Jovian's Story

This is a test r1 If you’re walking down the street, going to a coffee shop to meet a friend, do you expect to be arbitrarily stopped and questioned by a police officer? ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌

Dear Friend,

If you’re walking down the street, going to a coffee shop to meet a friend, do you expect to be arbitrarily stopped and questioned by a police officer?

This is what happened to Dr. Jovian Radheshwar. In July 2020, Jovian - a Political Science Instructor at Douglas College - was stopped by two New Westminster Police Department officers asking for his ID, all because he looked “just like” a suspect.

He was not given any additional information about this stop. At no point was he informed of his Charter Rights nor was he told whether this was a street check that he could voluntarily leave, or an investigative detention.

Read more about his story on our website.

Since the incident, Jovian has filed both informal and formal complaints against the... New Westminster Police Department (NWPD). A misconduct investigation was conducted by an officer at the Abbotsford Police Department, who eventually cleared the NWPD police officers of any wrongdoing.

But, in a win for Jovian, on August 20, the Office of the Police Complaints Commissioner (OPCC), which oversees complaints regarding municipal police in BC, found that that there is a reasonable basis to believe that the decision was incorrect. A retired judge has been appointed to consider all the facts and make a new decision on the matter.

This fight for accountability has shown how slow, confusing, and elusive justice is for people whose rights have been violated by the police in BC.

The BCCLA calls upon the government to immediately and definitively end street checks as it is an illegal practice that disproportionately impacts Indigenous, Black, racialized and marginalized members of society.

Read more about Jovian’s story on our website.

Thank you for being on our side.

Sincerely,

Veronica Martisius (she/her)
Staff counsel, Policy

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