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Toronto Police Service Letter

Toronto Police Service Letter

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Published by torontostar

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Published by: torontostar on Apr 25, 2012
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10/26/2012

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 Hello Mark,A colleague and I have been researching and reporting on the frequency with whichpolice officers come under criticism in court for lying. We have searched for casesnationwide and found many. In almost every case we found, it is a judge who says inopen court that the officer lied or misled the court. The deception commented on by the judge occurred either during the officer’s investigation of a suspected crime or duringtestimony.We understand that police officers have a difficult job to do and many do it very well. Wehope you agree that police officers must uphold the law at every step. We are doing thisresearch to understand the extent of the problem and whether there is a solution.We’ve attached an appendix, listing the cases that involve officers from your force. Tohopefully make it easier to field our queries, we have included some relevant details of each case. The year assigned to each case represents when the judge found problems witha police officer’s testimony or investigation.For each case, we ask:1) Was the force or officer aware the judge commented on the officer’s conduct in opencourt? Did anyone pass the court’s concern and rebuke along to the force? (We ask because we have been told that when it comes time for a court judgment, it is often thecase that police witnesses are no longer in court to hear what the judges say.)2) Do you agree with the court’s assessment of the officer’s conduct?3) Did your force investigate the officer’s conduct to see whether discipline waswarranted? If not your force, did any force or authority investigate?4) If so, what was the result of that investigation? If there was discipline, what was it?5) Does the officer still work for your force? If not, why not?Finally, some general questions:6) In nearly 75 per cent of the TPS cases we’ve analyzed, the officers’ misconduct led tothe suspects’ charges being dropped, stayed or being outright acquitted. In the majority of those cases, the suspects had actually committed the crimes they were charged with —possession of guns, trafficking drugs, etc. They got off because of police misconduct.Is it concerning that criminals are going unpunished because of improper police work?What is the force doing, internally, to prevent this from continuing in the future?7) Our list is made up of cases we found through searching court document and newsarticle databases, as well as interviewing numerous lawyers. While there are certainlymore incidents we have yet to find, our data shows the Toronto Police Service has amongthe highest number of cases per force in the country.Why do you think this is?

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