RCMP Officers Allegedly Watched Porn Instead of Looking for Missing Women

Maclean’s magazine calls it a Royal Canadian disgrace. This month, rampant sexual harassment in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) was exposed. Now, Corporal Catherine Galliford, the RCMP spokesperson for the Missing Women Task Force, says that she will testify that RCMP and Vancouver Police Department officers “engaged in sexual liaisons and harassment, watched porn, and left work early to go drinking and partying” (source: The Province).

The Missing Women Taskforce was formed in 2001 to look into the disappearance of more than 50 women from the Vancouver area between the 1980s and 2002. Many of the women were low-income, drug addicts and sex workers from Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside (known as Canada’s poorest postal code). In 2007, Robert William Pickton was convicted of second-degree murder in the deaths of six of of them women (and is charged in the deaths of twenty more). He is currently serving a life sentence in prison.

The Missing Women Commission of Inquiry is attempting to understand why it took police so long to stop Pickton from abducting and murdering women. According to Galliford, officers already had enough evidence for a search warrant for Pickton’s farm in 1999. However, Pickton was able to murder an additional 14 women between that time and his arrest in 2002. When she testifies at the Missing Women Commission of Inquiry in January, Galliford says she will be appearing on behalf of the victims, not on behalf of the RCMP.

According to Galliford, a senior RCMP officer did nothing with the evidence that could have led to Pickton’s arrest. Instead, Maclean’s magazine reports that, “surveillance on the farm was curtailed, indicative of the ‘indifference’ that marked the investigation of the disappearance of women from Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, and a ‘misogynist’ attitude toward women.” Galliford joined the task force in 2001, read the information that was already on file, and realized that her colleagues had dropped the ball. She claims that her supervisors took the old information and claimed that it was new information when applying for a warrant in 2002.

The officers never provided an explanation for their failure to act on the information earlier. In 2002, when a junior RCMP officer applied for a search warrant for the Pickton farm, Galliford confronted a senior RCMP officer, saying “you’ve known this since 1999,” (Montreal Gazette), but he simply ignored her. The Montreal Gazette article further describes the Galliford’s experience:

Perhaps the most chilling thing that happened to her, Galliford said, came after the gruesome details had begun to emerge about how Pickton butchered women and scattered their remains at his Port Coquitlam, B.C., farm or dumped them at a Vancouver rendering plant, West Coast Reduction.

A group of RCMP personnel were, she said, constantly “making jokes about sex toys,” laughing and giving each other “fist bumps.”

The officers, Galliford alleged, wanted to tell her about “their fantasy.”

“They wanted to see Willie Pickton escape from prison, track me down and strip me naked, string me up on a meat hook and gut me like a pig,” said Galliford, who also recounted the episode in her formal statement to RCMP.

Galliford told the Montreal Gazette that the senior officer “is a misogynist, which is probably why he blew off the missing women investigation” and got rid of other women involved in the investigation who were doing excellent work.

The RCMP is not commenting on the allegations at this time, other than to say that they are of serious concern and that they have initiated a review. Serious indeed. It appears as though sexism and sexual harassment at the RCMP has prevented them from being able to effectively protect within within and outside the police force.

Related stories

Justice for Murdered and Missing First Nations Women

Female Mounties Bring Sexual Harassment Charges

RCMP Officers Who Tazed Dziekanski to Be Charged with Perjury

Photo credit: M-J Milloy on flickr

78 comments

Huber F.
Huber F.4 years ago

Kinda missing the point here. What would they be looking forward after a saddle day?

Huber.

Mary S.
Mary S.4 years ago

Just wonder what they would do if it was their wife, daughter or mother...sit and make dirty jokes and laugh about it????????????????????//

Eddie C.
Past Member 4 years ago

Not surprised.... Sickened, but not surprised...

peggy p.
peggy p.4 years ago

my nephew worked for a county sheriff and a police department...he said he could not stand the behavior either place. needless to say, he has left law enforcement. a sad loss for any protection agency.

Amanda C.
Amanda C.4 years ago

I'm disgusted, but not surprised.

Cathy Noftz
Cathy Noftz4 years ago

~How were these guys able to become police officers in the first place~Their actions are disgraceful!!~

Judith Corrigan
Judith Corrigan4 years ago

I hope if the allegations are true then the men lose their jobs.

Myriam G.
Myriam G.4 years ago

When will the powers that be learn the value of a human life?

Martha Eberle
Martha Eberle4 years ago

COMPLETELY SHAMEFUL -- police officers, and women were killed, while they played. My gratitude to Galliford, for risking disgrace and censure, to stand up and do the right thing: testify.

Steve A.
Steve A.4 years ago

Unfortunately the police, like the military has traditionally been a male organisation, and like all larger organisations it suffers from groupthink.

Attitudes may come from the top but if the top is replaced it's the middle layer that maintains the status quo. And they'll fight hard to keep it.

Obviously the women who join the military/police are lesbians or sl*ts after a good time with all the macho guys and deserve what happens to them. After all if the women complain it was only a joke, wasn't it?

I have to add that having worked in a hospital I have seen that women can have similar groupthink attitudes. If the nurses didn't agree with a technology change then they simply refused to want to adopt it, and were backed by the senior nurses, no matter what the cost to the hospital and if they didn't want to work with males they sure as hell made it difficult for them. If the men complained it was only a joke, wasn't it?