Vancouver Sun reports on lack of code of conduct inquiry into RCMP Officer’s sexually explicit photos on the web*

July 5, 2012 at 2:24 pm  •  Posted in Corporal Jim Brown by  •  11 Comments

Corporal Jim Brown is guilty of some seriously bad judgment, but then he’s not the only one. And frankly I’m not convinced he’s guilty of anything else.

You’ve probably already heard or read the news, and if not the story is linked to below. I’m not here to talk about the story so much as to talk about the story: that is the reporting of it.

The Vancouver Sun’s Ian Mulgrew reports that there is an ongoing RCMP code of conduct inquiry into the actions of the officer in relation to pictures found on an “S&M website.” In the pictures, according to the Sun, he is depicted wearing “only his regulation-issue Mountie boots and an erection as he wields a huge knife and a bound naked woman cringes in terror.” The paper then goes onto describe a series of photographs depicting an apparent abduction and imprisonment. “He slashes her.” How does he slash her? He slashes her hair? She’s left with a gaping, bleeding wound? He scratches her with the knife? Or he merely raises the knife as if to slash her? Inquiring minds want to know.

The paper, meanwhile, has whipped us into a frenzy from it’s very first paragraph, where Brown is described as “a Mountie who played a bit part in the investigation into serial killer Robert Pickton and appeared on an Internet website posing in sexually explicit torture images reminiscent of the pig-farmer’s crimes.”

Really? The description of the pictures isn’t enough to raise your ire? Somehow this has to be linked to the Pickton case.

The story goes onto tell us that while the RCMP’s legal services determined there was no crime or violation of the Mountie code of conduct here that this inquiry has been started in an effort to discover if there is. In the parlance of the courts it’s a fishing expedition or a witch hunt.

In case we’re left in some doubt as to the unworthiness of Jim Brown to wear the serge, the Sun provides the insights of Mike Webster, who it describes as having had a career counseling police officers and advising departments, while not letting us know if he’s a psychologist, a psychiatrist or a counselor. Mister Webster doesn’t think much of Corporal Brown.

“The fact that Mr. Brown could engage in these activities without considering current attitudes toward this type of behaviour indicates to me that his empathetic abilities are impaired,” Webster said.

Like I said, some seriously bad judgement.

I don’t know enough about this case to start forming an opinion one way or another. And there are some questions I’d like answered before I’d bother to try.

What was the relation of the officer to the woman in the pictures? It’s been determined she’s not a victim. Was she his girlfriend, a casual “play” partner, someone he hired to appear in the shots?

What is the S&M website that these pictures appeared on? Was it Fetlife, a sort of Facebook for kinky people, or was it on some hardcore rape porn site?

Who’s idea was it to engage in this sort of activity and to document it in pictures? Was it Brown’s, or was he merely being, as sex columnist Dan Savage describes it, “Good Giving and Game,” with regards to his partner’s desires?

All of these are things we don’t know, and which if we did know might change the opinions of many, particularly those knowledgeable about BDSM activities and play.

The fact of the matter is what we do know is that Corporal Brown engaged in what is known within the BDSM community as kidnap or abduction scene. That may have turned into a torture scene and possibly a rape fantasy. And he chose to document that and to share that on the web.

What this story tells me is that, as BDSMers, we’re subject to judgment based on misunderstanding and lack of knowledge.

We’re told of the concerns of Lawyer Jason Gratl, who represented Downtown Eastside community groups at the Missing Women’s Inquiry. In his view this depiction of Brown’s represents some ethical connection between the RCMP and Pickton’s killing grounds.

Say what?

I’ve met Mr. Gratl. I’ve shaken hands with him in the Inquiry room, where I had gone as an observer in my role as a board member of PACE. But I wonder if he’d be willing to if he knew of some of the things I’ve gotten up to in my bedroom over the years? Because the fact of the matter is that I am a BDSMer, and over the years I’ve occasionally engaged in the sorts of scene, albeit perhaps not to such extremes, as the one depicted in the photographs featuring Corporal Brown.

Of course I’m not an RCMP officer, and I didn’t take pictures and put them out on the web for everyone to see.

As I said at the start of this piece, the only thing I’m convinced that anyone is guilty of here is bad judgement: Corporal Brown for sharing those pictures with the world, and reporter Ian Mulgrew for running this story without answers to all of the questions I’ve posed.

*CORRECTION: The headline to this story mistakenly originally said “Vancouver Sun Vancouver Sun reports on code of conduct inquiry into RCMP Officers sexually explicit photos on the web” The Vancouver Sun of course has reported that there was no code of conduct inquiry.

Read the story at The Vancouver Sun


  1. Katie / July 5, 2012 at 3:01 pm / Reply

    To be fair to Mr. Mulgrew, you can’t always wait until you have all the answers before you run a story. If that were the case you wouldn’t report on any crimes until the judge issued a ruling, and that’s assuming there is no appeal. He does show bad judgement in some of the words he uses to describe the scene, “slashes” included, but even the first source he uses says that it’s consensual. Yes, it’s a cop that says it, but it’s not Mulgrew’s fault we don’t find police trustworthy.

    As for the Pickton reference, yes he makes it in the first paragraph, but that probably relates to what Mr. Gratl says, and I’d put money on the fact that he didn’t coax Mr. Gratl into making those accusations. He should have included some positive voice from the BDSM community in the piece, but i’m not surprised niether Mulgrew nor the Sun went there.

  2. Jamie Lee Hamilton / July 6, 2012 at 2:34 pm / Reply

    As a business which is listed on this Erotic Vancouver site and as someone who was personally involved in the missing and murdered cases of Downtown Eastside women and further since it has become public that one RCMP officer was involved in the Missing Women investigation and now we are learning that he has been featured on an SM site involving photos of a torture nature, I must say that I find it reprehensible that this site and its owner would be defending the RCMP officer and his actions in posing for photos which are clearly innappropriate due to his involvment in the missing cases. Please remove my listing from this site immediately as I don’t want my business tarnished with this type of commentary.

    • Craig / July 7, 2012 at 3:54 am / Reply

      @Jamie Lee Hamilton: Uh, it’s a little ironic that you filled in the “website” field when you posted, so now there is another link on this site to your business even as you demand that the existing link to be removed and try to disassociate yourself from this website!

      But nowhere in your run-on sentence do you actually say why it’s “reprehensible that this site and its owner would be defending the RCMP officer and his actions in posing for photos”. You run a business that caters to sex-positive people and rely on sex positivity to run said business, and here you are being extremely sex negative! This is contrary to the opinions of, I’d guess, close to 100% of your clientele! How can you run a business which caters to people you apparently despise?

  3. Jamie Lee Hamilton / July 7, 2012 at 11:27 am / Reply

    @ Craig, oh my you are a piece of work. I thought website was a ‘required field. My point is that this officer was part of the missing and murdered women’s investigation and therefore he should have been extremely careful regarding his personal life as a S & M practioner. There are serious allegations that he attended parties at Piggy’s Palace where women from the Downtown Eastside were lured, tortured and killed. He was also handling a source who was engaged in S & M activities who worked at the Pickton property (hello is there a conflict there) There are far too many unanswered questions here regarding the RCMP officer and this s why the Pickton Inquiry needs to be re-opened. But my concern is not about the BDSM lifestyle in general, it is about an officer who had certain information on Piggy’s Palace, the Pickton property and worked for the Coquitlam detachment who oversaw the Missing women’s investigation. There is a direct connection that this RCMP officer attended S & M parties at Piggy’s Palace involving missing women and so I would expect that instead of defending this RCMP officer that Mr Doig and this site would also be concerned about what Mr Brown’s involvement was in regard to the murdered women. It seems to me that by defending Mr Brown that this site is far more interested in Mr Brown’s well being and that to me is very anti women and anti sex workers.

    • Craig / July 7, 2012 at 12:42 pm / Reply

      @Jamie: This incident is showing that, sadly, you are correct that people need to be “extremely careful”, with so many sex-negative people ready to jump on a bandwagon like this.

      However, allegations and “questions” are a dime a dozen, especially when coming from someone with an agenda. (And I’m not referring to you.) The problem with making tenuous allegations in public is that doing so tries and convicts the accused in the court of public opinion, even if (or when) the allegations prove to be baseless on investigation or on being tried in a real court. Here’s another allegation that I hereby make right now: Brown collects stamps from countries ruled by dictators. I don’t have a shred of evidence to prove that, but see how easy it is to make an allegation?

      Is there even a shred of evidence that Brown attended Piggy’s Palace, or is that a leap of logic made by people with an agenda? At the moment it looks like the latter (unless you have the smoking gun), and it’s extremely unfortunate that people can get away with making such allegations without any comeuppance when it turns out their accusations are false.

      As for Mr. Doig, he has only defended Brown’s right to have a private sex life. Unless I’m mistaken, Doig has given no indication that he has inside knowledge about whether or not Brown was, as you certainly seem to allege, “directly connected” to the “torture and killing” of women. You’re actually going further than anyone I’m aware of has gone so far, now accusing Brown of murder! If — and it’s a bloody huge “if” — Brown is ever charged and convicted with doing what you allege, then I’m sure Doig will be as outraged as you are now and will make that fact known.

      Until then, we have a little principle in our justice system known as “innocent until proven guilty”, something from which I’m sure you’d like to benefit should you ever happen to find yourself on the wrong end of baseless allegations. How about we wait for proof before we lynch Brown and those who are standing up four our — and your — right to have a private sex life?

  4. Jamie Lee Hamilton / July 7, 2012 at 1:40 pm / Reply

    @ Craig when an RCMP officer allowed his photos to be used on a public website he then moved his private sex life into the public realm. The fact is that we already know from the Public Inquiry that RCMP officers knew about Piggy’s Palace and how would they know this unless they attended and it has been said that unnamed officers did attend Piggy’s Palace. We certainly know that Mr Russ Caldwell who was Mr Brown’s informant attended. I would logically conclude that Mr Caldwell shared this information with Mr Brown. Moreover, I have good credible knowlege that Mr Brown attended S & M parties. I’m really disgusted that you would state that those with an agenda are with a leap of logic claiming Mr Brown attended Piggy’s Palace. Those with an agenda I assume you are referring to are lawyers Mr Ward and Mr Gratl. It is disrespectful of you to attack these two gentlemen who have defended the rights of families of the missing and murdered women and DTES sex workers. That is very tacky on your part as Mr Gratl and Mr Ward are trying to get at the truth and which many are trying to cover-up. Equally tacky is that you claim that I said Mr Brown was involved in murdering DTES women. I never said that. I said he has information pertaining to their disappearances and murders and we need to learn what information he has. I doubt though he would tell the truth as the RCMP have all along been involved in a cover-up and destroying records and evidence. I think there is much more to come out yet regarding Mr Brown. I am shocked though that both you and Reive who claim to be sexual liberationists would be defending an RCMP officer and the institution he represents. Shocking but I guess you are not really the liberationists you think you are. Defending the state which has historically hurt Women, Aboriginal people and LGBT folks is hardly appropriate behaviour for those who claim to be seeking equality for sexual minorities. Shame on you guys!

    • Craig / July 7, 2012 at 6:59 pm / Reply

      You know, I was going to leave it at my last reply, but you continue to make bizarre and unsubstantiated allegations that must be challenged. Maybe you have some special power that allows you perfect knowledge, but the fact that the police knew about Piggy’s Palace isn’t proof that Brown was a patron there. Police “know” all sorts of things as a result of investigations; they don’t have to participate to know.

      As for your “good credible knowledge that Mr Brown attended S & M parties” — big deal! I’ve attended S&M parties too. What Brown and everyone else does on their own time is none of your business, as long as there are no laws broken. To the best of my (and your) knowledge, he has not broken any laws. That’s what you don’t seem to understand.

      And now you’re accusing me of being “disrespectful” of and “tacky” with respect to Messrs Ward and Gratl! Goodness gracious! Those poor souls. They’re public figures, and you don’t seem to realise that you have a complete lack of respect for the workings of the justice system in which they participate. That justice system requires that people be tried and convicted before you treat them as felons. That said, I actually have a significant amount of respect for Cameron Ward and the work he has done. And even through I think he’s misguided in this instance, he is actually doing his job.

      And then you accuse me of defending the RCMP and the State — as you say, oppressors of “Women, Aboriginal people and LGBT folks” — while you’re quite happy to oppress folks who practise S&M. I am not defending the RCMP and the State, and I challenge you to quote me on that. I’m all about defending the right of someone to have a private sex life. On the other hand, I can quote you, as I did above: “There are serious allegations that he attended parties at Piggy’s Palace where women from the Downtown Eastside were lured, tortured and killed. … There is a direct connection that this RCMP officer attended S & M parties at Piggy’s Palace involving missing women”. It took some waffling in between those two sentences, but that looks to me like an accusation of murder or participation in it.

      The crux of the matter here is that Brown is entitled to have a private sex life. The RCMP have worked had to earn the dearth of respect the public has for them at the moment, but this is not about the RCMP in my opinion. It’s about a guy who made the mistake of letting pictures of himself engaged in consensual sexual activity slip out of his control. If an investigation proves all of your wild accusations, then so be it. Until then, all this is about is an invasion of Brown’s privacy, and the privacy of others who have been caught up in this debacle.

      • Craig / July 7, 2012 at 7:02 pm / Reply

        In the last paragraph, that sentence should read: “The RCMP have worked hard to earn the dearth of respect the public has for them at the moment ….”

  5. Jamie Lee Hamilton / July 8, 2012 at 2:43 am / Reply

    @ Craig lol oh I can tell that I’m dealing with someone who isn’t reading what I wrote. I said there were serious allegations that Mr Brown attended Piggy’s Palace. I said that Mr Caldwell attended Piggy’s Palace. I said that Mr Brown was the handler of Mr Caldwell. I said that the RCMP Coquitlam detachment where Mr Brown worked was overseeing the Pickton investigation. We know from the Inquiry that unnamed officers attended Piggy’s Palace. We know there is a direct connection betweeen Mr Brown and the Missing and Murdered Women’s cases. That we know from documents tabled at the Inquiry. We know Mr Brown as an RCMP officer had direct knowlege of the murders of Downtown Eastside women and the connection to the Pickton property. We know this because his informant Mr Russ Caldwell was providing him information regarding the missing and murdered women. So in summary all I can say is that Mr Brown was a fool to have been posting pornographic images of himself on a public website and that those images involved what is being alleged as torture of women. So the concern I have is that Mr Brown probably breached the code of conduct that RCMP offiicers must adhere too. While that may not be a criminal act in itself, it is still considered conduct unbecoming of an official in a public trust position. I also suspect that whoever leaked those photos will at some point share more information. I think in light of the information coming from the news about Mr Brown that the Commission of Inquiry must be re-opened and Mr Brown and Mr Caldwell ordered to testify under oath. Justice demands it and since you are keen on the administration of justice one would assume that you would agree. Somehow I suspect you don’t because you seem to be in defensive mode because you misguidely believe that the news coming out about Mr Brown is an attack on the S & M community. It is clearly not and anyone with half a brain would know that this issue has serious implications regarding the Missing and Murdered Women’s Investigation. So I’m putting this matter to rest and will deal with my concerns in a more constructive way be demanding that MWCOI be re-opened and Mr Brown and Mr Caldwell ordered to appear. .

    • Craig / July 8, 2012 at 1:07 pm / Reply

      It’s interesting that you find this so amusing. But at least we finally agree that, as you put it, “… all I can say is that Mr Brown was a fool to have been posting pornographic images of himself on a public website”. You sure took a lot of words to say so little, and if that’s all you’re concerned about, why the shrill accusations of being involved in torture and murder? I quoted you, so I obviously read what you wrote. On the other hand, I didn’t write anything about the media “attacking the S&M community”; I wrote that they’re attacking my and your right to have a private sex life. Big difference.

      As for the source of these images: When he or she is revealed, I hope that the innocent bystanders sue the pants off of them.

      I look forward to the concrete results of your “more constructive” efforts. Keep us posted, will ya? And make sure you check the occupations of everyone wanting to use your establishment, so that you can turn away everyone you think should not be allowed to have a kinky sex life. How about posting that list of occupations so that we know in advance who else is on your list besides police officers? Jackboot-wearing defenders of the public good like you have friends of mine worried to show their faces at parties now. 🙁

      I’m off in search of another half a brain.

  6. Ssmith / November 12, 2012 at 11:37 pm / Reply

    OMG, I used to think that Jamie Lee Hamilton was a force for good for sex positivism. Hey, Jamie, if I knew someone who used to deliver papers to the Picton Farm, would that make them murderers too?

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