Meme Gate scandal not reflective of Sgt’s decades of service, says Police Assoc

The president of the Lethbridge Police Association says the road will be long to rebuild the community’s trust following what’s become known as the Meme Gate scandal. LPA president Jay McMillan says it’s important for the community to know that the members of the Lethbridge Police Service hold each other to a higher standard and have a responsibility to police themselves. He says the decision made by the presiding officer to dismiss Sergeant Jason Moulton, who is a 24year member of the service, is the result of one set of circumstances and should not be reflective of the sergeant’s overall character, or of the police service as a whole. 

Sergeant Jason Moulton created a chat group in WhatsApp called “Meme Militia” in 2018, which shared a wide range of inappropriate and slanderous messages that targeted executive members, other officers and government officials. Four other officers, all constables, were also charged with misconduct under the Alberta Police Act and Police Service Regulation following an investigation by an outside agency. Two of those officers received a demotion in rank and the other two have resigned.

Moulton pleaded guilty to two counts of discreditable conduct, two counts of neglect of duty and a count of insubordination during a disciplinary hearing which has been on-going for two years.
Moulton’s disciplinary hearing wrapped up November 14th, with Presiding Officer Paul Manuel, a retired Calgary police superintendent, handing out a global sanction to dismiss Sgt. Moulton from LPS.

In a written statement Lethbridge Police Chief Shahin Mehdizadeh said, “The Lethbridge Police Service is disheartened by the actions of these five officers and the dishonour, embarrassment and erosion of the public’s trust they caused as well as the harm to our own employees and others who were among those targeted in the memes. I am deeply saddened and sorry the actions of a few have impacted so many. Their behaviour does not reflect the values of our Police Service and our commitment to the community.”

 Sergeant Moulton has 30 days to appeal the decision to the Law Enforcement Review Board.   

Jeannette Rocher

Born in Puerto Rico, raised in Minnesota and Manitoba, Jeannette has had the opportunity to live in a variety of places including New York, Arizona, and Nevada. After completing college and a paid internship with CBC Winnipeg, Jeannette embarked on her journalism career by moving overseas to take a job on the island of Saipan in the Northern Mariana Islands. While overseas she covered stories in Fiji, Guam and Japan including the 2011 tsunami that hit Japan and its surrounding islands. She covered a mass shooting, an Earth quake, murder cases and other substantial court cases. In 2013 she moved to Alberta where she covered the devastating floods of High River and Medicine Hat for CTV News. She then went on to produce and host Go! Southern Alberta for Shaw TV. She now calls Miracle Channel home. In addition to reporting in the field, you can catch her anchoring daily weather reports, as well as longer interview segments on BCN, and the week-in-review show on BCN Weekends. 

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