A Winnipeg police officer has been charged after using a workplace computer system to allegedly try and stop a photo radar ticket from being issued to himself.
Manitoba’s Independent Investigation Unit began investigating days after the October 1, 2019 incident, in which the officer was driving a private vehicle while on his lunch break.
The IIU says the officer was caught speeding on photo radar and then made an unauthorized entry into a police computer system when he returned to the office. The IIU says the officer prevented the ticket from being issued, thereby frustrating and defeating the court process related to it.
A colleague noticed an irregularity in the system after it had been tampered with and notified supervisors.
Patrol Sergeant Sean Cassidy, 48, has been charged with unauthorized use of a computer, fraud and obstruction of justice.
Cassidy, a member of the force for more than 20 years, has previously been charged with assault and improperly storing a firearm during two separate incidents. The assault charge is also connected to a civil lawsuit Cassidy faces, in which a suspect alleges he was repeatedly punched and kneed during his arrest while Cassidy was off duty in March 2017.
As part of that investigation, a personally-registered firearm was discovered in Cassidy’s work locker and an additional charge was laid.
Police Chief Danny Smyth said Cassidy was provided access to the photo radar system while on administrative leave from the previous charges laid against him.
It’s unclear whether the ticket was eventually issued to him or how fast he was travelling at the time.
Cassidy will appear in court on March 9, 2020 in Winnipeg.
The Winnipeg police professional standards unit is investigating.
“I am satisfied that the checks and balances within the photo radar system were able to detect an irregularity and I’m also satisfied that no other irregularities were discovered during a subsequent audit,” Smyth said, noting a police audit went back six years into the system.
None of the allegations have been tested in court.