|A former member of the Regina Police Service testified before the Saskatchewan Police Commission on Tuesday afternoon, as part his appeal of the Regina Police Service’s decision to fire him.
The hearing for Colin Magee is in day two of five, and scheduled to go until Friday. The Regina police dismissed Magee from its service in August 2020, after the officer faced several assault charges.
During the hearing on Tuesday, Magee testified he was under a large amount of stress starting in 2015.
Magee testified his wife was diagnosed with a rare chronic disease and is now on permanent disability. The same year Magee responded to a fatal crash involving a teen and several suicides. He testified that these calls had a significant emotional impact on him. In March 2016, Magee said his father-in-law died.
“He was my best friend,” Magee said. “I was having troubles keeping up and maintaining an equilibrium if you will.”
Magee said he thought he was ready to return to work in 2016, while he and his wife were still learning what was happening with her disease.
In July 2017, Magee was charged with an alleged assault, which is said to have occurred while he was on duty in December 2016.
Magee said in that incident he came across a person who pulled their hand away while showing their I.D.
Magee alleged he tried to grab the mans hand and they both slipped on the icy road. Magee was charged and put on administrative duties.
“It had a devastating impact, I take my job very seriously,” Magee said. “It’s also quite shameful.”
Charges were withdrawn after mediation.
Magee said in 2018, his wife’s health, the outstanding case from December 2016 and financial issues continued to cause a lot of stress for him and his family.
Magee was later assigned to the jail cell detention area, and testified the area is volatile and is becoming busier each year.
Magee said on June 10, 2018, a prisoner was threatening him and a fight started. Magee said the prisoner stole his pen and tried to stab him. The prisoner was eventually detained and Magee noticed he had been stabbed in the hand.
In September 2018, Magee was involved in two incidents in the detention area.
Magee said one incident started when one of the prisoners was being released. Magee said while he was trying to explain non-contact conditions to the prisoner, the prisoner became frustrated about their property and grabbed Magee’s pen.
“I thought that he presented an immediate threat,” Magee said.
Magee testified he tripped the prisoner and got control of his hands. The prisoner was eventually released with no extra charges. Magee said a use of force report was filed because what happened was unusual. Magee was found not guilty in the case involving the adult man.
Magee testified, during the second September 2018 incident involving a 13-year-old boy, he behaved inappropriately from the start.
“I became hyper-focused on the wrong thing for the wrong reasons,” Magee said.
Magee said he was focussed on a bag the boy had, worrying it could have been fentanyl. Magee eventually grabbed the boy and took him to the ground.
Magee said he told a coworker he was at his “whits end” and had grabbed a young offender. Magee said the way he behaved is contrary to his own moral code.
Magee pleaded guilty to assaulting the youth and received a conditional discharge and one-year probation. Magee said following that incident, he started seeing his psychologist again.
Magee said there was never an evaluation or peer assessment that suggested he is not suitable to be a member of RPS.
In the spring of 2020, Magee said he was hopeful he had taken the proper steps to continue on as an officer and still expected some repercussions.
“I’m ashamed of the mistakes I’ve made, but I’m not ashamed to own up to them,” Magee said.
On July 29, 2020 Magee met with Chief Bray and discussed the incidents Magee was involved in. Magee was fired on August 6, 2020.
On Tuesday, Magee told Chief Bray he feels ready to return to the force.
“I would like to serve the public again and make amends,” Magee said.
Magee said since he was dismissed from the RPS he’s been working on a farm for a family near Pense, and believes the RPS members would accept him back into the force.