In yet another case of police abusing their power and then [allegedly] lying about it in court, Justice Paul Currie delivered a scathing report on the actions of Hamilton Police Service Detective Constable Ryan Toucher and his fellow constables during a May 10, 2010 raid.
There are a few things about this story that really make my blood boil.
First, Constable Ryan Toucher and the rest of his "crack team" screwed up. Royally. These morons couldn't even get the address of the door they wanted to kick in correct.
They weren't after Po La Hay at all. The person they were actually after lived next door.
Second, after their screwup that sent a man to the hospital, do these jerks have the common decency to so much as apologize for their horrendous error and police brutality? Not a chance. Just hide behind that Fat Blue Line and pretend like everything is okay.
"Move along folks, nothing to see here."
While Justice Currie did acquit Constable Toucher on the charge of excessive force, it wasn't because he wanted to. It was because the actions of his four fellow policemen "raises the spectre of a cover-up" that was not proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
Personally, I find it hilarious (not to mention absurd and reprehensible) that, to quote the Hamilton Spectator article:
[N]either Sergeant Paul Henderson, the raid supervisor, nor Detective Constables Chris Camalleri, Christopher Button or Angela Weston — all of whom where in the kitchen with Hay and the accused — could positively identify Tocher as the officer who stomped Hay. Weston has since transferred to the Niagara Regional Service.
“I find the collective evidence of the witness officers to be troubling. Their inconsistencies in their version of the evidence and their apparent inability or unwillingness to identify the person attached to the leg, as most were easily serving in close proximity to the person who was attached to it, strains credulity and raises the spectre of a cover up,” Currie said in his ruling.
How is it that four highly-trained police constables cannot figure out which one of them stomped on the 130-pound person they were beating the crap out of... or should I say "subduing."
Seems every time there is a glimmer of hope that things might get better with some of our police forces that Fat Blue Line shows up and everyone involved runs for cover behind it.
Hay’s lawyer, Bob Munroe, said that this is not over simply because the police hid behind the Fat Blue Line just long enough for their fellow constable to get acquitted.
“The Hamilton Police Service should be held accountable for their actions. The provincial court trial revealed some information about that botched raid. The court commented on the troubling inconsistencies contained in the defence evidence at trial which ‘strain credibility’ and raised ‘the spectre of a cover-up.’”
He has since filed a civil lawsuit on behalf of his client against the Hamilton Police Service. Even Justice Currie made reference to a civil proceeding, where the standard of proof is lower, might be in order.
When the judge says these cops should he held accountable in the civil arena, essentially because they refused to identify their fellow cop in court, then it's time for a long and very serious look at how our police forces are conducting themselves.
I've been writing about a lot of cases lately where the police have been called liars by judges across the country and tossing out cases left and right because of those lies. It almost feels like I could write a template article denouncing an individual cop and put placeholders in it for JUDGE, COP and VICTIM, and just copy and replace the names! It's that bad.
“This is a tragic case on a number of levels, most from the standpoint of Mr. Hay, who through consequences entirely beyond Mr. Hay’s control, had his home invaded in error. He suffered significant injuries from his interaction with police officers there,” Justice Paul Currie said.
Police Brutality seems to be a regular occurrence across the nation. That is one very sad thing to note in a country that ought to be priding itself on its police force, not seeing case after case of unchecked police hostility towards this nation's citizens.
When police screw up this horribly, you'd think they'd do the honourable thing, admit their mistakes, apologize for them and make restitution to the victim.
Sadly, that just never seems to happen, does it?