In today’s cultural climate, police across the world are facing more scrutiny than ever. From the protests that have happened in the United States as the result of police action to allegations of corruption within several departments, there’s a microscope that law enforcement has been under. Recently, Edmonton Police Service has thrown some fuel on that fire.
Const. Mike Roblin posted to his personal Instagram alongside another officer with a young shirtless man in jean shorts being placed under arrest. “This fine young man was so thrilled with the service we provided him that he wanted to commemorate the moment with a picture,” Roblin said in the caption, continuing with “Just kidding, he was so high he thought he was on Mars.” Roblin added hashtags, including #dontdodrugskids.
People were instantly outraged by the photo, saying that they were picking on the man’s addiction instead of trying to offer him help. “They seem to try to use the cover that they are warning kids not to use drugs,” said defense lawyer Tom Engel. “But that is not really what is going on here. They have sought to deliberately humiliate this person and to make a mockery of him. This is despicable behavior by these two officers and it portrays a despicable attitude. It is something that the chief of police has to root out in the Edmonton Police Service.”
The photo was deleted from Roblin’s Instagram account, and it’s not the first time that he’s been in hot water. There had been multiple disciplinary actions taken against the officer, and many are now calling for his firing, including Engel. “I don’t know what kind of training or what kind of culture (the officers) come from within the police service, but I think the chief has to deal with this very harshly.”