Sheila Steele's letter of intention to City Hall
- Sheila Steele
- 217 - 26th Street West
- Saskatoon, Sask.
- S7L 0H5
Nov. 22, 2001
- Mayor Jim Maddin
- Board of Police Commissioners
- Members of City Council
- Saskatoon City Hall
Regarding Superintendent Dueck
and the cover-up of his wrong-doing and my intention to seek
a remedy for seven years of loss of Charter Rights.
Early in 1994, I helped Richard
Klassen write a letter (enclosed) outlining his concern
that Kathleen Jessica Ross had been sexually assaulted during
and following Dueck's investigation into the extended foster
parent families he eventually charged in what has come to be
known as "The Scandal of the Century."
Later that year, in August,
Mr. Klassen asked me to join him in a demonstration protesting
the decision from Alberta absolving Saskatoon police of any wrongdoing
in the David Milgaard case. I was an experienced activist who
had attended dozens of demonstrations from handsful of people
to hundreds of thousands. In every one of those instances, I
knew that the police always gave demonstrators an opportunity
to disband the protest before ordering arrests. Based on this
knowledge of 30 years experience as an activist I agreed to go
with him and to carry a placard and hand-outs protesting the
police mishandling of his case. We protested two days, August
26 and 27, and on the second day we were arrested and charged
with criminal defamation. We were detained for a day and a half
and finally released on an undertaking forbidding us to demonstrate,
pass out handbills or generally bring to the public the facts
of the case. One year later, the charges against me were quashed
and I had my charter rights restored to me. Mr. Klassen's case
took considerably longer and his Charter Rights were not restored
In 1998, together with Mr.
Klassen I launched an internet site where once again we set about
to bring this case to the attention of the public. There was
publicity about this from time to time, as officials from the
government and SaskTel claimed once again that what we were saying
was libellous. We were generally discredited in the media which
was prevented from investigating the case because of a court
ordered publication ban. A complaint I sent in 1995 resulted
in a visit from complaints investigator Gary Treble who intimidated
me and told me to back off.
In 2000, our efforts to get
the case made public reached researchers at CBC's fifth estate
and they did a one hour feature show, based largely on information
published on the website and leads they were able to find within
this material. The program won the Justicia award from the Canadian
Bar Association, Canadian Justice and the Law Commission of Canada
and was praised for its accuracy and educational value. It also
won a Gemini for its production values.
I now have unimpeachable evidence
that Brian Dueck knew that we were telling the truth at the time
he arrested us.
My concern at this time is
that Saskatoon Police have set the precedent of overriding my
Charter Rights and in so doing have not only damaged me personally
but have effectively used me to set a precedent for denying the
rights of others.
I would like an explanation
regarding Dueck's actions in this case and in other cases (Kim
Cooper, for example) where he has broken the law and received
promotion instead of censure.
The Saskatoon Police Service
is trying to restore its seriously damaged credibility regarding
the treatment of Natives -- and not doing a very good job, I
might add -- and Saskatoon is now receiving national attention
for the decline of its west side (Dueck's turf for many years).
Both the Saskatoon Police and the Justice Department have gone
to extraordinary lengths to cover-up its bad actions and smear
those it has harmed, going right back to David Milgaard.
As a Canadian citizen who has
chosen to live in Saskatoon, I am, quite frankly, afraid. My
fears are based upon real experiences which have happened to
me in this city.
Sheila Steele Copies to Saskatoon
Police Chief and Supt. Brian Dueck
(The package was 7 pages altogether,
the first two ended here and the next five were Rick's April
1994 letter. Copies were made and individually addressed to each
member of council.)
I received a call from a secretary
asking what I wanted done with the letter. I told her I thought
the letter spoke for itself. I then received a letter stating
the letter had been "received as information")
Publisher: Sheila Steele 1943-2006
• Index to injustice stories on this site
- Injusticebusters court advice:
- How to walk yourself through the justice system
- Why you should dump your preliminary hearing (written July 1998 and still valid)
- Sheila Steele Editorial: The Naked Truth --
Our activism contributed greatly to the good vibes which happened around the Klassen civil trial.
Index to Saskatoon Police stories
Good scrapbook for 1998-2002 period
and Munson: These two drove Darrell
Night to the edge of Saskatoon on a freezing January night
in 2000. They were found guilty of unlawful confinement, did
some time and are acknowledged by the Saskatoon Police Service
for each having served for 17 years. The Police Association stood
by them and paid for their defence until they were convicted.
Only then were they fired. Hatchen and Munson sentencing
August 27, 1994: Demonstrating peacefully
on the sidewalk outside Saskatoon Court of Queen's Bench. Marie Klassen (in foreground), Richard Klassen
(carrying red sign) and Sheila Steele (in white) in background.
Two hours later, we walked over to the Saskatoon Police station
and were arrested and held. We were legally gagged for the next