Halifax Regional Police Chief Dan Kinsella has cancelled an application for judicial review of a Nova Scotia Police Review Board decision just one day after filing for it.

The board decided in December that Const. Nicole Green did nothing wrong when she arrested Clinton Fraser after a traffic dispute in 2019. Green and another officer used a Taser on Fraser to subdue him, and he complained to police.

HRP found Green breached three subsections of the code of conduct for officers, docked her eight hours pay, and ordered her to take deescalation training. Green appealed.

A woman wearing a white shirt looks over her right shoulder a man with grey hair wearing a blue suit. They're in a beige room sitting in uncomfortable chairs.
Halifax Regional Police Const. Nicole Green speaks to her lawyer, Brian Bailey, at a Nova Scotia Police Review Board hearing in Dartmouth on Wednesday, May 25, 2022. — Photo: Zane Woodford

As the Halifax Examiner reported in January, a three-member panel of the provincial Police Review Board overturned that discipline, writing:

Cst. Green’s subjective perception at the point of arrest was reasonable, considering all that had occurred in the previous 40 minutes. It is objectively supported by the undisputed evidence of his conduct throughout and up to the point of arrest. She and the other officers had attempted de-escalation several times. While certainly one option was to once again attempt to calm him down, and convince him to leave, she had exercised such efforts throughout her contact with Mr. Fraser, and in fact had completed such an effort seconds before. Her perception of an imminent breach of the peace as she articulated it in her evidence, was subjectively and objectively reasonable. We therefore conclude that she had the lawful authority to arrest him for imminent breach of the peace, which became further supported by her belief that he was about to assault an officer. The arrest cannot be considered as being “without good or sufficient cause”, or an “unlawful exercise of authority”

Last Thursday, Feb. 23, HRM lawyer Edward Murphy filed notice of judicial review in the case on behalf of Kinsella:

The applicant seeks review on the following grounds:

  1. The Nova Scotia Police Review Board erred in law in its formulation of the
    necessary grounds to make an arrest for breach of the peace and made an
    unreasonable determination with respect to whether grounds to arrest Clinton
    Fraser for breach of the peace existed;
  2. The Nova Scotia Police Review Board unreasonably failed to make a decision
    or to reveal its analysis on a critical point, namely which of two alternative
    grounds Cst. Nicole Green relied on in arresting Mr. Fraser;
  3. The Nova Scotia Police Review Board failed to maintain an internally
    coherent and rational chain of analysis, particularly in its failure to identify any
    specific person to whom Mr. Fraser posed an actual or imminent risk of

Kinsella wanted a judge to either set aside and/or quash the decision, “restoring the discipline imposed on Cst. Green,” or to remit the matter to a new hearing of a different panel.

There was to be a hearing on March 29, but the next day, Murphy filed notice of discontinuance, ending the case.

“The applicant discontinues this proceeding,” Murphy wrote in the Feb. 24 filing.

The Examiner asked Halifax Regional Police why they discontinued the proceeding.

“As this matter involves personnel and legal matters, we do not have anything to provide as comment,” spokesperson Const. John MacLeod wrote in an email.

Zane Woodford is the Halifax Examiner’s municipal reporter. He covers Halifax City Hall and contributes to our ongoing PRICED OUT housing series. Twitter @zwoodford

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