Nelson, BC — The following is a statement from Brian Sauvé, President of the National Police Federation, regarding the acquittal verdict in the manslaughter trial of RCMP Constable Jason Tait:
“The NPF applauds and welcomes last night’s jury verdict finding Cst. Jason Tait “not guilty” and acquitting him of the charge related to a January 2015 incident in Castlegar, involving the attempted arrest of a prohibited driver, Waylon Edey, who had a lengthy record of impaired driving and violence.
The jury returned their decision after only five hours of deliberation, following eight weeks of trial.
This should have been resolved much earlier, and should not have gone to court, leaving both Cst. Tait, his family, and Mr. Edey’s family waiting for five years for a clear and fair resolution. Unfortunately, at that time, the Independent Investigation Office of BC was overwhelmed and under-resourced, resulting in a split decision and a lengthy, unnecessary subsequent criminal proceeding.
The NPF supports independent oversight and believes that complaints against Members of the RCMP need to be investigated fully, fairly, transparently, and - most importantly - resolved in a timely and effective manner out of respect for all parties.
Cst. Tait deserves and looks forward to returning to the role and duties for which he is highly qualified and committed, and to continue making a positive contribution to his community.
Just as the RCMP need to consider all ways to continuously evolve and enhance the delivery of services to those we serve, the IIO and Crown need to look at tangible and effective ways to improve their process for timely, thorough and transparent investigations.”
About the National Police Federation:
The National Police Federation (NPF) was certified to represent ~20,000 RCMP members serving across Canada and internationally in the summer of 2019. The NPF is the largest police labour relations organization in Canada, the second largest in North America and is the first independent national association to represent RCMP members. The NPF will focus on improving public safety in Canada by negotiating the first-ever Collective Agreement for RCMP officers, and on increasing resources, equipment, training and supports for our members who have been under-funded for far too long. Better resourcing and support for the RCMP will enhance community safety and livability in the communities we serve, large and small, across Canada.
For more information: https://npf-fpn.com/.
Fabrice de Dongo
Manager, Media Relations
National Police Federation