A Mountie who deleted surveillance footage says he didn’t think it was valuable evidence and would give up his personal information.
A code of conduct hearing continued Wednesday for Codiac RCMP Cpl Mathieu Potvin and Const. Graham Bourque. They face charges of discrediting conduct and failure to provide full and accurate reports of their work on May 15 and May 16, 2019.
The hearing focused on video Bourque took of Jesse Todd leaving Logue an address on Donovan Terrace in Moncton.
“At the time I thought it was irrelevant and I could move on without it,” Bourque testified of the video.
He said he captured a poor-quality video about two seconds long of Logue exiting a property and that it was probably impossible to tell who the footage showed. He said he then dropped the camera in the vehicle he was driving. He tried to follow Logue although the team lost him.
The camera continued to record for about 25 minutes, showing nothing but black and capturing audio from police radio calls and a private conversation with his wife, Bourque said.
He testified he was concerned that this conversation was part of what Logue would hand over if charges were brought as part of the Crown’s disclosure of evidence.
“Mr. Logue doesn’t care that I’m on the phone with my wife,” Bourque said.
Bourque asked the surveillance team over their radios that day if he could cut the 25-minute recording down to 10 seconds. constant Eric Pichette said he couldn’t.
Potvin was responsible for taking detailed notes on the team’s actions that day in order to create an account of their work. He replied that he hadn’t written anything about a video.
“We can pretend it never happened”
“So we can pretend it never happened,” Potvin says, according to the transcript.
Bourque testified that he deleted the video on May 16, the day after the radio call, after asking someone else if the video could be edited.
Potvin testified that he understood that the camera Bourque was using was not working and continued to record longer than planned.
He denied claims by Crown prosecutors in 2020 that officers were conspiring to hide evidence.
“That’s what they say, but at the time I didn’t take that as proof. I thought I had some discretion,” Bourque said.
It was then that I understood that Const. Bourque had attempted to capture video but had a glitch.– Complete Mathieu Potwin
Potvin was asked about his “acting like it never happened” comment.
“It was at that time that I understood that Const. Bourque tried to record a video and malfunctioned,” Potvin testified.
“The fact that he had a video malfunction wasn’t a big deal, that happens. I didn’t think it was relevant for him to write down that he had a video malfunction.”
Potvin said he didn’t learn Bourque had deleted the video until 10 months later.
The hearing is scheduled to continue Thursday morning with input from lawyers, followed by a possible decision by Conduct Committee chair Louise Morel on whether the officers violated the code of conduct.
If Morel decides that is the case, the hearing could continue with discussions about possible ramifications for officers.
Officials suspended on salary
Logue pled guilty in 2021 to conspiracy to traffic methamphetamine and possession of a prohibited Smith & Wesson handgun. He was sentenced to 8½ years in prison.
Potvin, Bourque, and Const. Eric Pichette was suspended with salary in December 2020. The three have been criminally charged with obstruction of justice, although the charges were dropped last year.
According to the RCMP, Pichette has returned to regular duty while Bourque and Potvin remain suspended pending the outcome of the hearing.