The Independent Police Review director is calling for potentially significant changes to the way DNA is gathered in Ontario.
Gerry McNeilly says a new and “highly public” policy is needed, in a report released after a sexual assault investigation in Elgin County.
His reported – titled Casting the Net – was about a 2013 OPP case, where the victim described her attacker as a black migrant worker.
McNeilly has made number of recommendations, including that the OPP must develop a policy to govern how and when DNA sweeps are conducted, and that DNA samples of people cleared of a crime should be destroyed.
McNeilly says he’s satisfied the investigation was not motivated by racial prejudice, but says a more focused investigation could have reduced concerns about racial profiling.
He also called the officers’ conduct “professional,” evoking several cries of “shame” from the crowd as he presented the report.
The perpetrator of the 2013 assault was ultimately apprehended after he refused to provide police with a DNA sample. He later pleaded guilty and was sentenced to seven years in prison.