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NEWS > 21 November 2006

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'Brass ... buried it'
Two top lawyers who have repeatedly called for a public inquiry into alleged corruption in the Toronto Police Service say the emergence of two whistle-blowers from the drug squad task force strengthens their demand.

"It supports the suggestion we have made, and not happily, not with any glee or joy, that there is a systemic problem," said Peter Biro, who has filed several civil court suits against Toronto Police for clients who have alleged police corruption and abuse.

"There is good reason to believe there is a cover-up, not just an actual cover-up, but a modus operand... Read more

 Article sourced from

Toronto Sun - Canada
21 November 2006
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'Brass ... buried it'

Two top lawyers who have repeatedly called for a public inquiry into alleged corruption in the Toronto Police Service say the emergence of two whistle-blowers from the drug squad task force strengthens their demand.

"It supports the suggestion we have made, and not happily, not with any glee or joy, that there is a systemic problem," said Peter Biro, who has filed several civil court suits against Toronto Police for clients who have alleged police corruption and abuse.

"There is good reason to believe there is a cover-up, not just an actual cover-up, but a modus operandi of cover up ... cover up is the reflexive and automatic posture. And that is of a much greater concern than any individual instance of misconduct, no matter how egregious it is."

Lawyer Edward Sapiano, who, along with a half dozen other top lawyers, penned a 1999 letter that demanded Toronto Police brass probe allegations that drug squad members were stealing cash and drugs, said allegations by former special task force member Sgt. Jim Cassells and statements by Sgt. Neal Ward that 14 issues were either ignored, brushed aside or left unprobed shows there is a tendency to "bury the dirt."

"The brass stymied it, killed it, buried it. That is a problem ... serious," Sapiano said. "It is the brass sending a clear message to the rank and file that impunity reigns on the police force." Sapiano said it appears that brass only act when officers embarrass the service in an inescapable way.



Cassells, Ward and other cops joined the corruption task force in 2001 with the understanding they had support of brass, Sapiano said, but in the end were let down.

 

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