Halifax Police Chief Can Kinsella and Insp. Derrick Boyd at a 2020 promotion ceremony. Kinsella is wearing a white shirt with black tie and his police badges. Boyd is in a dark uniform and his holding a badge.
Halifax Police Chief Can Kinsella and Insp. Derrick Boyd at a 2020 promotion ceremony. Photo: Dan Kinsella / Twitter.

Halifax Regional Police is again objecting to having Chief Dan Kinsella and Insp. Derrick Boyd testify at an appeal hearing into allegations of both police misconduct at a July 2020 traffic stop in Dartmouth, and systematic racism within the force itself.

The latest objections come after both Kinsella and Boyd, who is the officer responsible for professional standards within the force, were both subpoenaed on November 15 to testify before the Nova Scotia Police Review Board.

“HRP now wishes to move that the Board quash these subpoenas,” Andrew Gough, a lawyer for the city, wrote to the Police Review Board later that week.

Kayla Borden gives a peace sign
Kayla Borden. Photo: Matthew Byard

The appeal is with respect to claims made by a Black Halifax woman, Kayla Borden, who said she was aggressively swarmed and arrested by several police officers at a traffic stop in the middle of the night before being released. Borden said police told her they were looking for a white man in a different model and colour car.

Borden’s complaint into the matter was initially dismissed by the Police Review Board. She has since filed an appeal.

Gough suggested a conference call ahead of the hearing “to discuss how such an application may be advanced and adjudicated by the Board in advance of the hearing.”

However, he added, “If the Board would like information on the basis of our objection in advance of a conference call, I would be happy to oblige.”

Jean McKenna, chair of the Nova Scotia Police Review Board, agreed to the conference call and wrote to Gough and Borden’s lawyer, Devin Maxwell, stating:

The Board asks that Mr. Maxwell provide a brief written submission as to why the evidence of Chief Kinsella and Inspector Derrick Boyd will be relevant and, as well, asks that Mr. Gough provide the Board with a brief written submission as to the reasons for the objection.

In a letter to The Examiner, Borden’s lawyer expressed disappointment over the latest developments.

“Against my objections, and reminders that its missions is to ‘maintain public confidence in our municipal police agencies,’ the Police Review Board continues to deal with as much of this matter behind closed doors and side-step the public,” Maxwell wrote.

“The Chair says that she will consider oral arguments at the outset of the hearing if necessary, but I am confident that she will issue a decision beforehand based on the written submissions.”

“I am beginning to understand what led Maurice Carvery (and his advisor Rocky Coward) to abandon the Police Review Board process in July. Carvery was profiled and detained by the HRP in January 2020. Carvery’s (a former cop himself) complaint was investigated and dismissed by the police,” he said.

Both Borden’s lawyer and the Halifax Police’s lawyer have until this Friday to submit their written submissions to the Nova Scotia Police Review Board. The Police Review Board appeal hearing into Borden’s complaint is set to take place from December 13 to the 17.

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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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