3-Photo collage: Chief dan Kinsella in uniform, Kayla Borden, and Derrick Boyd in police uniform
Halifax Regional Police Chief Dan Kinsella, left, will testify before the Nova Scotia Police Review Board appeal into Kayla Borden’s complaint of racial profiling by Halifax Regional Police in June 2020. The board quashed a subpoena for Insp. Derrick Boyd, far right.

The Nova Scotia Police Review Board has decided that Halifax Police Chief Dan Kinsella will testify at Kayla Borden’s appeal before the board this coming Monday. The board also quashed a subpoena for Insp. Derrick Boyd, the officer responsible for Professional Standards within the Halifax Regional Police.

Meanwhile, Pineapple Express Media — where Borden is listed as its CEO — is planning a rally in support of Borden on Monday at the Best Western Hotel in Burnside where the appeal hearing is scheduled to take place.

Among the scheduled speakers are Borden herself and Liberal MLA Angela Simmonds.

On July 28, 2020, Borden, a Black woman, was mistaken for a white man in a different colour and model car, and was pursued from Bedford to Windmill Road in Dartmouth where she was physically removed from her car, swarmed, and arrested by over half a dozen police officers and one female officer. After having her information recorded, she was released without charges at the scene.

After filing a complaint against officers Scott Martin and Jason Meisner, Boyd dismissed the complaint on December 10, 2020. Borden’s lawyer, Devin Maxwell subpoenaed Boyd and Kinsella to testify at a hearing into Borden’s appeal of that decision.

Borden’s complaint was investigated by Sgt. Jonathan Jefferies. After reviewing the investigation, Boyd officially dismissed the complaint. Despite that, on Monday, the Police Review Board decided that “it would be inappropriate for him to be asked to justify that decision,” and quashed his subpoena — thus, preventing him from having to testify.

A recent change to the provincial ban on street checks made it so that police in Nova Scotia must have “reasonable suspicion” — a legal criminal standard — in order to gather and record people’s personal information. Under the previous wording, “suspicious activity,” a loophole existed that left it up to a police officer’s personal discretion — as was the case when Borden was inexplicably arrested and had her information recorded.

Part of Borden’s complaint deals with her allegations of systemic racism within the Halifax Regional Police, which played a role in her wrongful arrest.

In a community meeting in the fall of 2019, Kinsella told a room full of 200 mostly-Black people: “I will pay close personal attention to every incident that is reported to me,” with respect to future allegations of racial profiling and unauthorized street checks.

“I look forward to working with the community as we continue to build on our relationships and hopefully we’ll earn their trust,” he said.

Despite Kinsella’s claims, in its ruling Tuesday, the Nova Scotia Police Review Board said, “Chief Kinsella has had no direct involvement in this complaint.”

The Board went on to say, “Although Chief Kinsella may not be the best suited within HRP to speak in detail to those issues, he is clearly qualified to do so.”

“His subpoena is allowed to stand; the subpoena of Inspector Boyd is quashed.”

Maxwell, contends that despite the Police Review Board’s decision to prevent Insp. Boyd’s testimony before them, they don’t have the legal authority to do so.

In a letter to the Board, Maxwell said: “The legislation provides this Board with the authority to summon witnesses, enforce their attendance and compel them to give evidence, but it does not grant the power to quash a subpoena once it has been issued.”

“A subpoena can only be quashed by a Justice of the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia.”

Left Photo: Liberal MLA Angela Simmonds, RCMP Superintendent Jeremie Landry in red surge uniform, Halifax Police Superintendent Dean Simmonds in while collared shirt HRP uniform
Liberal MLA Angela Simmonds, RCMP Insp. Jeremie Landry, and HRP Supt. Dean Simmonds

Simmonds, who will speak at the rally on Monday, is married to Dean Simmonds, who is a superintendent with the Halifax Regional Police. Simmonds, along with Deputy Chief Don MacLean, is one of the two Black members of the department’s Executive Management Team under the leadership of Chief Kinsella.

This past July, the Simmonds’ made a complaint of racial profiling against the Cole Harbour RCMP when they say they had carbine rifles pointed at them at a traffic stop just outside of North Preston where they live.

Alleged details of that incident were since leaked to select members of Halifax City Council by RCMP Supt. Jeremie Landry. An investigation into that complaint remains ongoing.

To review to full decision by The Nova Scotia Police Review Board to quash the subpoena for Insp. Derrick Boyd, click: here.

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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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