B.C. woman wants Kamloops Mountie held accountable for Instagram post

Don't sweep it under a rug

A Black Lives Matter activist is petitioning the BC RCMP for permanent change to the way officers are held accountable.

"The long-term solution is having sensitivity training, racism training, diversity within the RCMP" Ashley Dornan, a BLM supporter, tells Castanet. "Also, not just slaps on the wrist for things like this that happen."

Dornan’s comments follow an incident on social media involving Kamloops Mountie, Rupert Meinke. The officer shared two controversial photos in an Instagram post in May.

The first picture showed Meinke having a face mask applied with the caption, "Black face session. It's supposed to help my looks. I don't think it's working." The second photo showed Meinke with the entire face mask on, and the caption, "Is my skin care racist? Micro aggressions matter."

The post prompted an internal RCMP investigation in July, when it was brought to the attention of police.

Staff Sgt. Janelle Shoihet, a senior media relations officer for the BC RCMP, tells Castanet the RCMP is still reviewing the case. 

"There's no telling how long the investigation will take or what the outcome will be,” she says.

Whether drastic changes will be made to the RCMP's formal training or not is unclear at this time. There is also no specific mandate to how Meinke will be penalized, according to Shoihet.

"We would look at all the factors that align with the allegations and then there would be a determination what the appropriate actions would be, based on that examination,” she says.

Dornan, a Vancouver resident, has started a Change.org petition and is asking for the RCMP to not “brush this racist act under the rug.” 

“The BC RCMP has a responsibility to the public to guarantee that racism of any kind, like that of Rupert Meinke’s, will not be tolerated,” the petition states.

As of publication, the online document had 189 signatures.

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