EPS chief looking into officer's 'unauthorized' save-the-date video
EDMONTON -- An Edmonton Police Service officer made a wedding announcement video with his full uniform and police cruiser, but the chief says it was unauthorized.
In the video, a young Edmonton Police Service officer is seen driving a marked vehicle and pulls over a speeding car. He walks up to the car and a handcuff is put on his wrist as a woman exits the vehicle. He attaches the other handcuff to the woman's wrist and the couple walks towards the camera holding hands as "#cuffedtoRikhi 2021" comes up on the screen.
The video is a wedding announcement, but EPS says the constable didn't have clearance to do it.
"I don't understand how any officer, let alone a young officer, would think this is an appropriate use of police resources," said Tom Engel.
Engel is a criminal defence lawyer, and has been serving as Chair of the Criminal Trial Lawyers’ Association's Policing Committee since 2000.
"He's doing it while he's on duty, so it struck my mind that he seemed to have a lot of spare time on his hands," said Engel. "It's another little piece of evidence about defunding the police."
EPS Chief Dale McFee is aware of the video and says he's dealing with it.
"Was it authorized? Absolutely not," said McFee.
McFee says the video was released publicly without the officer's knowledge.
The man who produced and posted the video publicly spoke with CTV News. He says it was shot in Windermere this summer, described the road as "barely used" and says the whole video shoot took about an hour.
In Windermere, reactions are mixed between the production value, messaging and whether it should have been made at all.
"They are using our tax payments to pay for their personal stuff," said one resident.
"Are you getting married or are you going to prison?" asked another.
"It was a shocking display of foolishness on the part of this officer," said Engel.
He hopes EPS teaches the officer why a video like this is unacceptable.
"They need to get to the bottom of why he thought this was OK. He needs to be retrained," said Engel.
The chief confirms that's exactly what the constable's superiors are in the process of doing.
"There's going to be some talking to of that individual officer who, by the way, has taken full responsibility. And we'll move on from there," said McFee.
"Not to rain on the love parade, but are we going to throw the book at him like some other people are saying? No. Absolutely not."
With files from CTV News Edmonton's David Ewasuk