Duly Quoted: Chief Bill Blair, on Police Investigation of Jian Ghomeshi
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Duly Quoted: Chief Bill Blair, on Police Investigation of Jian Ghomeshi

Blair explains why media reports didn't immediately trigger an investigation of the CBC radio personality.

“When you’re talking about a crime which hinges on whether or not consent was given to certain conducts and behaviours, that depends entirely on the perspective of the victim, as to whether or not it was consensual. And so we need that victim to make that complaint before we can move forward. We can’t do it on the basis of media reports—we have to do it on the basis of the victim coming forward.”

-Toronto police chief Bill Blair, responding to a question from a reporter today about why police waited for women to contact them before launching an official investigation into allegations against CBC radio host Jian Ghomeshi. Media outlets report that nine women have accused Ghomeshi of sexual harassment and sexual and physical abuse—three, including Canadian actress Lucy DeCoutere, have now contacted the police, who announced this weekend that they’d opened an investigation. “Rather than force them to participate in that investigation,” Blair said, “we encourage them—we encourage them by providing a respectful, responsible, and compassionate response.” Blair declined to comment on the specifics of the case, indicating that all further updates would be issued by the TPS’s Sex Crimes Unit.