Although the photos came to the attention of the Officer in Charge of the Coquitlam Detachment in December 2010, no action was taken until now.
The fact that RCMP Cpl. Jim Brown's posted graphic pictures of himself on an S&M website seemed to have been no big deal to the RCMP brass. Until yesterday that is, when the Vancouver Sun reported the newspaper had come into possession of some of the pictures and described one of them.
The Sun describes the picture showing Brown sitting on a wall. He is wearing nothing but his RCMP-issue boots, has an erection, and is holding a large knife. When a woman walks by, he grabs her, ties her up, puts her in a cage, and then slashes her with the knife.
When Brown's bosses at the Coquitlam Detachment found the pictures in late 2010 on a USB drive, they obtained a legal opinion that nothing should be done. Those in the pictures were consenting adults and the website was restricted to adult-only members. No laws were broken.
In March of this year, the Coquitlam Detachment found S&M pictures featuring Brown had been posted to a private website. The site was later taken down and again no action was taken.
But after the public became aware of the corporal's off duty activities, all hell broke loose. RCMP Assistant Commissioner Randy Beck issued a statement saying he took the unusual step of getting an outside police department to investigate whether Brown violated the RCMP's Code of Conduct. The outside agency will also review the previous investigations conducted by the Coquitlam Detachment into Brown's off duty activities. Beck said, While we must strike a balance between an individual's rights and freedoms when off duty and the RCMP Code of Conduct, I am embarrassed and very disappointed that the RCMP would be, in any way, linked to photos of that nature.
What makes the situation even more embarrassing, is that Brown had worked on the Robert Pickton investigation in 1999.
As CBC reported, Pickton, a pig farmer, was convicted in 2007 of six counts of second-degree murder. A further 20 counts of murder were stayed by the Crown. The victims were prostitutes, mainly aboriginals, who disappeared from the streets of Vancouver over a number of years. What Pickton had done to these women was similar to what Brown was portraying in the photos he posted.
After Pickton's criminal proceedings ended, the province set up an inquiry to look into the disappearance of the women and how Pickton, who had come to the attention of police years before his arrest, managed to continuing his killing spree. The Missing Women's Inquiry was headed by Wally Oppal, a former B.C. cabinet minister and Court of Appeal justice. The evidentiary phase of the hearing has been finished and Oppal's report is due out in October.
Cameron Ward, a lawyer who acts for the families of the murdered and missing women, "demanded" that Oppal reopen the hearing. Ward was quoted in the Ottawa Citizen as saying, "This particular officer, given his personal involvement in the Pickton investigation and the role he played three years before Pickton was apprehended is critically important."
Oppal is requesting information about Brown from the federal Department of Justice, but so far is refusing to reopen the inquiry to hear more evidence.
Brown is still working at the Coquitlam Detachment although he is restricted to administrative duties.