Today’s Spectator had an interesting article on page A2 about a case I’d followed with some interest (I mentioned it in Chapter 46). I should be clear up front; I consider Toderuck to be a disgrace to his cap badge, which I also consider to be a mark of personal dishonor to the wearer. If you are CF or ex-CF, you’ll know what that means. If not, take it to mean that I think any individual wearing a Hamilton Police Services uniform (or carrying their credentials) has questionable integrity until proven otherwise. As a unit, there isn’t much question about Hamilton Police Service’s integrity. It doesn’t have any to question.

https://www.thespec.com/news/hamilton-region/opinion/2020/08/19/hamilton-officer-a-no-show-at-penalty-hearing-for-unlawful-arrest-of-journalists.html

The text of the article follows, with commentary added in red.

Officer a no-show at hearing for unlawful arrest

Police Services Act case regarding events at 2017 fatal crash continues to drag on

A police officer who wrongly ar­rested a photojoumalist is on a leave from work and failed to show up for his disciplinary hearing.

Const Jeff Todoruck was ab­sent from his Police Services Act (PSA) hearing Tuesday. The tribunal learned he is on a leave from Hamilton Police Service and has not communicated with the hearing officer for sev­eral months.

{Which, in and of itself, displays Toderick’s contempt for the entire process.}

Todorucks absence ended the day’s proceedings. In a month, the hearing officer will try to convene a conference call to set another date.

This latest delay for a case that is well over three years old rais­es the possibility Todoruck — a veteran officer — is dragging the process out until he is eligible for retirement.

It is a tactic used sometimes by officers facing PSA charges.

Disgraced Hamilton inspector David Doel collected $600,000 in salary during more than four years of suspension. He retired just as his PSA hearing was to begin.

Todoruck is not suspended from duty and the prosecutor has not indicated he wants him fired.

Why not? He should not be a cop.

A hearing can go on without the officer. The Statutory Pow­ers Procedure Act says, ‘If any party notified does not attend at the hearing, the tribunal may proceed in the absence of the party.”

For now though, everyone agreed to try to have Todoruck participate.

Prosecutor Brian Duxbury is “not comfortable” going ahead without him, particularly be­cause he is representing him­self.

Global News director Mackay Taggart, the complainant, agrees, but said: “I am very dis­appointed officer Todoruck does not feel it is important to be here today or on previous calls.”

In June, Todoruck was found guilty of four disciplinary charges: one count of unlawful or unnecessary exercise of au­thority for arresting Jeremy Cohn, who was with Global at the time; two counts of neglect of duty for failing to read Cohn and freelancer Dave Ritchie their rights to counsel; and one count of discreditable conduct for leaving Ritchie handcuffed in his cruiser unattended.

Todoruck became aggressive with the photojournalists as they covered a fatal crash in May 2017. When media arrived at the Waterdown scene, the body of Jasmin Hanif, 10, had been removed.

Hearing officer Peter Lennox ruled Todoruck overstepped his authoiity by shouting at the photojoumalists, confiscating cameras, handcuffing and even “grounding” one of them.

His actions were recorded by journalists and posted on social media

Ritchie was charged with ob­structing police and resisting arrest. He entered into a peace bond and the charges were withdrawn.

Cohn was released without charges.

Todoruck claimed Cohn and Ritchie interfered with the scene. The hearing officer ruled they did not

Media coverage of Jasmin’s death led to roads in her neigh­bourhood being made safer.

Tuesday’s hearing date was for Todoruck, the prosecutor and Taggart to make submissions regarding penalty.

Taggart said he is “very dis­appointed” in the way the PSA process has unfolded. He want­ed this to be an opportunity for police to improve media train­ing for officers.

“This is about accountability, but also wanting to create a dia­logue,” he said.

The cops aren’t interested in dialogue. Or anything else that suggests that what they are doing is wrong and should be changed.

Despite repeated efforts, Tag­gart has never spoken with Chief Eric Girt or “anyone in a position of power” at Hamilton police.

Girt denied a Spectator inter­view request

“The chief will not be making any comment as the matter is still before the hearing officer,” said a spokesperson.

This is the second time Hamil­ton police has been told recent­ly that it needs media training.

An independent review of its mishandling of a hate attack at the 2019 Pride event recom­mended media training for Girt and senior officers.

Girt took media training in the fall — before the recommenda­tion came out He will join se­nior officers for more media training that is being scheduled, according to a spokesperson.

Ah yes. Remedial training. Or sensitivity training, or some other label that infers the process is actually useful in effecting change. It hasn’t worked very well for the last thirty years, but they keep trying. Bullies don’t change. You can’t “train” them to be anything else once they’ve gone down that path. It almost works the same way for racists and homophobes, but occasionally you can get through to those types, assuming they have any empathy. But bullies don’t, which is why they can’t change. It’s bullshit.

Ritchie and Cohn regularly cross paths with Hamilton po­lice.

Both say they have respectful — even friendly — relations with most officers they meet

Girt has offered no apology to Ritchie or Cohn.

Susan Clairmont is a Hamilton­based crime, court and social justice columnist at The Spectator. Reach her via email; sclairmont@thes- pec.com

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: