Officer tells review board hearing he had doubts about identity of man during traffic stop
Published Tuesday, October 27, 2020 10:24PM ADT Last Updated Tuesday, October 27, 2020 11:08PM ADT
ENFIELD, N.S. -- A police review board heard Tuesday from a Halifax police constable who says he had doubts a man he stopped for being in a park after hours was who he said he was.
Adam LeRue was arrested and jailed two and a half years ago after failing to provide his identification.
While the constable involved maintains race was not a factor, LeRue believes things would’ve been different had he been white.
A cell phone captured some of the interaction between Const. Kenneth O’Brien and LeRue.
Why LeRue was arrested and then jailed for obstruction of justice is being dissected at a police board hearing.
In cross-examination, LeRue’s lawyer questioned why O’Brien pressed for his client’s ID when he was parked in a Land Rover with his partner in Sir Sandford Fleming Park after hours.
Jason Cooke, LeRue’s lawyer, asked O'Brien: "Did you have doubts that Mr. LeRue was who he said he was?"
O’Brien responded: "I would say yes."
The panel heard than when police ran LeRue’s license plate that night, it linked the vehicle to an Adam LeRue but his weight was listed was much lighter than LeRue is.
LeRue told the constable he was the Adam on the license plate, but refused to hand over his ID and asked for a supervisor. A supervisor offered to call LeRue but LeRue didn’t want to provide his number.
O’Brien told the court that before he would issue a ticket, he would want to have confidence that he is putting the right person’s name on that ticket.
"So the basis of this always comes back to the fact that you were going to issue a ticket," Cooke asked O’Brien.
To which O’Brien replied: "Yes, at some point I made a decision during the interaction to issue a ticket."
LeRue’s team has said the fundamental question for them is why LeRue wasn’t just asked to leave.
His partner, who is white, was arrested but let go and not charged.
Another driver who was white was stopped, handed over his ID, and allowed to leave.
O’Brien denies race was a factor but LeRue and his partner insist it was.
Cooke asked O’Brien if he was aware of the Wortley Report on street-checks.
O’Brien said the he was, but also admitted that he had not read it.
When asked by the panel, O’Brien said he had taken diversity courses with Halifax police before the incident.
The supervisor working that night also testified that he expects his officers to always identify someone stopped in a traffic stop.