Two members of the Prince Albert Police have been suspended with pay from active duty following the death of a 13-month-old child who was allegedly killed by his father hours after police attended a residence in the city.
Chief Jonathan Bergen confirmed today the Saskatchewan Public Complaints Commission told him of the scope of the investigation yesterday and the service has now decided to suspend two officers.
The PCC will also investigate the role of three of supervisory officers who worked that same day.
“We understand that based on the PCC’s analysis of the preliminary evidence available, the scope of the independent investigation will include a full investigation of the nature and implications of the response undertaken by the two officers who attended the first call to the residence, based on legal standards imposed on police by legislation and by police conduct regulations,” Bergen said in a news release.
PAPS changed its internal structure following the incident, appointing a new inspector whose job will be to oversee patrol, including four staff sergeants, eight sergeants, and more than 30 constables.
Indigenous leaders raised questions after the child died, with officers reportedly arrested the boy’s mother early the morning of February 10. She later alleged that she asked the officers who took her into custody to check on the welfare of her son.
Hours later, police were called again to the residence, finding the deceased boy and arresting his father, Kaij Brass. Brass is now in custody facing charges of second-degree murder.
Bergen said he would wait for the investigation by the PCC before taking any additional action and is asking for the public to reserve judgement until after the final report is done.
“In order to preserve due process and the integrity of the independent investigation process it is important that our police service now conduct its decisions and response on the basis of legal process and the best information that comes from the investigation by the independent agency,” Bergen said.
Given the level of community scrutiny, PAPS said it knows that the PCC’s independent investigation will be watched carefully.
“We hear the expectation of us, we are listening, and as a police service we are committed to continuing to listen and to live up to the expectation on us,” Bergen said.
Brass has been remanded into custody and will make his next appearance in Prince Albert Provincial Court on March 14.