(Sgt. Chris Hrnchiar in a Facebook photo)
APTN National News
An Ottawa police sergeant is facing two charges of discreditable conduct following an investigation into racist online comments posted in response to a story about Inuit artist Annie Pootoogook.
Sgt. Chris Hrnchiar will appear in court on Nov. 1, APTN National News confirmed Sunday.
Hrnchiar was charged with two charges of discreditable conduct under the Police Services Act.
The charges followed an investigation by the professional standards section of the Ottawa police service.
The investigation was triggered by Ottawa Police Chief Charles Bordeleau following a complaint from Veldon Coburn, who is the adoptive father of Pootoogook’s four year-old daughter.
Coburn said he was pleased to know the Ottawa police acted on this issue.
“It is heartening that Chief Bordeleau recognizes this and has taken the sort of action that protects the integrity of justice, but also the public opinion of the staff and the force that is at his command,” said Coburn, in a statement.
Bordeleau told APTN last week he believed Hrnchiar’s comments were racist.
The comments were posted by Hrnchiar through Facebook in response to an Ottawa Citizen story about Pootoogook’s death.
They were posted several days after she was found in the Rideau River on Sept. 19.
Hrnchiar posted that Pootoogook’s death “could be a suicide, accidental, she got drunk and fell in the river and drowned, who knows.” He also wrote that” much of the Aboriginal population in Canada is just satisfied being alcohol or drug abusers.”
Ottawa police detectives continue to investigate Pootoogook’s death which they now determine was suspicious after initially stating no foul play was suspected.