Montreal Police (SPVM) Inspector Costa Labos will be the subject of an investigation by the Sûreté du Québec (SQ) according to TVA. While one police force investigating another is common practice, what’s notable here is that Labos is the officer in charge of Internal Affairs and responsible for internal police investigations at the SPVM.
In 2014, SPVM officer Roger Larivière was allegedly seen by fellow officers meeting in a restaurant with journalist Stéphane Berthomet. Fear that Larivière was sharing confidential information prompted an internal investigation.
According to TVA, Labos is being charged with “rigging the truth” in order to obtain a search warrant to go after Larivière. He allegedly told a judge that Larivière had been accessing documents he wasn’t supposed to see, when, in fact, they were documents he would consult as part of his daily routine.
The SQ’s Guy Lapointe declined to comment or confirm the investigation when asked by TVA.
Labos still has his job as the head of internal police investigations and is not suspended currently. He was suspended for four days in 1998, though.
He was in the home of Evripidis Georgiou with five other officers looking for Georgiou’s son. When Georgiou’s wife told them that their son was not in the home, Labos yelled “Shut up you bitch!” (not a translation, that’s what he said) at her and then pointed his gun at Georgiou.
This was before Labos was put in charge of Internal Affairs, making him responsible for maintaining the internal integrity of the force. A job that would make him the principal officer investigating fellow officers for all sorts of missteps and crimes, like yelling “Shut up you bitch!” at the mother of a subject before pointing a gun at her husband or lying to a judge.
This is when I would usually offer a comment or put my own spin on things. But sometimes the facts do truly speak for themselves and drive my point home much more than any commentary or analysis could.
What do you think of the head of internal police investigations being investigated? What do you think about one police department investigating another? What do you think about promotion practices at the SPVM?
* Featured image: SPVM officers detaining a protester in July 2015. Photo by Cem Ertekin