Steele, co-chair of the committee, would be stepping down.

Steele resigned from the committee and will be relocating to Halifax in early October. A new co-chair will be elected at the general meeting in November.

It was also announced that the $562 received from the Pride pancake breakfast would be shared between Capital Pride and CHEO fund for children with HIV/AIDS.

The proceeds were originally intended for Walk for Life and Project Ten Oaks. Both organizations refused to take the money, citing concerns about the relationship between the police and the queer community.

The next liaison meeting is scheduled for Mon, Oct 18 at 5:35pm at Ottawa Police Station, 474 Elgin St.