Friday, February 11, 2011
The Toronto Star reports that the officer involved here has pleaded guilty to uttering threats. How about armed assault? Abuse of authority? People swept up by the Toronto Police at the G8/G20 were charged with more serious crimes for a whole lot less. If soap bubbles can be considered assault, then how is this revolting threat of torture with a deadly weapon not aggravated assault?
We keep being told that Tasers are supposed to be a non-lethal alternative to guns, but again and again, we see stories of them being used as compliance weapons or torture tools.
As for the officer in question, he will be sentenced in June. Until then, he is on paid suspension and departmental disciplinary measures will not be decided until after the sentencing. As far as I'm concerned, the conviction should see him automatically dismissed from the police force and barred from doing any kind of security work.
The one bright spot I see in this case is that this gross misconduct came to light because another officer who was reviewing the in-car videos on another matter reported the offending officer to the department's professional standards branch, which handed the file over to the courts. Its about time the police started putting professional standards and proper respect for the law ahead of the unofficial thin-blue-line omerta that allows so much abuse to go on.