VICTORIA — A police officer who advocates for the legalization of drugs while off duty has been awarded $20,000 in a human rights case that pitted the officer against his employer, the Victoria Police Department.
The British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal sided with Const. David Bratzer, saying his employer interfered with his rights as a citizen to freely express his views and ordered the award for injury to dignity, feelings and self-respect.
Victoria Police acting Chief Const. Del Manak says in a statement that the department accepts the decision, will seek to learn from it and an appeal is currently not planned.
Victoria Police Department. (Screengrab: Google Streetview)
Bratzer filed the complaint against the department, saying it tried on numerous occasions to restrain his off-duty public advocacy for the group Law Enforcement Against Prohibition.
Bratzer's complaint noted police interference where he was directed not to speak at a federal Green party event on harm reduction and ordered not to comment to the media on the success of a Washington State marijuana referendum.
Bratzer has been a member of the Victoria police force since 2007.
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