Edmonton police officer charged with obstruction of justice
ASIRT Executive Director Susan Hughson has called the charges against a police officer "very uncommon"
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The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team has laid obstruction of justice charges against an Edmonton police officer for allegedly getting inappropriately involved with a family court matter in September of 2016.
Sgt. Kevin Fald, an officer with the Edmonton Police Service for 24 years, is facing two counts of obstruction of justice and two counts of unauthorized use of a computer.
ASIRT launched an investigation after EPS became aware that Fald interfered in a family court matter in which he was not involved as a police officer.
EPS reported their suspicions to Alberta’s director of law enforcement on Feb. 16, 2017. ASIRT launched their investigation the next day.
According to ASIRT Executive Director Susan Hughson, the charges are connected to Fald’s attendance at an Emergency Protection Order hearing. Fald allegedly misrepresented the status of a police investigation, leading to a protection order against an individual.
ASIRT says Fald was not involved in the police investigation in an official capacity but would not provide any information on a possible motive for why he got involved.
Fald is accused of attempting to obstruct an EPS professional standards investigation into his conduct. Furthermore, he is accused of inappropriately accessing two police information databases.
“You may have lawful access for certain purposes to certain computer databases, but when you access for a purpose that you’re not lawfully entitled, you would be committing that offence,” Hughson explained.
Hughson called the charges against a police officer “very uncommon” and said they clear officers of allegations of inappropriate behaviour in the “vast majority” of their investigations.
“This is more exceptional than it is common,” she said.
Hughson would not disclose how long the ASIRT investigation lasted, but said it took additional time due to “some difficulty” with a particular witness.
In a statement, EPS said Fald has been removed from duty without pay pending the outcome of the court case. They said the charges are of a very serious nature.
“The EPS and our community rightfully hold our police officers to the highest standards. Any violation of these standards is completely unacceptable,” said Chief Rod Knecht in a statement.
Fald has been released with conditions to appear in Edmonton provincial court on March 16.