Why The Disproportionate Number Of Black Deaths In Police Custody?

In the early 90’s I became a soldier and was introduced to combat videos. Over time B7bZPRSCcAEdC2T
these videos changed from Russian aggressors, to Chinese antagonists to ISIS fighters. The objective of these videos is desensitizing combatants to ‘subconsciously identify’ and ‘kill the enemy’. The enemy changed over time as the threat changed in real time.

 
US Army psychologist, Lt Col Dave Grossman addresses this in his book On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society highlighting this point with an uncomplicated view that most people have ‘phobia-level’ response to violence, and soldiers need to be ‘trained to kill’. Effectively, we need to facilitate soldiers overcoming this ‘phobia’, identify and kill the enemy.

 
The Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement originated after the 2012 shooting of Trayvon Martin. Infuriation intensified in the black community as a trial that unquestionably should have been about lawful authority to take a life was intentionally misdirected, manifesting itself into a character assassination of Trayvon. My colleagues in Law Enforcement circles will tell you, putting the victim on trial is seen as an indicator of the guilt of the defendant.

 
BLM has an immensely important future in the dialogue between black communities and law enforcement, lines of communication that have historically been lacking, especially in the United States. However, BLM should not be used as an excuse to do violence to others or condone the same. Holding aloft signs stating “Death to Cops” or posting Facebook messages promoting slogans such as “Kill All White PPL” increases the divide, and in is criminal. Nor does it give you the entitlement to block a Gay Pride Parade because the LGBT community have decided after years of justified and warranted mistrust, inclusion of Police on ‘their’ day of celebration, is a better way forward than exclusion.

 
The retorts ‘All Lives Matter’ or ‘Blue Lives Matter’ do nothing to help advance us forward either. These phrases are nothing more than direct censure of BLM but with a spineless translucent attempt to avoid clear racist undertones. It intentionally belittles a movement born out of exasperation and tries to stifle a right to be heard. Nowhere have I seen an indication that true BLM activist are asking for anything more than equality and fair treatment.

 
The first anti-BLM argument is more white males are killed by police, than black males per annum. I concede that true, nevertheless that does not take into account the statistical disadvantage; the fact black people only make up 15% of the populous. This effectively means if you are black in North America you are five time more likely to die at the hands of law enforcement than a white person.

 
The second contention ‘that black people are prone to criminality’ hence more likely to have adverse interactions with police is feebly supported by the datum that almost 40% of prison populations in the USA are made up of black men, and a higher than average percentage in Canada. Ignoring the clear racist undertones of this statement, I’m sure I could write about the socioeconomic status of black communities, and the fact poverty leads to a higher crime rate but there are educated and better skilled people who have already tirelessly covered this subject. The blatant fact is if you’re black, especially in America, you’re more likely to be jailed than a white person under comparable circumstances.

 
A prime and current illustration of this would be Stanford swimmer, turned rapist Brock Turner who would receive three months for sexually assaulting an insensible girl behind a dumpster. Equate that with Brian Banks, a high school footballer who was sentenced to five years for rape before a confession of the victim she had fabricated her allegation. Turner is white and Banks is black clearly indicating race has an aggravating factor on sentencing.

 
So why the disproportionate amount of black deaths in police custody? Many argue that police are ‘institutionally racist’ and I have to concur in principle we are, but not through fault of the individual officer. I believe it’s a factor tied into training modules.

 
My experience of Use of Force training with a North American service started with a video. A white female officer stops a large black male with his daughter. After short dialogue and missed ‘indicators’ from the suspect of “I can’t go back to jail” the black male viciously attacks the officer, beating her to the ground as his daughter pleads with ‘Daddy’ to stop. Whilst astride the officer he continues to punch her face, with an audible thud after sickening thud whist she lays unconscious beneath him. Then he tries and fails to take the officers firearm, before driving off.

 
This one minute of footage got right in my psyche. I’m telling you, right under my skin and that was the intent of showing it. I sat there supressing angst when the Use of Force instructor spoke; “You know what to do in a situation like that? Ventilate that fucker!” Even I was taken aback by the cowboy-esque, verbal authorization to take the life of another human being. I fail to recall a time even in the military where we disregarded a lethal action with such trivializing terminology.

 
And that’s how the day ran. They were supposed to teach empty hand and baton techniques, combined with handcuffing skills. These techniques, although in my opinion weak and impractical are there to add tools to an officers Use Of Force options, negating the need to jump straight from ‘verbal commands’ to ‘lethal force’. It also negates some liability on the part of the service in question. It’s apparent both the instructors and students feel they’re time wasting. Furthermore a number of the officers did not complete the training to an acceptable level, and would not be able to successfully defend themselves in a confrontation.

 
A disproportionate amount of time is spent working through the ‘Use Of Force’ wheel telling you how to justify a shooting. ‘I feared for my life.’ ‘I thought I would never see my kids again.’ ‘I didn’t want to die.’ followed by the age old cop saying ‘it’s better to be judge by 12 than carried by 6’. If you only dissect that last statement; we are effectively telling our officers that it’s better to kill an innocent person if in doubt and chance prison than wait until the suspect gives you a legal justification to protect yourself or others.
Each lesson portion is broken up with videos to stress the point how dangerous this occupation truly is. These videos repeatedly consisted of an aggressor and a dead police officer. The most notable thing; each and every aggressor was black, and the officer white. The way this training day is configured, we are identifying black people as the ‘enemy’. Then we go down to the range and fire 300 rounds at a black target, to make us more effective at neutralizing that threat.

 
I raise the issue of a ‘black target’ because some have suggested the use of the “menacing black silhouette targets” also perpetuates a ‘trigger bias’. Notwithstanding blatant racist actions like North Miami Beach Police Service’s using pictures of black suspects for their shooting practice, I would suggest if true this may have a small, but significant bearing on the same. A 2015 University Of Illinois study found shooters were quicker to put firing pin to primer and unload more rounds into a black target.

 
There’s no plausible quarrel for retention of the black silhouette target. I believe the findings that we are quicker to shoot at black targets, but playing Devil’s Advocate I don’t think that’s a racist bias, more conditioning of training in the fact we only ever shoot at black targets. However, it’s a simple, negative cost change so why take the chance?
Officers were not shown how to de-escalate a situation. There was no attempt to show how to administer first aid specifically for gunshot wounds and to sustain the life we may or may not have ended. That should be an integral part and parcel of the same firearms training day.

 
The configuration of the training day perpetuates an unconscious bias when dealing with black members of the public. This has a detrimental effect on everything from simple verbal interactions on traffic stops, to violent and sometimes fatal interactions. We are utilizing similar instructional methods used by Militaries around the world to desensitize Peace Officers.

 
Future training needs to humanize everyone, virtuous or malicious. This in turn will civilize the badge to citizenries, making communication easier. Some training videos need to remain, because they contain important schooling points and officer safety is paramount, but they need diversification. The use of ‘black aggressors’ for training vilifies black people both consciously and subconsciously. Above all we need to lose the vivid and aggressive verbal, swaggering bravado that some officer’s use to impress others and intentionally normalize killing which creates a divide between all citizenry and the men and women who risk their lives everyday making our communities safer.

 

Drugs Legalization – A Cops View

 

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Before scripting a new blog I habitually do a little bit of research, reading the considerations and opinions of others. I don’t do this to plagiarize positions, but someone may have a better understanding, more experience or a more educated point of view, which would give the blog piece a more rounded opinion. In this instance and on this topic I am just going to write. This is not a suggestion that I ‘know it all’, but I do possess a level of experience that few others do. Whilst some may not subscribe to my views, remember that’s all they are.

It was over 22 years ago I started working undercover as a ‘Test Purchase Officer’, and over the span of my 25 year career I have spent more than 6 years professing to be a drug addict, drug dealer, a hitman, an enforcer, a corrupt cop and amongst other things a paedophile. I’ve lived on the streets for short periods of time, and know what it feels like to be invisible. I’ve driven around in flash cars as a high level player, and know the ambiances that come with being revered for the same.

Whilst Gaoler at West End Central, a heroin addict who I’ll call ‘Louise’ was brought into custody. She worked the streets to fund her habit and had been arrested for solicitation by Drugs and Vice. She was terribly upset and without entering into an entirely different story arc I had dealt with her shortly before when I was a Detective Constable working Special Victims.

I knew she was saddened, so decided after she’d been placed in her cell I’d check on her almost immediately. I found her hanging, not breathing with vital signs absent. I commenced CPR and she came back to us, but much to the dismay of my colleagues I was covered in her blood, in my mouth and all. A visit to the Virology Unit at Kings College Hospital, two weeks on the AIDS cocktail (which is fun) and a quick blood test six months later and I was given the all clear.

However, whilst that pending blood test was still fresh on my mind I would encounter Louise again in the early hours of one Sunday morning on Falconberg Court in Soho. She was lying prone with a needle on the floor, next to her gaunt frame. Rigor mortis had already set in, nothing I could do this time around. Now this wasn’t her failure as many would suggest but my failure, the failure of the Police Service, Social Services, the Government and society in general.

I worked as Custody Sergeant in one of the busiest police divisions in the world. I spent night after night booking in addict after addict. Placing them on 15 minute checks fully aware of how deadly heroin withdrawal could be, and cognizant of the depression and lack of self-worth that came with the same. It was at this juncture in my policing career I realized the issue wasn’t one of low moral standard, or lack of willpower. Most of these addicts came from broken homes, or suffered mental health issues, or were minorities, or lived on the streets.

PC Dave Piling was one of the officers who’d constantly bring these people in. He was known as ‘Robocop’, but that name didn’t fit his persona. He was kind and compassionate, never judgemental and would regularly ask my permission for time to sit and talk in cell with the people he had detained. He would attempt to divert them to different paths, even though that wasn’t his job. Shockingly, some years later, he too would die of a drugs overdose in Police Accommodation.

So let’s begin with Prohibition itself. Time and again it’s been statistically proven that prohibition has no discernable effect on drug use. In fact, I would suggest the onset of the nationwide alcohol prohibition in the United States in the 1920’s had a direct causation effect of the development and prominence of Organized Crime Groups, including La Cosa Nostra’s hold over North America. These we’re groups of pocketed criminals who came together to ‘organize’ a better infrastructure to traffic alcohol across the Canadian/ American border and they still operate today although they’ve traded in alcohol for drugs.

Legalization of drugs would in turn lead to an eradication of that very criminal market place we actually created, and a massive reduction in all crime. A national survey in the UK in 1994, suggested that drug addicts were responsible for more than 50% of property crimes, totalling over $4 billion. The notable factor here is I had to go back 23 years to find a government report about the connection between addicts and property crime.

Legal drug use, with education would make our communities safer overall, not just from a crime aspect but also a public health aspect. HIV, Hep B and C are easily commuted by the sharing of needles. Also, if you remove the stigmatization that comes with being addicted to narcotics people would feel more comfortable coming forward and asking for help from friends, family or agencies that would be geared towards the same.

Marijuana has lugged with it a false negative narrative postulated through your Government by the pharmaceutical industry for years. Though it now has demonstrated medicinal benefits people still have problems with it use, somewhat because the stigmatization has been forced upon us for decades. Even now, with multiple deaths from Fentanyl use (over 700 Canadian’s died in 2015 alone) we see massive Police resources directed daily to the enforcement of a plant that’s probably been around a lot longer than we as a species have. I also note an uptick in police warrants when negative news about a police service breaks. Ottawa’s recent war on drugs came short days after one of their own was charged with manslaughter. A useful tool for distraction, perhaps?

On a more subjective and personal note I was issued a prescription for medicinal marijuana for PTSD. I’ll be honest, I was aghast at the mention of the same. Without going into too much detail it never once made me high and I can tell you it worked. Although I’m not currently using it if I ever find myself in a place where I need it again I wouldn’t hesitate to do so. We also need to acknowledge this is a drug found clinically to be less harmful than alcohol and tobacco and I have yet to see a single reported death linked to a marijuana overdose.

Finally, there has been a visible relationship between enforcement and colour. In the US, if you are black you are over ten times more likely to find yourself in prison for a drug offence that a white person for the same offence. Police Officers hold a certain power of discretion when it comes to drug possession offences. This does give those with stereotypical, even racist views the ability to target minority groups and I would respectfully suggest a small minority, not all, abuse this power.

I know legalization will come with its own problems and I’m not endorsing the vending of heroin at your local 7 Eleven, but government programs that supply and educate addicts with diversion programs rather than fines or removal of a person’s liberty would go a long way to improving society for everyone. Nobody wants to be an addict and for me, current legislation is no more than a way for administrations to vilify disadvantaged members of society. It also acts as cover, so they don’t have to deal with real socio-economic issues tied into illegal drug use. I’ll be the first to admit a large percentage of drug users do so for recreational reason alone, but I’d wager an even larger percentage do so for reasons tied directly to mental health ailments or despondency.

LEO’s are here to help those who cannot help themselves and of course we have to uphold the various Acts of Legislation that our politicians decide are apt and in the public interest. However, when it becomes apparent that same legislation does more harm than good it’s time to rethink the concept of a ‘war of drugs’. It’s time to acknowledge the war on drugs is nothing more than a war on depression. A war on mental health. A war on poverty. A war on skin pigmentation. And what is becoming blatantly obvious as days pass by and colossal pharmaceutical companies who use unlimited resources to continue to lobby governments worldwide, a war on medication.

With legalization would ‘Louise’ still be alive? I can’t say for sure, but I like to think so. I like to think she wouldn’t have been down an alleyway looking for money for drugs where she was gang raped. I like to think she never would’ve taken a bad hit down in Soho, because the drugs she took were manufactured by Government entities to pharmaceutical industrial standards. I like to think when things got too bad she was entered into a diversion program, a program that at the end of it assisted in finding housing and work. She then settled down with a nice guy and had the chance to have kids, normality, something we all take for granted.

And Dave? Ah brother! I like to think he should’ve had the ability to knock on my door, and just walk in, without fear of criminal charges or punitively losing his job and just say, “Fuck Sarge, I need help!”

Rest in peace guys!

Pitfalls of Litigating against the Police or a City.

My objective with this particular blog is to document the entire legal process when it comes to litigating against a Police Service and a City that has clearly behaved illegitimately. I’m not out to name, names but certain people and their wrongdoing will come up during the course of this writing, including, but not limited to Hamilton City Councillors and Police Officer’s.

The most apparent tactic used by the City is facilitated by their overwhelming access to taxpayer funds to hide their civil or criminal wrongdoings. They intend to bury you under motion, after motion in an attempt to build up your legal expenditures. “Burn you out of money!” as it was described to me by one lawyer. When you are $150,000 into legal fees and have no more money to pay litigators they will offer you $150,000 as a settlement asking you to sign a non-disclosure agreement. You break even and walk away, leaving the stress behind you and they are happy having hidden their malfeasance for a relatively small sum.

Before filing my statement of claim I was contacted by Paul Ryan, lawyer for the City Of Hamilton. He offered me $15,000 to drop the lawsuit without any conditions. I refused and considering all Hamilton Police put my wife, my children and I through was insulted to say the least. I have since been told he was authorized by Hamilton Police Service to offer up to $50,000 to ‘make this go away’, but he knew I would’ve refused that too. That to me seems like quiet a lot of public money to end a lawsuit that was described by Cllr. Lloyd Ferguson as “scandalous, frivolous and vexatious.”

The problem with the system as it stands is lawyers are allowed to charge whatever they want. The vast majority have no integrity when it comes to billing. I was told by one I would need to take out a second mortgage on my home for them to even commence. I understand lawyers need sustenance too and I would be the first to concede the obvious expense of living on a diet of the souls of new born babies and panda blood. However, $100,000 for a retainer?

I have lawyers who motives do not include fiscal dominance now willing to work on a contingency basis, however the percentage they are requesting is high and my knowledge of the documents required for disclosure unique I am going to continue as I have done, by myself. If you are a lawyer, ignore my negative comments about your profession, bookmark this page and offer remarks in the comment section as any ‘off the book’ help would be greatly appreciated.

So, forward with disclosure and discovery. I’ll be honest, there’s some people I can’t wait to serve with a ‘notice of examination’ because I know for a fact they’re going to perjure themselves and for that offence, I will charge them myself.

Police Suspensions – Paid or not?

 

suspendedOntario’s Police Services Act is under review and Chiefs across the province would without hesitation like it to include language that permitted suspension without pay, under certain circumstances.

Currently over 50 sworn Police Officers in the Ontario are suspended on full pay, costing taxpayer’s in excess of $15,000 a day. Offences alleged range from storing pornography on police computers to manslaughter.

I was and will remain one of those officers for the foreseeable future, drawing a full pay check from the City of Hamilton. My comportment leading to my arrest was inappropriate to say the least and I’m the first to recognize the same. My actions were deemed ‘threaten death’ by Hamilton Police Service. Not so by the Provincial Crown, who found my deed to be ‘non-criminal’, therefore not ‘serious in nature’.

I’m not writing this piece to justify my deeds or attack the perceived wrongdoing of others, but to offer opinion on the issue of ‘police suspension’ from the perspective of someone who is suspended.

In March 2015 former Waterloo Police Officer Craig Markham sparked debate, which had been at the forefront of the minds of members of the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police. After three years suspended with pay Markham received a conditional discharge for ‘breach of trust’ and subsequently resigned. In his resignation letter he referred to his suspension as a “nice gift” adding he was able to “sit home, take courses, travel, and play lots of golf and get a first class pay check, receive full benefits and a full pension for the past three years”.

Waterloo Chief of Police Bryan Larkin took the unusual step of making the email public and I applaud him for the same, because not only does it shows the mindset of officers like Markham, it shows a faulty system in need of immediate repair.

In the case of former Hamilton Inspector David Doel his four year suspension netted him over $600,000, before he simply retired, negating all 13 Police Act charges he faced. Another Hamilton Police Sergeant’s Police Service Act charges were also dragged out for years, costing the taxpayer in excess of $400,000. He would build a waterfront property in the time he was suspended. His Police Service Act charges would not proceed due to an ‘administration error’, one subsequently believed to be intentional.

Under existing Ontario legislation, a suspended officer will continue to receive their salary and benefits whilst Police Act or criminal charges are processed. These procedures can take several years. Indeed, Durham Police Officer Glen Turpin was suspended for almost eight years before Durham Police Service terminated his contract.

This is a decision Turpin’s lawyers will appeal to the Ontario Civilian Police Commission, an avenue still open to Turpin. In theory Turpin could be reinstated back to his ‘police suspension’, impeding any goodwill the Service had built back up with community members by dismissing him in the first place.

Former Hamilton Police Chief Glenn DeCaire made representations to the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police to resolve this shortcoming in the Police Service Act and even created a working group to address issues, wanting the ability to suspend officers without pay for ‘serious misconduct’. While my personal opinion of DeCaire will never waiver, I now find myself at a station I never thought possible, in that I have to concur with him.

In my opinion, if an officer’s conduct could lead to ‘contractual termination’, the Chief of Police should have the capability to suspend without pay, thus compelling a hearing process to be expedited. Nevertheless, there has to be protections in place to stop Police Senior Management Teams exploiting new legislation combined with a clear definition of what constitutes ‘serious misconduct’.

One of the perils that come with this authority can be highlighted from my own circumstances. Hamilton Police Association at my request spoke with Hamilton Police Professional Standards about the reason why I am currently suspended to be told directly it’s due to my ‘repeated contact with the media’. On September 6th, 2016 I requested written clarification of the same, knowing full well the Service wouldn’t have the courage to put pen to paper effectively saying ‘suspended for whistleblowing’.

Numerous times the Association requested a formal description on reason for suspension, and service litigator Marco Vinsentini stated the document was coming. After almost three months on November 25th, 2016, he responded simply saying that I am suspended because I am ‘suspected of misconduct’, completely avoiding committing to an allegation.

I would suggest a system that allows the controller to choose their own pace and dictate the rules as they progress is fraught with danger of misfeasance. I still at the time of writing do not know what I am suspended for or whether that alleged act is ‘serious’ in nature. If my indiscretion is ‘talking with the media’ and that is considered ‘serious’ then should the Hamilton Police Sergeant who is currently on ‘administration duties’ for sexual assaulting a female probationer at work not be ‘suspended’ also, while the SIU complete their investigation?

Regulators should be cognizant no legislation currently applies to protecting ‘police’ whistleblowers and the threat of being suspended without pay could cause some to be hesitant to report colleagues or departmental wrongdoing and falter when it comes to ‘doing the right thing’.

This disciplinary tool would be a powerful one, and unjustified application could put undue financial and welfare stresses on officers and their families. This could force some officers to plead guilty to Police Service Act charges, when they may well be innocent, only to facilitate the speedy resumption of their salary.

Therefore, strict governance would be needed to ensure members of Senior Management Teams aren’t using the same to further political or personal agendas. If you’re going to change legislation, do it right the first time.

Project Newton – Did Police Service’s around the Golden Horseshoe conspire to hide scores of officers caught dealing and using steroids?

Crank, Crystal, Ice; label it how you listerpoidinjectionke. Methamphetamine discovered in the 19th century is a quandary for any policing community where it becomes readily available. It was used prolifically during World War II to keep troops on both sides awake; a more augmented version being given to Kamikaze pilots before suicide missions. In the 50’s and 60’s it was attainable on prescription as a slimming aid and anti-depressant. The 70’s saw administrations around the world prohibit the drug; a business opportunity Californian Outlaw Biker gangs deemed too good to pass up. Now, most Meth comes from illegal local sources.

In 2010 I was approached by a Hamilton Police Officer who told me he was aware of other law enforcement personnel from Hamilton both using and trafficking steroids. I asked if he had apprised senior management and he told me it was only rumor from one of his sources, and he “didn’t want to get involved.”

I acquired my own source that was familiar with all parties and he confirmed Hamilton Police Officers were not only using, but trafficking steroids. The primary civilian suspect was a professional bodybuilder called Reiner Ruska. He owned a couple of ‘Herc’s Nutrional’ stores in and around the Hamilton region. Some of the same officers were also ‘protecting’ Ruska, providing intelligence and warnings if police investigations were getting to close to his acts of criminality.

I began an investigation which would take me on my days off into Niagara to surveil Ruska’s home address. I would watch him drive $300,000 sports cars registered to a shell company out of Toronto. His passengers would sometimes be serving Hamilton Police officers.

Hamilton Police Officers would also attend his home, but so would numerous other people. His life style was not indicative of a personal trainer with two small nutritional supplement stores, and this should have been apparent to anyone, never mind seasoned law enforcement personnel.

During the course of the investigation I received further information a Toronto Police officer who was also buying and selling steroids through Ruska was a member of Toronto Police Service’s Tactical Unit. The assertion was that he was actually stealing separate parts of guns from work, re-assembling them together off-site and selling them to “gang bangers” in the Jane/ Finch corridor of Toronto for $5,000.

I was cognizant if he worked Tactical, then he would have some access to firearms parts, and unfettered access to spare ammunition. Background revealed he actually worked in the Training Unit, which would make him in all probability an armorer, meaning he could write off parts at will. For me this fact alone gave credence to the intelligence received.

Over a 4 month period I had put together a partial intelligence report but my hand was now forced. I could continue to investigate officers involved in wrongdoing, but in all good conscious if anybody was hurt because of an illegally obtained firearm that would now be on me.

I submitted the intelligence report but went directly to the Intel office with the illegal firearms trafficking information. I told a bemused Detective the story and he scribbled the name down and said he’d immediately pass it on to the Toronto Police Intelligence Unit. The following week I called through to the Training Unit to see if this officer was still there to be told he had been ‘moved’ from the unit to an ‘administration post’.

On April 14th, 2011 Project Newton was executed involving Hamilton Police Service, Niagara Regional Police Service, Halton Regional Police Service and the OPP. 21 were arrested and charged including Cst. Andrew Pauls, one of Hamilton’s own constables. At the time of his arrest he was suspended from duty for stealing Percocet from the evidence locker at Central Station. He would subsequently resign and it would seem his charges disappeared into the abyss, at least I can find no media record of a trial.

Police would seize over 26 kg’s of methamphetamine, along with other narcotics including cocaine, marijuana and MDMA for a total street value of $4,000,000. An undercover officer was also utilized buying drugs directly off Ruska, who would also unwittingly assist in the downfall of Cst. Pauls as Pauls was tasked by Ruska to use police computers to run the undercover officers vehicle.

Hamilton Police Chief Glenn De Caire would comment in a press release, “The Hamilton Police Service remains committed to the eradication of drugs, guns and gang activity and the relentless pursuit of offenders as we work to keep our citizens safe.”

I could find no mention of the numerous Hamilton Police Officers who I knew were being subjected to internal interviews suspected of both using and trafficking drugs as he made his remarks. Those in specialized units such as tactical or traffic would be reassigned to patrol without excuse. Weeks passed and it became clear to me this would become another Hamilton cover-up.

Approximately four weeks later I was approached by an officer at the station. He bluntly asked me if I was the officer who gave them all up and I confirmed I was. He went on to admit using and trafficking steroids, but professed he’d “only done it a couple of times” as if trying to justify himself to me.

I enquired how he found out it was me that submitted the report to be told someone in intelligence told him, but would not identify who. I probed what was happening into the investigation against officers to be told they were all given “written warnings”.

Several days passed and a second officer approached with the same line of questioning. Then a third and a fourth. Two would admit their wrongdoing and ask for advice, one would completely deny the same, and adamantly deny he had even met Ruska. This was one of the officers I’d watched the year prior, sat in the passenger seat of Ruska’s sports car at his home in Grimsby. He now holds a very ‘public’ position with Hamilton Police Service.

Sometime after I found myself in the same checkout line at the grocery store as a Halton Detective I knew from the Ontario Police College. He was Scottish and had transferred over to Canada at exactly the same time I did.

Knowing I was working for Hamilton Police ‘Derek’ without solicitation started to tell me about how “dirty” Hamilton cops were. He then went on to tell me the story of Project Newton, his involvement as a Sergeant on the drugs squad and the scores of officer throughout the Golden Horseshoe who were involved in the use and sale of steroids from Niagara Regional Police through to Durham Police Service.

I quizzed further, revealing my engagement from the start and how I was only aware of the involvement of Hamilton Officers. He keenly reaffirmed, it was officers from almost every municipality even Halton, and including the O.P.P. Some would buy from Ruska for their own personal use; others would buy and traffic to third parties, mostly other officers.

One thing that had always perplexed me, other than the obvious lack of confidentiality Derek and my own intelligence office displayed, was who was importing the steroids for Ruska. My source had told me it was a police officer who was still importing even after the take down, but nothing further.

In August 2012 Cst. Geoff Purdie of Niagara Regional Police was returning from the US as he did every other weekend. Purdie would cross, go to his US postal address and pick up parcels containing anabolic steroids and other drugs and bring them back across the border. Once at the Canadian Border Service Agency checkpoint he would show his police credentials and be waved through.

Unfortunately, on this occasion Purdie was detained leaving the US by Homeland Security, where he was subsequently arrested and found in possession of over $500,000 of narcotics. There’s no proof Purdie was using steroids but the story of this officer turned ‘international drug trafficker’ drew the ire of the Fort Erie community in which he worked and numerous residents came forward with tales aggressive and often violent behavior by Purdie and his colleagues. These complaints had been reported and ignored by NRPS; one member of the public felt so aggrieved he even tried to lay an information for assault and was refused by the Crown.

Purdie would plead guilty and take a plea deal which would see him only serving one year US Federal prison time before being deported back to Canada.

Playing devil’s advocate I can sympathize with Senior Management Teams who have issues with officers using steroids. It is difficult to detect and even more problematic to evidence. However, I am willing to stake what little reputation I have left making this assumption; there is a correlation between the rising numbers of law enforcement steroid abuser and the ascending episodes of unwarranted police violence. Indeed, in the Cst. Forcillo, TPS manslaughter case, the media all but came out and said Forcillo was a steroid abuser, skating the issue just enough to avoid litigation.

The scores of constables throughout the Golden Horseshoe involved in Project Newton whose purchase and sale of steroids contributed to Ruska’s criminal drug empire, unwittingly supporting him in diversifying to Meth sales would all receive ‘written warnings’ as dispensation for their wrongdoing.

Senior Management Teams from multiple services would conspire to hide their criminality. It becomes clearer each day it’s more comfortable to sweep these issues under the carpet rather than deal with them head on and strut a level of transparency and accountability that could somewhat restore eroded public trust.

The officer I asserted was offering Police Firearms to gang members would disappear from the ‘Sunshine List’ the year I made allegations, returning back on it and back to the training unit the following year. He’s now a Toronto Police Detective and who earned over $140,000 in 2015. Who knows, conceivably the next shooting he attends may be from a handgun he sold.

 

“Being honest might not get you a lot of friends, but it always gets you the right ones.” – John Lennon

 

Perverting the Course of Justice – ‘The Action Five’

 

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Retired Chief Glenn DeCaire briefing the Action Team

In late summer of 2003 I was a Police Sergeant at Hampstead Police Station, London. Two officers, both veterans, but far from retirement were offering particular concern. They were allowing their work load to become the problem of younger officers, just not pulling their weight. On an unusually quiet shift and in a feeble attempt to make a point I sent them out to get tickets. They returned at the end of their shift with five in hand. I told them to put them on my desk and I would sign off on them the next shift.

 

The next day I examined the tickets and subsequently booked on lunch, driving up to Highgate cemetery. I checked off five graves in a row, and all names matched perfectly with the tickets. I’m not the best Detective in the world, but had serious misgivings ‘Karl Marx’ had actually contravened the bus lane on Finchley Rd having died in the late 1800’s, and dumb and dumber just lifted the names of the head stones directly next to his. They couldn’t even be bothered to fabricate new birth dates, just changed the year. Words were had, panicked excuses were made and I made the executive decision that because the tickets had not been submitted to the courts, no criminal offence had taken place. I also gave them written warnings as a dispensation.

Forward almost 15 years and 3,000 miles across the Atlantic. In September 2014 a source confided in me how several officers from Hamilton Police Service renowned, ‘award winning’ ACTION Team had been caught fabricating Provincial Offences Notices (PON). The then Chief, Glenn De Caire, a staunch proponent of not only charging officer’s for misconduct, but outing them to the media whether guilty or not, decided the good work done by the ACTION Team (his pet project) far outweighed the criminality on the part of his officer’s. Therefore he decided to make these acts of ‘criminal malfeasance’ nothing more than a ‘training issue’; safeguarding the reputation ACTION had built. Senior officers were told never to speak of matters, and any breach of that confidentiality would meet with Police Service Act charges.

Subsequently, an unknown source contacted local media, furnishing all salient facts in this case. HPS were forced to give validation the incident had occurred as described and unavoidably found themselves on an investigative path, and a course of action they historically tend to shy away from. ‘Doing the right thing’. De Caire stated he was “absolutely committed” to investigating potential misconduct in the force, but this ‘positive’ statement has to be weighed against the fact he and his deputies had already tried to cover-up the same. The inquiry was given to an officer whose own credibility I have questioned several times in the past, however, that officers finding resulted in over 65 criminal charges against five HPS officers.

The only deceived party in the 2003 event was myself, and not unlawfully so. Allegedly, the victims of HPS deception were very much alive. You would think these allegations could get no worse, but we are faced with the clear and aggravated fact, those ‘victims of crime’ were from a marginalized population. ‘The Action Five’ used police computers to select members of the community who had repeated contact with authorities because of their various mental health ailments. The thought process being these individuals had so many outstanding issues they would not notice another and just assume the ticket was theirs. If these allegations are found true it would mean five seasoned officers conspired to commit criminal offences for which they knew they could and possibly will be incarcerated, for no other reason to impress Senior Management.

In March, 2016 an internal investigation began in Ottawa Police Service. Eleven officers this time were under investigation, again accused of falsely increasing their warning tickets by issuing to people who just didn’t exist. The difference here, Ottawa Police Chief Charles Bordeleau not only instigated an investigation into this transgression, but also had the fortitude to highlight motive by saying, “Potentially, it was to boost their stats for potential transfers or for their performance appraisals”. This motive could have backfired, providing a mitigating factor of duress. The issue would become the undue pressure placed on Constables with ticket quotas most Senior Management Teams still deny exist, rather than the clear lack of integrity on the part of sworn Police Officers.

I’m not excusing officer behavior and saying they were ‘bullied’ into acts of criminality. In fact, their disgusting comportment is compounded by the fact all involved obviously collaborated to break the law and target a populous with a diminished capacity. The question I would ask is if they’re willing to lie to issue a simple offence ticket, what lows would they sink to convict a pedophile or a murderer? All sixteen officers mentioned in this article are now useless as Law Enforcement Peace Officer even if found not guilty. In any future court hearing a semi-decent, third year law student intern with a reasonable grasp of the English language could plant the seed of ‘reasonable doubt’ in the mind of a jury in a trial where these officers were summoned to give evidence.

I strongly condemn the cowardice of Policing Senior Management Teams who continuously try to hide wrongdoing, in a vain attempt to further their own
political agendas by showing they can ‘sail their ship’ without issue. Members of the public are aware bad people are going to slip through the cracks of any recruitment program, and accept that some people will use public office to do wrong. What they find condescending is the continuous hiding of the same, and that misfeasance erodes public trust. Hamilton Police under DeCaire and Mullen before attempted to hide the wrongdoing of Wills, Hansen, Ruthowsky, Matthews, Dinsa, ‘The Action Five’ and the scores of officers involved in the use and supply of steroids as part of Project Newton. These are the ones we know about. What else is yet to be uncovered?

http://www.thespec.com/news-story/5679224-five-action-officers-charged-in-fake-ticket-probe/

 

Crimestoppers – Abused internationally by Cops for years, without recourse

crime-stoppers-bigIn 2009 I was approached by a member of the public, who had a family member who was a serving, warranted law enforcement officer. This individual was told I was the person to speak to reference investigation of corruption at a Municipal Police Service in Ontario, Canada. My first instinct was to ask why that ‘relative’, a serving, sworn Police Officer had not gone forward with the same as was his/ her duty, but after reading and digesting the contents it became clear how this exposé would destroy the career of the informer.

It alleged that officers, who were now either retired, in Senior Management positions, Intelligence officers or Homicide Detectives had for years been defrauding both the Crimestoppers system and the system used to pay reward money to sources (informants). The evidence provided, although sparse was compelling and also corroborated other information I had received from other sources, both inside and outside the Police Service. Indeed, I had made similar allegations in 2008 against a serving Inspector, including the sale of intelligence to local crime groups.

That Inspector was subsequently arrested and faced over 40 fraud related charges, but pled guilty to only one. A more realistic figure was closer to 600 charges as one of the investigators into his case told me, “He’s been ripping off the ‘source handling fund’ for years”. He did this a number of ways, but his preferred method would be to forge the signature of other supervisors. For his decades of criminality he was sentenced to one year’s house arrest and paid back only $50,000 of the hundreds of thousands of dollars he stole. A punitive decision; that in itself that demonstrates a two-tier justice system.

You would think proven systems that have been in place for years would be ‘racket’ proof, however Crimestoppers and any Police ‘source handling fund’ are still surprisingly easy to defraud, due to their need to keep the compensated recipients anonymous.  The ‘source handling fund’ works on a trust basis and nothing more. For example; Officer ‘A’ interacts with Source ‘A’, who has provided genuine intelligence. Office ‘A’ speaks with Supervisor ‘A’ and expresses this information worth $1,000. Supervisor ‘A’ gives Officer ‘A’ $1,000. Officers ‘A’ meets with Source ‘A’ and gives $500 of the $1,000 keeping $500 for themselves.

Now, Officer ‘A’ takes the same intelligence provided by Source ‘A’ and phones it confidentially through to Crimestoppers, being required to provide no personal details. Officer ‘A’ is then provided a reference number. Crimestoppers send the tip back through to Officer ‘A’, and at a later date again contact Officer ‘A’ and ask if the information provided was useful and should they pay a reward. Officer ‘A’ of course confirms the intelligence was of use. Officer ‘A’ then calls in to Crimestoppers providing the reference number he was given, is told he will be rewarded fiscally and told where to collect that reward, with no way of their true identity being revealed.

Another illicit use of Crimestoppers, and unfortunately a practice to which I have been victim, consists of utilizing the scheme to assist in obtaining warrants. For instance; Officers ‘A’ attends a Magistrates office and applies for a warrant to enter Suspect ‘A’s home and search for drugs. The warrant is refused as all the intelligence in the ‘Information to Obtain’ is circumstantial. Officer ‘A’ returns to the station and knowing there is no way to trace the caller, phones Crimestoppers and reports ‘anonymously’ that Suspect ‘A’ is dealing drugs from his home address. Unwittingly, Crimestoppers then contact Officer ‘A’ and provide him the information he just provided to them. Officer ‘A’ then returns to the Magistrates Office and based on ‘new’ information is granted a warrant.

The Crimestoppers tip is non-disc losable at trial and the source never questioned, notably Criminal Defence lawyers having long ago given up challenging information received via Crimestoppers. This depicts a more fearful side to a program which allows officers to freely flout Sections 8 (unreasonable search and seizure) of The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.  A fair question would be how many people are currently incarcerated due to lies and deceit on the part of serving Police Officer’s and not because they received a fair trial and their guilt was proven beyond a reasonable doubt?

Towards the end of 2009 and after much deliberation I provided all documentation to the outgoing Chief. The idea was, the new Chief, brought in by the Police Service Board specifically to ‘clean up’ could use this investigation to make a statement about the finite future of corrupt officers. On handing the documents over I was asked what the folder contained, and clarified in an ‘elevator pitch’ manner. The response, which in retrospect I should’ve expected, still shocked. The Chief said, “You really have no concept of brotherhood, do you?” No investigation or inquiry commenced, direct threats were made by Senior Management concerning my safety and I was constantly reminded to “be careful what you say”.

Crimestoppers has an extremely important role in law enforcement, however an overhaul is needed and protections put in place that stop further and repetitive abuse. At the end of 2013 a Homicide Detective from the same Police Service, who I had suspected of the same behavior shot himself. Rather than offering transparency and accountability management tried to hide the reason behind his suicide stating on ‘personal issues’. It was revealed by local media he was under investigation for a number of issues, including defrauding the ‘source handling fund’ to pay his lover. This corroborating four years after my initial allegations to the Chief, officers were still unrestrictedly committing acts of criminality.