Three Halifax police officers disciplined after inmate's death appear at review board appeal
Three Halifax police officers who faced disciplinary action in connection with the death of a man in custody almost three years ago were at a Nova Scotia Police Review Board appeal today.
That appeal was brought forward by the mother of Corey Rogers, who died while in Halifax police custody in 2016.
While her appeal of the discipline the officers received is now delayed, she says that's actually what she wanted.
The three officers present at the arrest and booking of Rogers in June 2016 appeared together at today's public hearing.
Halifax police constables Ryan Morris, Justin Murphy, and Donna Lee Paris appeared in front of the Nova Scotia Police Review Board.
The hearing will rule on an appeal by Jeannette Rogers, who is disputing the internal discipline the officers received after the arrest and death of her 41-year-old son while he was in police custody.
Rogers was found unresponsive in his cell after being arrested on June 15, 2016 for public intoxication.
Jeannette Rogers says the discipline each of the officers received was a suspension between eight to ten days and she doesn't believe that was enough.
“I would like to see them lose their badges,” Jeanette Rogers says. “We'll see what happens in the hearing after the criminal trial, but that would be my wish.”
Two other Halifax police members, special constables Dan Fraser and Cheryl Gardner, face charges of criminal negligence causing death in the case. Those charges have not been tested in court and their jury trial is scheduled for later this fall.
At the police review board hearing Tuesday, Jeannette Rogers requested a delay to avoid the possibility of a publication ban on evidence to be presented at the hearing --evidence which could be made public in the separate criminal trial in October.
“I'm too far into it now,” Jeannette Rogers said.“I've put too much work into it, there's no way I would give up now.”
The adjournment was granted and Rogers says she's willing to wait if it will bring change.
She says she was told her son died of asphyxiation in a jail cell and was wearing a spit hood at the time.
In 2017, Halifax Regional Police issued an order to all officers on the use of spit hoods, but Rogers wants them banned altogether.
“Iknow nothing will bring Corey back, but if I can help to make a change for others, then that will be Corey's legacy,” said Jeannette Rogers.
Jeannette Rogers also wants a public inquiry into what happened, but if the justice department decides to do that, it would have to be after the criminal trial.
She also says she is close to finalizing a settlement in a civil suit against the city of Halifax in connection with her son's death.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Heidi Petracek.