Canada

VPD fires officer after adjudicator's report into assaults against ex-girlfriend

Neil Logan faces criminal charges and other domestic violence charges dating back to 2014 and was disciplined last week after a resident complained that he had been assaulted in his own home

Neil Logan

A Vancouver police officer charged with criminal offences in January was fired on Friday for assaults against his girlfriend four years ago, after an adjudicator overturned the Vancouver Police Department’s penalty of  a 15-day suspension.

Const. Neil Logan lost his job after the release of a report by the Office of the Police Complaints Commission in which adjudicator Brian M. Neal, a retired judge, ruled that dismissal was the “only disciplinary sanction appropriate in the circumstances of this case.”

“I can confirm he is dismissed,” said Vancouver police spokeswoman Const. Tania Visintin in an email without further comment.

The commission ordered the review after the VPD disciplined Logan for the assaults against his ex-girlfriend with the suspension, which Neal called “incorrect, in part.”

Acknowledging that the Police Act requires discipline to “correct and educate” officers rather than punish them, Neal said that policy “cannot take precedence in the circumstances of this case” because it would “bring the administration of police discipline into disrepute.”

The disciplinary hearing was delayed by Logan’s “treatment of apparent addiction issues in the spring of 2021,” and Neal allowed the late submission of three medical reports, including one entitled, “Independent Medical (Substance Use) Evaluation.”

But because none of their contents, mostly based on self-reporting by Logan, had been provided under oath, tested under cross-examination or corroborated, all references to them in Neal’s report were redacted.

Neal concluded, “There is no cogent or credible evidence, beyond a theory, establishing a link or connection between the (REDACTED) issues claimed to be relevant by (Logan) and the violent abuse suffered by the complainant.”

Logan’s ex-girlfriend, Alyssa Le Blevec, said in her complaint to the Commission that during a trip in 2017 to Oregon, Logan hit her in the head while she was driving on a freeway and later almost knocked her down with a face slap and bear-hugged her against her will and later still grabbed and choked her, all while he was drunk enough to fall down at times.

He also repeatedly hit the windshield of the vehicle, his new truck, with enough force to shatter it while she was driving them to their hotel on the way home from the pub, the report said.

Neal said Logan “was consistent in minimizing his extreme anger and frustration in the argument,” describing his actions as “measured, calm and defensive.”

And he concluded Logan or any observer would know his conduct would likely “bring discredit on the VPD” and himself.

The report said the Police Act required that such aggravating circumstances be considered in determining disciplinary measures for police officers.

The commissioner’s lawyer, Greg Delbigio, told the adjudicator the misconduct was aggravated by the fact the assaults were repeated over a “prolonged period” in several locations and were not just the result of a isolated incident during a loss of control, were forceful and violent, caused “very significant emotional trauma” to Le Blevec, were against a vulnerable intimate partner and they occurred “at night, in a car, near the quarry and at the hotel, where no one else was present.”

And he said, Logan’s “rage and loss of self-control is not explained,” and he has not shown remorse, accepted responsibility or shown insight “into the harm he caused. He also said “the fact he was disbelieved is highly aggravating” because “the public’s trust in policing will be lost if a police officer cannot be believed.”

Neal also noted, “Intimate partner violence is clearly a serious societal issue,” and this is “significantly more serious when committed by a police officer” as officers investigate domestic violence as part of their duties.

Logan was disciplined just last week by the Commission after it investigated a complaint by Vancouver resident Vladimir Tchaikoun, who said he was punched, kicked, struck with a baton, elbows and legs and head-butted by officers after they forced their way into his home while responding to a report of domestic violence. Logan was suspended for eight days without pay. His police partner Eric Ludeman was demoted in rank, the second-most severe discipline, after dismissal, for his role.

In January, Logan was charged with several criminal charges, including theft, breach of trust and possession of a controlled substance.

And in November, Logan was charged with assault and uttering threats to cause death or bodily harm in what VPD called a domestic situation in Surrey, in March 2014.

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