Police car

When cops can’t get their stories straight: Corporal Richard Dozois

On May 17, 2014, Patrick John Doran published an article called “The Bully In Blue: Constable Colin Leo Folk,” detailing the ridiculously inconsistent and contradictory voir dire hearing testimony of one of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) officers involved in the arrest of Aaron Joseph Harms.


Constable Colin Folk was one of four officers who were excluded from testifying at Harms’ sexual assault trial because their testimony was ruled less than credible; indeed, the most credible aspect of their testimony was that it implicated them in the violation of Harms’ Charter rights (similar to US Constitutional rights). The other officers were Corporal Richard Dozois, Constable Larry McDonald, and Constable Thomas Parker. All four of the officers who handled the incident on the night of the arrest screwed up so badly that they were not permitted to give evidence at the trial. I can’t help but envision the Keystone Cops scrambling around, bumping into one another, and in general making fools of themselves. Fortunately, their lawlessness and idiocy helped lead to Harms’ acquittal. Unfortunately, their lawlessness and idiocy led them to arrest and imprison a man they knew was almost certainly innocent.

The voir dire hearing was held October 7, 2013, the first day of Harms’ trial for an alleged sexual assault on his perjurer stepdaughter Angel Roberts, which allegedly occurred in May 2011. A voir dire hearing is a “trial within a trial,” often held without the jury present, the purposes of which include determining the admissibility of evidence and the competence of witnesses.



The hearing began with Folk’s testimony, much of which was reported in Doran’s article, and I will refer to it here as well.  Dozois’ testimony ranges from evasive to blatantly contradictory. It begins with a relatively innocuous omission that might easily go unnoticed. When Crown Prosecutor Joyce asks Dozois how long he has been a member of the RCMP, he answers (page 45):

20   A:  About 14 and a half years.


22   Q:  Where have you been stationed during that period of time?

23   A:  Eight and a half years in Morinville and the remainder of the time, 4 and a half years, in Athabasca.

As the average nine-year-old can tell you, eight and a half years plus four and a half years equals thirteen years. Not fourteen and a half years. Where was he during the other year and a half? Does it matter? Chances are the answer is totally unrelated to this case, so why lie? Why take an oath to tell the truth, then promptly tell even an innocuous, by-omission white lie? Why would Dozois begin his testimony with an inaccurate statement and risk being exposed to the world as dishonest, stupid, and/or careless to the point of negligence?

If the above was his only lie, it might be a fluke, but much of the rest of Dozois’ testimony is even more confusing. In his account of the events that transpired in the Harms residence, he contradicts not only himself but also Folk. As the first officer on the scene, Folk testifies that he had called for backup as soon as he saw Harms in possession of a gun. According to transcript page 46, Dozois describes the summons to Prosecutor Joyce as “not standard.” He doesn’t elaborate on how it deviated from what he called “standard.” Later, under cross-examination by the defense (Ms. Hayes, page 57), he agrees that it was not “like an officer in distress type call.”  These statements are not specifically contradictory, but they are conveniently vague in that they allow him to later claim that he was both keenly aware of the situation and yet not really paying attention.

36   Q:  After the initial complaint comes in and you find that Constable Folk is going to

37          attend, what happens from there?

38   A:  Constable Folk radioed me and provided me with — I’m not going to say a standard —

39         it appeared with what came over the radio that he required my assistance to the

40        residence that he went to.

then …

 28   Q:  MS. HAYES: When you were requested by Constable Folk to attend at the 

29           residence, it certainly wasn’t like an emergency call; correct? It wasn’t like an officer

30          in distress type call?

31   A:   No.

Dozois then describes the events leading to his arrest of Harms (one of two different arrests described in this hearing). He testifies that he had responded to the backup call and entered the basement, where Folk and Harms were in conversation, seated on a couch. He claims that he didn’t recall the specifics of the conversation (Joyce, page 48). However, he also claims (to Joyce, page 48, and to Hayes, pages 58-9) that due to Folk’s demeanor, and also due to the not-quite-standard nature of the backup summons, his senses were heightened and he listened carefully to what Harms said.

2    Q:   After being advised that Constable Folk is downstairs what did you do?

3    A:   I went downstairs.


5    Q:   And what did you observe downstairs?

6    A:   In the basement I observed two people, Constable Folk and Mr. Harms, and both

7           were in conversation when I came downstairs.


9    Q:   Where were each of these people located?

10   A:   They were seated on the couch in the basement.

Then to Ms. Hayes:

1     Q:   So when you went in and were directed downstairs, I know you’ve indicated you were

2           acting in a professional manner, so certainly upon seeing two people talking I suspect

3           you just hung back a little?

4     A:  No. When I went downstairs I was within a few feet.  I walked right op to where

5           they were.


7     Q:  I apologize. That’s probably awkward on my part in terms of questioning. I guess I

8          meant you didn’t go and immediately insert yourself into their conversation?

9     A:   No.


11    Q:    You let them continue their dialogue that they had going on back and forth?

12   A:    Yes.


14    Q:   And your evidence today is that you simply don’t remember what they were talking

15           about?

16    A:  That’s correct.


18    Q:  Would it be safe to say that they were talking about something related to the

19          investigation?

20         Yes.


22    Q:  Or did you –okay.

23    A:   Yes.


25    Q:   So would it be fair to say you don’t remember specifics, but it was clear to you upon

26           arrival that they were talking about this incident?

27    A:   Yes.


29    Q:   And it was a back and forth, both of them were stating things, asking questions. It

30          was an exchange between two parties?

31    A:   It was.


33    Q:   When you referred to hearing the admission made about the clothing being removed,

34           was that something you elicited or something that was said between the two of them

35           that you overheard?

36    A:   That’s what I overheard.


38    Q:   At that point is when you chose to insert yourself into the investigation?

39    A:   Yes.


41    Q:    That’s fair?

1      A:    Yes.


3     Q:     So the best we can say is they’re clearly having a discussion about the investigation,

4              that disclosure is made, and then at that point you arrest him.

5     A:    Yes.


7     Q:    Now, when they are having the discussion on the couch, certainly no one’s in a good

8             mood; that would be fair to say?

9     A:   That’s correct.


11    Q:    But at the same time there’s not physical contact between the parties?

12    A:   No, there’s not.


14    Q:  There’s not a sense that either on the part of Mr. Harms or on the part of the officer

15          that either one of them is about to lunge at another or anything like that?

16    A:  My senses were heightened in the basement as a result of being summoned to the

17          residence by Constable Folk in the fashion that he summoned me. When I got to the  

18         basement, his eyes were averting to the corner, so I knew that there was something

19         that he wanted to get my attention about. I couldn’t see. The basement was dimly  

20        lit, and Constable Folk’s demeanour was not normal to me.  


22         Mr. Harms was agitated, and maybe nothing specifically said at the moment that  

23         would indicate that a violent interaction was going to take place, but I was very  

24         focused on my being in the basement and to assist Constable Folk with Mr. Harms.

25   Q:   And I guess the fair way to say it, you’re alive to the possibility that something could

27          happen, but at present there was no immediate need to intervene. Is that a fair way

28          of describing it?

29   A:   Yes.

Why would Dozois find it necessary to portray himself as relatively oblivious to the conversation between Folk and Harms while simultaneously being alert enough to catch Harms’ alleged “disclosure.” Obviously, he must have heard the disclosure in order to have arrested Harms, and also obviously, with two officers testifying to having heard the same confession, it would sound more like the truth. However, as Folk’s supervisor, Dozois couldn’t afford to testify to hearing Folk questioning Harms without having cautioned him of his Charter rights. To do so would clearly condemn Folk. The moment Folk walked down the basement stairs and saw the gun (which he didn’t know was a replica), he had probable cause for an arrest. He should have cautioned Harms immediately before asking him so much as “What’s going on?” Folk blatantly violated Harms’ Charter rights, and Dozois testified that he (rather conveniently) didn’t hear the specifics of the conversation that occurred before the arrest. Perhaps all of his senses were “heightened” except one—his hearing.

[Incidentally, this isn’t even the first known case of Rick Dozois not testifying to the details of potentially critical on-scene conversations. In 2005, he attended an accident scene during which an RCMP rookie’s actions likely contributed to a horrifically fatal secondary crash. During the subsequent trial, Dozois didn’t discuss those conversations either.


After briefly helping to clear the scene, Kehler said he consulted with the other two officers and it was decided he should retrieve the patrol car. He can’t remember who made the decision, or whether the decision was made by consensus. Dozois made no mention of the conversation in his testimony.” ]

Back to the case at hand: immediately after Dozois contradicts himself on the witness stand, he further distances himself from any violations that Folk may have committed with this exquisite example of verbal sleight of hand (page 59):

31    Q:   Is there a reason that you did not personally charter and caution Mr. Harms upon

32          arresting him?

33    A:  Constable Folk entered into the investigation at the residence and was dealing with

34          Mr. Harms. My role was to assist Constable Folk in a backup scenario, and

35         Constable Folk, who was on duty that night, and the first arriving on the scene, and  

36         myself being called back for an overtime shift, it wouldn’t necessarily be normal for  

37         me as a supervisor, to take over the arrest and caution. That’s not saying it

38         can’t be done.

Makes you wonder what kind of supervisor doesn’t step in to correct an officer who is breaking the law.

In addition to contradicting himself, Dozois provided testimony that is in direct conflict with Folk’s testimony. Both of them claimed to have arrested and handcuffed Joseph Harms.

From above, Rick Dozois:

3     Q:     So the best we can say is they’re clearly having a discussion about the investigation,

4             that disclosure is made, and then at that point you arrest him.

5     A:   Yes.

 From page 17, Colin Folk:

18    Q:  Okay. And then what happens after your backup arrives?

19    A:  I advised Corporal Dozois of the situation when he came downstairs, and I advised

20         Mr. Harms he was under arrest. I handcuffed Mr. Harms, took him out to my 

21         patrol vehicle, and read Mr. Harms his rights verbatim.

So who made the arrest, and when? Who was in charge? Who said what, and when? Does the police academy teach classes in obfuscation and selective memory loss? Is it any wonder the judge found these two officers “less than credible” and prohibited them from testifying in the rest of the trial (and the two other officers in this little club)? I hope Crown Prosecutor Joyce sincerely thanked that judge for sparing her the humiliation of having to parade these clowns in front of a jury.

Link to Joseph Harms’ blog: http://wheatkings.blogspot.ca/


About Suzanne McCarley

Suzanne McCarley is a middle aged widow, an empty-nester, an MRA and a 2A proponent. She never had a career, just a long series of family-friendly Mom Jobs, which exposed her to a variety of people and environments.

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  • PlainOldTruth

    The elusive “patriarchy”

  • http://www.avoiceformen.com/ Dean Esmay

    You know, I know cops. Most of them want to do a good job. But an awful lot of them become so jaded and so narrow-minded all they want is a bust, no matter what it takes, and to never, ever admit to a fuckup, no matter what they have to do.

    Joseph Harms is not a perfect human being. No one is. But I’m astonished how little anyone gives a damn about such basic civil rights violations anymore.

    • alex brown

      Not all cops are like that eh?

      Cops belong to a caste, where they have the right to beat, steal and kill you! All cops are like that as far as I am concerned.

      • Vương Vi-Nhuyễn – 王微軟

        Don’t generalize like that, I’ve been nearly killed by cops, and if I could I would completely let those men and 1 woman suffer, but the truth is that NOT ALL cops are like that, there are good cops among them, they might not be with many, but I’ve befriended some (ex-)cops, and I’ve been treated better by some, though I may not like most cops, but that doesn’t mean that they’re all like that…

      • MrSonicAdvance

        The only interaction I’ve had with police has been fine. I’ve been stopped and searched and they were polite and respectful. But then so was I.

        • alex brown

          I smell a whiff of victim blaming here.

          Of course cops only beat and rob people who are disrespectful, so they asked for it?

          Only sheep are willing to go along with a illegal stop and search. What are the police searching for anyway? Drugs?

          The police are the shocker troops on the war on men. They arrest men on domestic violence charges, they fight the war on drugs, a war proven to increase crime not reduce it.

          I do not make friends with pigs, if you choose to join the police, you have chosen to join a privileged caste able to beat, rob and kill with impunity.


          Not all cops are like that, but it seems like 99% of cops get away with blatant murder.

          • MrSonicAdvance

            Well, considering you’re implying the police go on the rampage, you’re hardly an exemplar of calm self-control, are you? All I said was that my interaction with the police have been positive. The fact that my experience doesn’t fit with your narrative is your problem, not mine. You don’t actually detail any negative personal experience with the police, so I’m not sure what your problem is.

          • alex brown

            “Well, considering you’re implying the police go on the rampage, you’re hardly an exemplar of calm self-control, are you”

            “Well Considering you’re implying that women can falsely accuse, you’re hardly an exemplar of self-control, are you”

            You sound exactly like a feminist it is freaky. Cop apologists are gonna be cop apologists.

            You had no problems with the cops? The fact you don’t consider a random stop and search means you have no self respect or self regard. That cop was fishing, he was trying to find an excuse to throw you in a rape cage.

            I can link to a million more stories in the USA, UK about police brutality, the one thing all the stories have, is the fact the police never get punished. (I don’t consider the rare cases of getting fired punishment. Getting fired for murder is not a just punishment.)

          • MrSonicAdvance

            It wasn’t a random stop and search. It was about 1am and I was walking in an industrial area with a friend. We were both about 18 at the time. They’d had several burglaries reported and figured they’d check us out. They were polite and respectful. If allowing yourself to be searched without screaming the place down is a lack of self-respect in your book, then you carry on screaming.

          • driversuz

            Speaking of sounding like a feminist (or any ideologue) your assumption that cops are thugs sounds a lot like the assumption that men are rapists.

          • alex brown

            Men do not have any rights as a caste over anyone. Cops are a caste that have the right to dish out violence on behalf of a state.

            They basically have the right to kill and murder you. Going. “Cops are okay to me.” Is feminist level logic. Feminists even use that same type of argument. “All the feminists I know are decent people.”

            There is something systematically wrong with the police. No group of people should be able to beat, rob and kill on behalf of the state.

            Police thugs are feminists shock troopers. They are the ones who arrest men on behalf of women. They are the ones who see females abusing kids and refuse to do anything. They are the ones who let girls smash boys over the head with bricks and do nothing. They are the ones who jump on any chance to criminalize men and boys, giving them criminal records for petty things.

            The police are misandrist statist thug force. People who deny it are cop apologists, just like people who deny feminism is harmful are feminist apologists.

            I can give a million more examples. I hate the police, I pay taxes towards a thug force that doesn’t protect me, a thug force does illegal stop and searches on me. A thug force that will destroy me on the word of a woman. Sorry all police are like that to me, just like all Nazi Party members are like that. I am sure this comes across as example but I consider most people brainwashed and scared into accepting Mafia type protection from the police thugs.

            This is my last post on the subject, as I don’t want to derail.

      • Cylux

        Police forces as institutions do have a tendency to close ranks around and defend the bad apples that spoil the whole barrel.

        • alex brown

          That is why I don’t believe in any good cops. The only good cop is the one who realizes how rotten the system is and quits. I don’t consider a person who closes ranks with someone a good person.

  • MrSonicAdvance

    I tend to give the police a lot of slack as it’s a job I know needs doing but I also know I’d really not want to do. But a cop that can’t be trusted needs removing from a position of trust.

    • alex brown

      A cop is a job that needs doing? Says who?

      • MrSonicAdvance

        Robert Peel in the early 1800s, and it still needs doing.

      • Graham Strouse

        Would you prefer lynch mobs, alex? Citizens tribunals? Angry peasants with pitchforks? Do tell.

  • Aaron J Harms

    In the area where this all happened to me, it would seem as if the mind set of the RCMP hasn’t changed. From a small town, connected to an even smaller village, the RCMP share patrolling grounds with the Village of Boyle. This is a link of an article highlighting an incident that happened four months after mine .
    Clearly in this area of a combined less then 3’000 populace, the RCMP still rule big time. A law unto themselves answering only to their own handlers, spinsters, PR guys. I mean can anyone tell me how a cop can plead guilty to shooting a man several times because he won’t get out of his vehicle, then waste years of court time, falsely charge his victim and yet years later simply drops the charges against his victim , pleads guilty himself to criminal offenses , while awaiting sentencing he is now taken off of administrative leave and placed back on patrol!? Is it just me, am i the one not seeing things correctly?
    ” excuse me sir, do you know why i pulled you over”? “no, but since you have, what is your date of birth, i need to run a criminal record check on you officer!” i mean good god how does a cop that pleads guilty is still afforded the right to be a cop? You know, you put that with the admissions of all Of Folk’s “brought up on review board”, and you add in Dozois’ crap where by his and his amigos negligence 7 people died on the way home from work, another 20 plus are seriously injured , some for life….These guys leave a wake of victims and they are supposed to be police! it truly is amazing. They aren’t keystone at all but rather very intelligent and deceptive. Dozios ducked and weaved in my trial, threw out some spell binding none sensible dribble and its like ” ohh, okay” Same thing he did at that other trial against the truck driver, blamed his underlings, charges the victim with mega accidental homicides, drags him through the ringer for years until a jury finds him innocent as well…Dozois walks away a corrupt , accomplished evil magician. He being a training officer, men under his belt, what do you think will happen in the future?

  • Aaron J Harms

    it would appear to me that voicing what i went through and those that have worked tirelessly on my behalf, it seems not worth it. For those that dedicate time on my case i appreciate it. Daily it becomes clear to me why MANY men don’t come forward but rather walk away and lick their wounds so to speak. You can put the information out there but in the end people will read, get involved or not. I personally thank you Suzanne for all your time and wading through the sheer volume of paperwork that a case like mine holds.
    i figured the other night i would go on line at avfm and chat on the chat site about my case, what’s going on and what has happened since, hell to take my mind off I’d like to give advice to another guy but no everyone was telling me they were talking about “dungeons and dragons”! seriously?
    i can’t help but feel that one of the biggest mistakes was to ever bring this out, acquitted sure but by fighting back after 3 plus years of shit and hell now its all out there on Google plus, its no longer quiet and yet no forward progress. Now the worst i face is ridicule from those even less understanding that Google my name, could very well affect my future employment, professional future.