The director of the Independent Police Review has today published his report into a 2013 sexual assault investigation, which saw allegations of racial profiling leveled against the Ontario Provincial Police.
The investigation was launched after a woman in Elgin County reported that she was sexually assaulted by a black migrant worker for whom she provided a physical description.
DNA samples were then requested from virtually every migrant worker of colour in the area, regardless of physical characteristics.
In the report, titled ”Casting The Net” Gerry McNeilly found that the officers involved in the investigation were not racially profiling, but rather they were ”motivated by concerns about what they thought was a potential unreliability of the victims description of the perpetrator” and by time pressure, due to the fact that many migrant workers were due to leave Canada.
The suspect was eventually placed under arrest following his refusal to provide police with a DNA sample.
The pleaded guilty to charges brought against him and was sentenced to seven years in prison.
Despite finding that the OPP investigation was not motivated by racial prejudice, McNeilly made a number of recommendations.
Among the recommendations is the call for a new and ”highly public” policy governing how DNA canvassing occurs.
He also recommends that DNA samples of people cleared of a crime be destroyed.