Evan Maud was back in the spot light yesterday.
As you may recall, Maud became a poster boy for National wide Police haters in December of 2010 when he alleged two members of the Winnipeg Police Service essentially kidnapped and dumped him on the outskirts of the City.
He further alleged the officers made him take off some of his clothing and threatened to taser him before leaving him to his own devices in the darkness of an unforgiving frigid winters night.
The sensational allegations were covered by media outlets across the Country, from print media to television outlets like CBC, CTV, APTN and others.
The headlines were an embarrassment to all WPS officers whose reputations were indelibly tarnished by the outrageous claims of criminal conduct. Tenuous relationships with the Aboriginal Community were inflamed once again as feelings of outrage, anger and hostility were openly expressed.
U of M Sociology Professor Elizabeth Comack jumped on the band wagon to add credibility to Maud’s claims by citing results from a study she conducted at the behest of Southern Chiefs Organization that began in 2008.
It seems Professor Comack heard similar stories when she conducted interviews with prisoners doing time at the Headingley jail.
“I’ve had the advantage of sitting across the table from someone telling me that story in such great detail, and they were so upset, I believe what they’re telling me,” Comack said.
She then went on to praise Maud for “speaking out.”
Someone should tell Professor Comack that sentenced prisoners languishing in correctional facilities may not provide an objective “random” sampling of the collective Aboriginal experience with law enforcement.
I’m sure Comack felt a certain degree of discomfort when she heard the results of a Police investigation that irrefutably destroyed Maud’s libelous allegations.
The investigation included detailed analysis of Police cruiser GPS tracker information, review and analysis of transit video, review and analysis of Police Officer accounts and interviews with independent witnesses.
In short, this was a lengthy, detailed investigation that required considerable resources and undoubtedly cost thousands of tax payer dollars.
When the dust settled, Maud found himself on the wrong end of criminal charges for fabricating the “starlight drive” story.
Now we hear news of an apology and restorative justice. Maud’s charges will be dropped after he provided a “sincere” apology to the Winnipeg Police Service.
I really didn’t find the story all that compelling until I saw a tweet from CTV news reporter Caroline Barghout.
An astute observation to be sure.
It seems to me that any apology that stopped short of a clear admission that Maud lied would make it somewhat less than “sincere.” After reading the apology letter I’m even more perplexed. I question the sincerity of an apology letter crafted in such a way that one has to infer the author lied about the events in question. In my estimation, an inference does not equate to a candid, sincere apology.
I question the “sincerity” of the cryptic apology even further when it’s found to contain a public advisory urging people to not be discouraged from submitting legitimate complaints of Police misconduct.
“I don’t want this to impact anyone from submitting legitimate complaints in the future,” Maud writes.
Evan Maud former prevaricator now turned Ombudsman.
Subtleties aside, is saying sorry really enough?
Is saying sorry enough when you get drunk and launch a violent unprovoked attack an innocent man who you repeatedly punched in the face causing a concussion, lacerated eyeball and a bruised orbital bone.
“All I’d like to say is I’m sorry, that’s about it,” Maud said when he was recently sentenced on a charge of Assault Causing Bodily Harm.
Another “sincere” apology from Evan Maud that got him a sentence of thirty-three (33) days “time served.”
Is either outcome appropriate?
Thirty-three (33) days for a brutal assault and a restorative justice apology for Public Mischief after making slanderous inflammatory allegations against members of the Winnipeg Police Service.
If nothing else, Evan Maud has learned just how powerful the words “I’m sorry” can be in Canadian Justice. What he didn’t learn was the definition of a word called “consequences.”
I don’t take issue with the idea of a restorative justice sentence. My experience in law enforcement taught me that jail is a cesspool of criminality that should be reserved for the dangerous or habitual offenders who continually prey on the members of our peaceful society.
The problem is, there is no justice in a restorative sentence that comes with no consequences.
Apologies without action are words without meaning.
There were options for Evan Maud. Restitution for an expensive police investigation was an option. A requirement to complete 200 hours of community service work was an option. A requirement to complete 200 hours of volunteer work for the Police Service was an option.
Saying sorry and simply walking away from his charges should have never been an option.
Sometimes saying sorry just isn’t enough.
APOLOGY FROM EVAN MAUD:
I’m sorry for jeopardizing the reputation of the Winnipeg Police Service. I want to say sorry to the police officers and putting them in that situation. I’m also deeply sorry to their families, friends and colleagues for causing them to doubt, mistrust and question the two police officers. And I am so sorry for that. I understand that would not have happened if I didn’t say the things that I said. I feel bad for what I put them through.
At the time, it was hard. I felt overwhelmed when the TV crews and community took it to a whole new level. Next thing you know, it was all over the place, reporters from different media sources were questioning me. I was scared. I never wanted this to happen. During this time all I wanted was to live my life normally and go to school. It was the worst two years of my life.
I felt bad that my mom moved all the way from the next province to come support me. I put my mom in a situation where she thought she didn’t raise me right. I just made a mistake. I try my best to apologize to everyone that I may have harmed.
I also want to acknowledge the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs for taking the time to help me. I didn’t mean to put my people through this.
I don’t want this to impact anyone from submitting legitimate complaints in the future. I want people to understand that I did not intend for this to happen. I was taught that forgiveness is a part of healing and I need this to move on in life in a positive way. In many ways, I learned how to have respect, how to be truthful and honest. I am part of a youth community, and I want them to think of me as a role model.
I want to encourage youth to tell everything that they know is right. I was able to move forward and graduate school and am now doing good things for myself. In closing, I want to say sorry and thank you for listening.