RNC Chief Joe Boland is responding to a recent concerns raised by the organizers of St. John’s Pride, who are seeking an apology into the arrest of dozens of men in relation to sexual activity at the Village Shopping Centre back in 1993.
Pride co-chair Noah Davis Power says the arrests targeted homosexual men. However, Chief Boland says to imply that the basis of the investigation was homophobic is not true and he issued a statement Monday evening. Below is the statement.
Chief Boland Responds to Telegram Article
(St. John’s, NL), February 26, 2018 – On February 24, 2018 the Telegram published an article relating to a 1993 RNC investigation at a shopping mall in St. John’s. The following is Chief Boland’s response to that article:
“An RNC investigation in 1993 into activities occurring in a public washroom at a St. John’s shopping mall led to several men being charged with Indecent Acts – an offence under the Criminal Code. Section 173(1)(a) of the Criminal Code makes it an offence to engage in indecent acts in a public place in the presence of one or more persons. The 1993 investigation produced evidence of sexually explicit acts occurring in the open area of a public washroom.
Police investigations are based on facts and evidence and are free from discrimination. Recent media reports imply that the RNC was engaged in homophobic public humiliation as a result of the 1993 investigation. I can assure you that this investigation was not carried out for the purpose of targeting homosexual men.
The 1993 investigation was prompted by a complaint to the RNC from a parent who said that her son, a minor sitting on a bench at the shopping mall, was approached by a man and a conversation of a sexual nature took place. The investigative techniques used by the RNC in these cases were not challenged or criticized by the court.
At no time did the RNC refer to the subject of this investigation as a ‘homosexual ring.’ The RNC has never publicly identified the persons involved by releasing their identity to the media.”
Chief of Police; Royal Newfoundland Constabulary