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Friday, April 27, 2012

Lying cops, Mark Pugash, and the Star: Where we juxtapose, once again

Three links to start off with: one from the CBC and two from the Star. Excerpts follow.

New homicide chief on fighting 'code of silence'

Staff Insp. Greg McLane told CBC Radio’s Metro Morning that a lack of information can frustrate investigators, especially when it is known that witnesses were present when a crime took place.

Just like the witnesses who were there when Dorian Barton's arm was broken, or when Sean Salvati was beaten and then paraded around naked, or when Adam Nobody was beaten and kicked in the face. Have we mentioned that most of those witnesses were cops? And that it took the Star to out Glenn Weddell?

Police who lie: How officers thwart justice with false testimony

Judges have found officers lie in court to cover up shoddy and illegal investigation techniques, excessive force, and racial profiling.
The majority of the cases reviewed by the Star involve police officers who, out of laziness, overzealousness or poor training, violated laws that protect suspects from abuse of police power, found damning evidence and then lied to cover up their flawed investigation.

Anyone remember Roy Preston? He ended up doing time -- on weekends, IIRC. Don't recall what, if anything, happened to his asshole buddies who falsified their notes to back up his lies.

Police who lie: False testimony often goes unpunished

At the Toronto Police Service, where at least 34 officers have come under fire from judges for being untruthful in court in recent years, there is little indication Chief Bill Blair considers the judges’ findings a call for change.
The chair of the civilian oversight Toronto Police Services Board, Alok Mukherjee, told the Star he is troubled by this “serious issue” and wants something done to stop the lies from eroding the public’s trust in his police force.

Well, at least in Blair's case, you can kind of understand, given his lies about police powers during the G20. But I'm sure Mukherjee is very troubled.

See also Roy Preston's asshole buddies, above.

(Yeah, yeah, I know. The State Broadcaster and the Stalinist rag. Well-known leftist propaganda outlets. And while we're at it, anyone know whether any meaningful sanctions have been levelled against the four asshole Mounties who tasered Robert Dziekanski to death and then lied about it?

Sarcasm aside, a moment of admiration for the Star for this. Kicking ass the way a newspaper is supposed to do.

Anyway, take some time to read the pieces linked to above. Yet another illustration of the hypocrisy, dysfunctionality and denial that characterizes the usual police-culture reaction to anything like this: circle the wagons, lash out at the critics, and cue up the blubbering about how people don't understand the pressures the poor lambs are under. What kind of music do you play at a pity party, anyway?

It's just the same old bullshit. End justifies the means, thin blue line, heroes putting their lives on the line, yargle bargle blegh. Nothing new there.

What's particularly instructive, however, is the reaction from Toronto Police spokesman Mark Pugash. It would be easy to attribute this to the fact that he's a holdover from the Fantino era, but it's not like there's been a wholesale culture change since then.

In a response to the Star, Pugash harrumphed:

you are grossly overstating the problem. The criminal justice system works on evidence, on examination, cross-examination and decision. It does not work on throwaway comments unsupported by evidence.

The entirety of his response, lest anyone think I'm taking him out of context, can be found at the link.

Um ... Mark? When a court judges testimony or evidence to be unreliable or untruthful, it is not making "throwaway comments unsupported by evidence." It is making a finding of fact based upon its evaluation of the evidence before it.


  1. Nice job in piecing together the tissue of lies and deception that seems to characterize so many police operations today.

    Your post also underscores the improtant work being done by The Toronto Star, which just won five National Newspaper Awards for its consistently excellent work.

  2. Ever since the G20 where the cops so readily, and almost eagerly, stomped on the rights of their fellow citizens and even beat and abused them physically, and with an increasing willingness to taser and assault people to enforce "compliance" instead of talking to them, I now hold ALL police suspect. I don't trust any of them anymore.

  3. I appreciate you providing the link to Pugash's response to the Star. Your comment in response to it however indicates that you yourself have not read it, or have failed to comprehend it. If you had, you might have attempted to rebut him on his points - which you do not. The fact that The Star negated to mention that certain trial judge's decisions were overturned on appeal and that their comments were found to be unsupported by evidence also indicates that ironically, The Star itself is guilty of the very thing it accuses others of doing.

    Obviously, in cases where police officers have been proven to lie in court, there should be a mechanism in place for dealing with that - though it already exists in an informal way via a data base that defence lawyers have access to. Effectively, such officers have lost their credibility and are essentially useless. The Star however in it's disingenuous approach makes it appear that there's an epidemic, and thus serves only to generate hysteria - which in turn does not serve the community in any way.