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A Police Act complaint has been filed against the Edmonton Police Service by Lawyers representing a man who allegedly kidnapped an eight-year-old girl and sexually assaulted her, according to CTV News.
The complaint concerns the public EPS warning issued by police about Wade Stene on June 17. The EPS notified the public that while Stene was released he would be living in the small neighbourhood of McQueen—the same area where his alleged victim lives.
After the warning was issued, the community grew outraged and a rally was started outside the home of Stene’s mother over the weekend.
According to the complaint, hundreds of people have gone onto his mother's property and stood outside her home. It also alleges that his mother—a Cree woman—faced death threats and racial slurs.
"The 'public warning' issued by the EPS undermined the role of the courts in our society and was willfully or negligently false," the Raponi, Rideout and Tarrabain law firm said in the complaint.
"[EPS] knew or ought to have known that it would cause unnecessary panic which could lead to greater harm."
People allegedly told the woman to “watch your back” and left handcuffs and a noose on her walkway. Another incident included a coffin being left outside of her home.
"This type of vigilante justice would surely not have occurred but for the EPS 'public warning,'" the complaint reads.
The complaint also argues that EPS officers did not take the protestors seriously, as they offered them water and were seen fist bumping with them. It also asks for the EPS to investigate into the way it handles the events that took place after the warning.
The city’s police chief will determine whether the complaint will proceed.
Stene’s allegations have not been proven in court.