Criminal lawyers’ groups call on new justice minister to reform the provincial Police Act

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Alberta’s two main criminal lawyer associations are calling on new Justice Minister Kaycee Madu to fast track the province’s ongoing review of the Police Act.

In a media release, members of both the Criminal Defence Lawyers Association in Calgary and Edmonton’s Criminal Trial Lawyers’ Association say disturbing videos have surfaced of police being abusive and violent towards citizens and expedited change is necessary.

The release from CDLA president Ian Savage and CTLA policing committee chair Tom Engel said a recent documentary on the CBC shone light on the pressing issue.

“Above the Law … highlighted a series of troubling interactions between the Calgary Police Service and citizens, including a Black man,” it said.

Engel specifically pointed to protests across North America, including in Alberta, as evidence of a need for speedy change.

“In the wake of George Floyd’s death, tens of thousands of Albertans marched in the streets across this province calling for immediate policing reforms,” Engel said, of the death of Floyd while in the custody of Minneapolis police.

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