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‘Starlight Tour’ allegation unfounded, investigation finds
Published Tuesday, December 18, 2018 12:12PM CST
Last Updated Tuesday, December 18, 2018 6:47PM CST
A man’s allegation that Saskatoon police took him on a “Starlight Tour” is unfounded, an investigation by the Public Complaints Commission has found.
“Our service cooperated fully with the investigation from its inception, and assisted by providing logs of GPS for our fleet as well as video and audio recordings which are automatically activated in all our cars. This information was undoubtedly very useful in proving that there was no contact between the SPS and Mr. Thomas on Apr. 21,” Saskatoon Police Chief Troy Cooper said in a news release Tuesday.
Ken Thomas filed a complaint with the province’s police watch dog in April. Thomas previously told CTV News he was on a date with his girlfriend when he went outside a bar to have a cigarette on Apr. 21. He said police in a black SUV approached him.
“They said, ‘Hey, you fit the description of a person who was digging in cars,’” Thomas said in April.
He said he thought he was being taken to the police station, but claims officers dropped him off somewhere along Highway 11.
Thomas could not immediately be reached for comment Tuesday morning.
The term “Starlight Tour” is used to describe police picking up and abandoning Indigenous people on the outskirts of the city.
Cooper said in his statement that while this is the first such complaint during his tenure as chief, several similar allegations have been made against Saskatoon police since 2012; each was determined to be unfounded and in two cases, charges were laid against the complainants for mischief, he said.
GPS tracking, in-car video and audio systems, and cameras capturing all vehicles entering or exiting SPS security gates or parking garage doors have been key to disproving false allegations, he said.