For your reading and pleasure, or perhaps frustration, I present the second installment of a semi-regular series dedicated to kvetching and carping about annoying stuff that’s been on my mind or in the news.
• Police culture in the city of Toronto.
Shortly after a report by Ontario’s police watchdog accused frontline officers and their superiors of unlawful conduct during the 2010 G20 Summit in Toronto, and with charges pending against a number of officers and investigations ongoing against others, comes the story of a rookie Toronto cop who was harassed by fellow officers for charging an off-duty Halton police constable with drunk driving in 2009.
The revelations of harassment came out at the trial of the officer who was accused of driving drunk. They included allegations that Const. Andrew Vanderburgh was followed home from a police station (where he had taken the allegedly drunk cop for a breathalyzer test) by a third officer who charged Vanderburgh with running a red light. The charge was eventually dismissed and the ticketing officer was disciplined, as were two other cops who didn’t intervene (all three had their pay docked).
In addition, Vanderburgh’s own partner refused to take part in charging the allegedly drunk officer, and Vanderburgh was said to have been called a “rat” by other fellow cops.
In response to the report about Vanderburgh’s treatment, the militant head of Toronto’s police union, Mike McCormack, said that while the union doesn’t condone this kind of behaviour, it’s not a systemic issue. He said a culture of police officers protecting their own may have existed at one time in Toronto, but doesn’t today.
Sorry, but I’m not buying that. It lacks credibility. Continue reading