Woman sprayed by B.C. police chief's wife questions meeting with retired Mountie
VANCOUVER -- The South Asian woman who was sprayed with a hose outside the house of Delta’s police chief in June is raising questions about what happened in the weeks leading up to a decision not to lay charges.
Kiran Sidhu confirmed to CTV News details of a meeting between her and a storied and decorated Sikh former Mountie that was supposed to be about advancing equity for Indo-Canadians.
And she wonders whether information from that meeting with Baltej Dhillon was routed through to authorities and played a role in any decision to refer the case to B.C. Corrections for “alternative measures” to criminal charges.
“When I was first approached, it was really about serving the community, which is very important to me as an advocate for social justice and transparency in the community,” Sidhu told CTV News.
Sidhu said Dhillon approached her through a friend in early August, saying he was sent “by Delta” to find a way to turn the incident into a win for both the Delta police and the Indo-Canadian community.
The case had been a headache for the Delta Police Department and its chief, Neil Dubord, because the agency dropped the investigation into the chief’s wife Lorraine — an investigation that involved Dubord’s former executive assistant.
But when Sidhu went public, the RCMP were tasked with re-starting the investigation, and a review of Delta’s policies and a probe into possible police misconduct began.
“We were talking about a whole bunch of ideas, community programs, youth programs and a letter that could be written to the Dubords from me, humanizing who I am,” she said.
Nothing came of it, she said. But she said she was very surprised to hear from a Crown lawyer that she was considering writing a letter.
“That right there makes me feel uneasy about how the lines of communication are so open when I thought they were confidential,” she said.
Simon Fraser University criminologist Rob Gordon said whether the meeting influenced the decision to go with alternative measures or not, it appeared to be the right decision.
But he said the real question is why Dhillon — who is now working for B.C.’s Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit — may have gotten involved in the file before it was complete.
“It’s peculiar in the extreme. It’s not something that an individual police officer, retired or otherwise, would do without direction. I’m puzzled beyond belief by this,” Gordon said.
Dhillon hasn’t yet returned calls and emails from CTV News.
Delta police denied any of their officers had a role in sending Dhillon.
“Deputy Chief Norm Lipinski did not orchestrate any meeting between Baltej Dhillon and the complainant… nor to our knowledge did anyone from the Delta police orchestrate such a meeting.”
Sidhu was sprayed by the hose on June 6 as she climbed over the rocks on the beach next to Neil Dubord’s house to escape a high tide. Lorraine Dubord allegedly hurled insults at her and sprayed her when she touched the glass fence. Dubord is seen on a video shortly afterwards in a dispute with Sidhu’s friends.
City documents say the rocks are public property. Meanwhile, the Vancouver Police Department continues to investigate allegations of misconduct by Delta police over its handling of the case.