Friday, April 30, 2010

Why do Toronto Police Constantly Get Away with Perjury?

Gone are the days where the courts could just accept a Police Officer's word (over a defendant) based on the fact that he/she is a Police Officer.

This is now the case because Police have shown in countless examples that they have no problem with lying and perjuring themselves in court to try and put away people they know they arrested via illegal means.

Whether it's "Resisting Arrest", or like in this latest case, lying and saying that evidence was found in "plain view", Police show over and over that they have no fears about lying under oath and giving false testimony.

Here's the story from the Toronto Star:

Man ‘justified’ in waving board at cop, judge rules
...The judge also threw out drug charges against Alexander, who was found with 27.2 grams of crack cocaine in his car, because his Charter rights had been violated by “deliberate flagrant” conduct of the arresting officer, Const. Joseph Gladu.

Gladu “misled the court” in claiming that the cocaine was in plain view, she said. The search of the car was unreasonable, and Alexander’s detention was arbitrary, the judge said.

Gladu testified that he went to the passenger side of the car and asked the heavily sweating Alexander whether he “had anything that he shouldn’t.” It was at that point that he noticed a baggie of the crack on the passenger side floor, grabbed the accused and placed him under arrest, Gladu said.

Alexander provided a different version. He testified that Gladu conducted a pat-down search, then got in the passenger side of the car with one knee on the seat and looked in the back seat, then checked the glove box, looked under the console and reached up under and behind the dash before finding the baggie of crack.

Nevertheless, Harvison Young found that “Officer Gladu misled the court in claiming that the drugs were in plain view. Regrettably, I must conclude that this was bad faith. This is an extremely serious sort of a breach.”
What I want to know is if Officer Gladu has been charged with Perjury. We already know that Police Officers lie all the time in order to cover up their mistakes when arresting someone illegally, so I want to know if they are held accountable - like every other citizen who lies under oath - and can therefore be sentenced to jail time as a result.

If anything, the Police should have even stiffer penalties for lying under oath, because they are in a position of power and trust, and therefore since they are always given the benefit of the doubt first, they should also be punished more severely when breaking that trust.

In this case Gladu went out of this way to perjure himself, so he should be punished to the full extent of the law.

I mean, if we can't trust the Police, then why do we give them weapons and send them out there with free reign to harass anyone they don't like (in this case, it was the fact that the defendant was black which initiated the illegal search).

I'm just saying...


(Image: by 松林L on flickr


Anonymous said...

sickening. he sincerely should be punished.]

this blog is great!
most of these stories would go right past me i not for it


jackandcokewithalime said...

Thanks for the kind words Anonymous!

I'm grateful to have readers like yourself!


KingBlog Spot said...

Excellent points, its seems so obvious once you have pointed it out.

Keep on "pointing things out" friend

Anonymous said...

Gladu was released from the Toronto Police force after a second, almost indentical incident, again gun charges dropped because the same copper lied. I understand that he now works for another police force somewhere in Ontario - somebody needs to watch out!

Wing-Nut Hunter said...

A few thoughts:

Please avoid inflammatory words and phrases that are simply not supported by facts. “Police have shown in countless examples that they have no problem with lying and perjuring themselves . . .” What are the “countless examples”? I’d like to see your data.

Also, your comment, “If we can’t trust the Police . . .” – so the actions of one mean the guilt of all? Great logic!

The police are highly scrutinized (as they should be), especially by the media. As a result, any misconduct is reported regularly. This sensationalism bias does not occur with any other profession. Accountants, lawyers, nurses, doctors, engineers, construction workers, etc. are rarely held accountable for the judgement calls they make on a daily basis – only the “big ones” that sell newspapers.

Police officers are not robots. Like you, they all have personal experiences that shape their world views and guide their decisions. They also don’t operate in a vacuum. They often have multiple encounters with many alleged and actual offenders and get a first-hand view of the short and long-term consequences of their behaviour.

I certainly don’t condone lying (especially to a court) and agree that such officers should be held accountable, but understand the motivation behind the action and then don’t paint all police officers with the same brush. Just like you get frustrated, so do police officers. They also get, tired, lazy and careless, which can lead to poor decisions, for which they are generally held accountable – by the courts, their own “internal affairs” and in Ontario, The Ontario Civilian Police Commission.

Do you have three levels of disciplinary action that can penalize you, take away your job, or potentially put you in jail for poor judgement on your job?

Most police officers do the job because they have a sense of justice, duty and responsibility. In most cases, police officers don’t go out of their way to break the law, as you assume. They allow their judgement to be clouded by their sense of justice and their previous experience, all in service of the ultimate goal – to keep our communities safe.

It’s easy to stand at a distance and criticize others. It takes a bigger person to truly attempt to understand someone else – the things that motivate them and influence them. It’s all about perspective. I think about an example from a book I once read -- a man gets into a subway car with his two sons, the sons are running all over the place bothering the people, this continues, so another man finally gets irritated enough to ask the father why he doesn't do something to control his kids. The father replies, "We just got back from the hospital where their mother died. I don't know how to handle it and I guess they don't either."

You never know what’s really happening in a given situation and you have the luxury of not having to deal with the most challenging human situations if you choose not to. You can just make an assumption and go on your way, never really knowing the truth. The police don’t have that luxury.

Not all cops are superstars, but most of them competently do the best they can in the situations they must deal with. True, some are less competent and some are “bad apples”, but statistically, it’s impossible to eliminate them from any organization. The funny thing is, the superstars keep doing what they’re doing, do it well, and rarely receive any recognition for the service they provide to your community. Every day they live with the fact that many people (like you) simply assume the worst of them.

As for Officer Gladu, it’s up to the Crown as to whether they will lay a charge. To be successful, they will have to prove their charge beyond a reasonable doubt. If you want to know about his fate, make a FOIP request.

Do your research, write responsibly, and please stop relying on newspaper articles and commenters as your only sources. It’s irresponsible and it perpetuates bad and misleading information.