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Halifax police respond to Tyson and Cirbie Bishop case

10/14/2014 06:13 EDT | Updated 12/14/2014 05:59 EST
After the fallout from a CBC report that brought to light a violent "home invasion" by police, the Halifax force is trying to reassure people it dealt with the problem properly.

In 2008, Tyson and Cirbie Bishop, a brother and sister, were holding a Halloween party when police responded to two noise complaints by a neighbour. The evening ended with two officers entering their home illegally and one of the siblings being shocked by a Taser.

"It was a home invasion. They invaded my home," said Tyson Bishop.

The pair filed a complaint with Halifax Regional Police, but an internal review found police did nothing wrong. However, when the siblings appealed to the Nova Scotia Police Review Board, it found Const. Jordan Gilbert used excessive force and abused his authority.

The penalty was a two-week suspension without pay, one year of close supervision and an order to be assessed for anger management.

“Ninety-nine per cent of our police officers do an excellent job every single day, in spite of all the challenging circumstances out there,” said Halifax Regional Police Chief Jean-Michel Blais in an interview with CBC News.

In a statement, Blais added there are "numerous measures in place in Nova Scotia to ensure police accountability to our citizens, including public complaints, internal investigations, civilian oversight and independent investigations and adjudications."

Mayor Mike Savage also backs the work of the police department.

“I don't think there's a pattern here. Every city of any size has some circumstances, but I think most people know that the Halifax police, the people who enforce laws in Halifax, deal with our kids, are real community mentors. I think they do a very good job,” he said.

The Bishops said they’ve spent more than $66,000 on legal fees and want to be reimbursed. The Supreme Court of Nova Scotia dismissed that claim, so they’ve launched a personal injury lawsuit against the Halifax force and two police officers.

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