A photo of the room where the appeal hearing is taking place. The room in a Burnside hotel includes several tables where witnesses and lawyers sit. At the table in the foreground is Kayla Borden and her lawyer, Devin Maxwell.
Day 3 of the appeal hearing into Kayla Borden’s complaint against constables Scott Martin and Jason Meisner. Photo: Matthew Byard.

Cst. Andrew Joudrey testified on Day 3 of the appeal hearing into Kayla Borden’s complaints towards constables Scott Martin and Jason Meisner of the Halifax Regional Police.

Joudrey was one of the officers on the scene July 28, 2020, the night Borden’s car was mistaken for a different coloured car driven by a white man. Borden is a Black woman.

Joudrey, 33, said he grew up in Westville outside of New Glasgow, and trained to be a police officer in 2010 with the New Glasgow Regional Police. He worked there for a year and a half before joining the Halifax Regional Police (HRP) in July of 2012.

Halifax Police Cst. Andrew Joudrey  —one of seven police officers on the scene the night Kayla Borden was wrongfully arrested in July 2020 — testifies at the appeal hearing into her complaint against the two arresting officers. Photo: Matthew Byard.

Joudrey said he believed education on diversity and biases was part of his training with the New Glasgow Police, but couldn’t recall off-hand the specifics of that training.

On the night of July 28, 2020, Joudrey said he was in his patrol vehicle on his lunch break near the police station in Bedford when Cst. Stewart McCulley radioed about a Black Pontiac with no headlights on and no licence plate. McCulley testified at the hearing on Monday.

When other officers spotted Borden’s silver Dodge Avenger and started following it, thinking it was the Black Pontiac, Joudrey said he was close by and took off to help them follow her when he saw them drive past him on the Bedford Highway.

In his testimony on Monday, McCulley said the driver of the car he saw was a white man, but said that he didn’t specify that over the radio to the other officers.

Joudrey said that when he pulled up on the scene there were four or five other police vehicles already there.

He said he was less than a hundred feet back and that there was enough light for him to see Borden’s vehicle. He said he would have been close enough to be able to tell that Borden’s car did, in fact, have a license plate, unlike the car that was originally spotted. But Joudrey said  he couldn’t recall if he noticed the car actually having a plate. He said he joined the follow to help the other officers and figured they knew they had spotted the right car.

From his vantage point, Joudrey said he saw Borden’s door open, watched her get out, and then be handcuffed.

From there, Joudrey said he felt “there was no threat,” so he got back in his car and left the scene. He said he can’t recall if he left before or after Cst. McCulley showed up.

The investigation

Sgt. Jonathan Jeffries conducted the investigation into Borden’s complaint, which was then dismissed by the Sgt. Derrick Boyd, HRP officer in charge of Professional Standards. Though Jourdey said that a Sgt. Clyke was filling in for Jefferies the day he was interviewed for the investigation, he said he hadn’t spoken to Clyke or Jefferies before giving his statement. He also said that he hasn’t spoken to any of the other officers on the scene that night about the incident since it took place.

Maxwell asked Joudrey if he knew Borden had actually been placed under arrest by the time he gave his statement to Clyke. Police Board chair, Jean McKenna interjected, debated with Maxwell on the merits of the question, and prevented the question from being answered.

“I took what he said as yes, he knew she was arrested at the scene and was released,” McKenna said.

“Well he didn’t say he knew she was arrested, he said he knew she was put in handcuffs,” said Maxwell. “People can be put in handcuffs at a traffic stop without being arrested. Fair?”

“Well, he told you what he was aware of. You can call it an arrest, you can call it a detention, you can call it whatever you want,” said McKenna.

Police Review Board panelists Beverly Ross; Board Chair, Jean McKenna; and John Withrow. Photo: Matthew Byard.

Training and biases

Maxwell asked Joudrey more questions about his police training with the New Glasgow Regional Police.

Joudrey answered questions about his traffic stop training and his use-of-force training. He said he also received training on diversity and biases but couldn’t recall specific details where, he said, unlike use-of-force training, diversity training was more infused within the training program rather having its own standalone course.

Joudrey said that Halifax Police policies — such as its use-of-force policy — are only accessible for officers to review at work through the department’s internet computer system, but not through a physical take-home manual or through logging in on the internet. He said he’s not sure if department policies are accessible through the computers in the police vehicles.

Near the end of his testimony, Joudrey said he has never personally witnessed an instance of racial bias by another member of the Halifax Regional Police.

Maxwell then asked, “Are you aware of any incidents of racial bias by other officers in the agency?”

“I can only speak to what I’m privy to as a witness,” Joudrey said.

“There could be stories out there. Am I suggesting it never happened? I can’t answer that; I can only speak for what I see.”

Andrew Gough, the lawyer for the HRP, and Nasha Nijhawan, the lawyer for Martin and Meisner, didn’t ask Joudrey any questions.

Another witness who was set to testify was unavailable and the hearing was adjourned shortly before 11:30am.

The hearing is expected to resume Thursday at 9:30am at the Best Western Hotel on Spectacle Lake Drive in Burnside. Halifax Regional Police Chief Dan Kinsella is expected to be called as the next witness.

Cst. Scott Martin and Cst. Jason Meisner, the two arresting officers the night Kayla Borden was arrested. Photo: Matthew Byard. Credit: Matthew Byard

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Matthew Byard, Local Journalism Initiative reporter

Matthew Byard writes news, profiles, and stories of the Black Nova Scotia community. His reporting is funded by the Canadian government through its Local Journalism Initiative.

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  1. Toronto Police policy : ” At its meeting on August 18, 2020, the Toronto Police Services Board approved 81 decisions on policing reform, including the reforms requested by City Council.

    Recommendation #36 states:

    Direct the Chief of Police to post on the Service’s public website, as soon as feasible and on an on-going basis, up-to-date copies of those procedures of public interest that govern the interaction of police with the public, in a form that will not endanger the efficacy of investigative techniques and operations.

    As a public service organization, it is imperative for the Toronto Police Service to effectively communicate with the community we serve, especially in relation to providing information that could be useful to victims of crime and others wishing to engage our services.

    Toronto Police Service procedures are developed and maintained by the Chief of Police, and contain direction from the Chief to all Service members. Many procedures detail the actions required by police officers to carry out their duties to ensure the highest level of service to the community. Other procedures provide direction to members in order to ensure effective management of the Service. Service procedures are living documents which are constantly under review to reflect such things as changes to legislation, Toronto Police Services Board’s policies, Coroner’s Jury recommendations, technology, and operational processes. ”
    Tick the box at the bottom of the page to gain access
    http://www.torontopolice.on.ca/procedures/