Accusations against 3 Cape Breton police officers heard at review board

A dispute between Cape Breton neighbours has resulted in a Nova Scotia Police Review Board hearing to address complaints made against three police officers.

Stephanie Bonner and Edward O'Quinn of North Sydney appeared before a three-person board in Sydney Tuesday to accuse Const. John Campbell of making threats in January and February 2014. The alleged incidents happened at their former property on Crestdale Drive in Sydney Forks.

Another incident allegedly took place in a courtroom following a peace bond application made by Bonner.

'You're dead'

Bonner testified Tuesday that Const. Campbell had driven up behind her as she walked along her driveway and said, "You're dead," through the vehicle window.

Const. Campbell is related to the couple's former neighbours with whom they were in a dispute over a right of way. Bonner had put speed bumps on the driveway and the neighbours, Ralph and Elizabeth Campbell, objected.

Bonner also had the Campbell's garbage box removed because she said it was on her property and they had refused to move it.

Bonner testified that the Campbells were speeding on the driveway and making obscene gestures, but when she complained to the police about that, as well as vandalism to her property, she was told it was a civil matter.

Accusations of neglecting duty

The couple's past accusations against Campbell were investigated by the Cape Breton Regional Police and subsequently an officer from an outside police department. Campbell was not charged.

Bonner and O'Quinn were charged with mischief for removing the garbage box. They were also both charged with criminal harassment after O'Quinn reportedly said, "Hey bud, it's only going to get worse," to Ralph Campbell.

Bonner says they were never questioned by police, but it took 17 months before they were tried and found not guilty.

Campbell, Supt. Walter Rutherford, who oversaw the charges against Bonner, and Const. D.W. Reginato, who was an investigating officer on the case, are accused of neglecting their duties. Campbell is also accused of two counts of disorderly conduct and one count of being discourteous to a member of the public. 

Eight days have been set aside for the hearing.