A three-day hearing is currenlty underway over an incident that stunned the Vancouver Police Department. It happened in April 2017, while a few officers were setting up chairs for a police graduation ceremony.
According to the CBC, Police Inspector John de Haas reportedly approached a female officer, who had her hands in her pockets. He pulled her hands out of her pockets, then said, "don't put your hands in your pockets," and slapped her on the butt.
One colleague who witnessed the slap says that the female officer's face "went from pretty relaxed to pretty shocked." The colleague, who testified in court, said that de Haas admitted to the other officers that he shouldn't have committed the act only a few minutes after he did it.
At the time, de Haas was punished with a five-day suspension. He also had to take a course on workplace conduct.
Text messages between the officers at the time of the incident reveal that the incident may have been more lighthearted than shocking. One colleague who witnessed the slap texted another, "Oh my God, I'm scared. Lol." Texts between them included lots of "LOLs" and laughing emojis, making it seem like the incident was funny in the moment.
But, the witnesses emphasized that the female officer found nothing funny about it, and appeared to be in shock.
Inspector de Haas was at the hearing, taking notes in a thick binder - clearly, he's taking the incident very seriously, or is at least making an effort to appear that way.
Both he and the female officer will take the stand on Monday.