Oh dear, another steaming merdewich for our incident-prone friends at the Peel Regional Police, as the force’s Insp. Dan Johnstone appears in court this month on a sexual assault charge.
As per enlightened custom, Inspector Dan’s been suspended with pay ($202,748 in salary and benefits in 2017), while SIU thingies poke into his alleged off-duty contretemps with a female officer at a Mississauga restaurant last November.
The Toronto Star, in covering this latest spot of bother, rather churlishly brought up other highlights of Johnstone’s storied 27-year career on the force, foremost among them: The $25-million wrongful arrest suit by tinted chappie Eric Morgan, who sat in pokey for three-and-a-half years on a bogus murder charge. In acquitting Morgan in 2013, Justice Fletcher Dawson called out Johnstone and fellow homicide cops for “abusive” and “threatening” treatment of witnesses, dodgy interrogation tricks and “manufactured” evidence.
Then there was rookie Dan’s 1991 assault conviction for a donnybrook outside a tavern in Port Credit. The beating he and a fellow officer laid on two men was prefaced with homophobic bon mots.
Peel Region’s finest and the SIU, it must be said, go way back. Indeed, the SIU was created in part to respond to their fatal 1988 shooting of black teenager Michael Wade Lawson (from behind, with illegal hollow-point bullets, as he fled in a stolen car).
An all-white jury acquitted Peel cop Anthony Melaragni of one count of second-degree murder and two counts of unlawfully discharging a firearm. These days, Tony’s a Peel detective sergeant Sgt. (2017 take-home: $149,850).
His partner, Officer Darren Longpre, also beat the rap, found not guilty on two counts of unlawfully discharging his firearm. He retired in 2015 and now shares his years of experience and wisdom with the next generation of aspiring flatfeet as an instructor at Conestoga College in Kitchener.
Lawson was, at press time, still dead.
But that’s all blood under the bridge, and the brave men and women of Canada’s third-largest municipal police service continue to keep Chief Jennifer Evans ($322,689) supplied with new and exciting matters on which to decline comment to the Star — not to mention countless billable hours for Lynda Bordeleau, wife of Ottawa Police Chief Charles ($312,638) and until last May, Peel Regional Police legalist. Some recent highlights:
March 2018: Gunshots for Gucci
Tactical team jarheads descend on the home of teenaged suspects in a stolen property bust. The raid freaks out the young lads’ dog, Gucci, whom the cops are then obliged to shoot dead for being “aggressive.”
January 2018: Lies, Damned Lies, and Police Evidence
Known-to-police person o’ colour Ahmed Jama walks on firearms charges after Justice Paul Renwick finds the evidence of Const. Darrell Corona overstuffed with “half-truths and contradictions,” and futhermore, that video of Ahmed’s traffic stop “completely undermined everything the officer said.”
December 2017: Brown Alert I
The Office of the Independent Police Review Director (OIPRD) slams the Peel cops for a “biased” extortion investigation of three gentlemen of south Asian decent by Det. Robert Crane ($145,645), aggravated by a fake-news press release linking the accused to unrelated weapons charges. Two York cops, Gurdip Panaich and Surjit Brar, and Brar’s brother Sukhdeep, are suing the Peel force for $1 million.
April 2017: Crash Course in Insurance Fraud
Const. Carlton Watson loses an appeal of his five-year prison term for his side business faking accident reports for $6,000 a pop. He was convicted in 2015 on 42 counts of fraud, making false documents, breach of trust and obstruction of justice. The fictional accident reports netted their non-victims over $1-million in fraudulent insurance payouts. While awaiting trial, he collects some $200,000 in salary — and wins a $275,000 lottery jackpot, fair and square.
April 2017: Brown Alert II
The Ontario Human Rights Commission upholds a racial discrimination complaint from of Peel Staff Sgt. Baljiwan (BJ) Sandhu that he was wrongly passed over for promotion and tagged by fellow flatfeet with thigh-slapping nicknames including, “Gunga Din” and “Ghandi.”
March 2017: To Perve and Collect
Officer Craig Wattier gets a one-year sentence for accessing hundreds of kiddie porn videos from the evidence room — and charging overtime while he watches them.
September 2016: Stay In School, Kids!
Peel Police, responding to a report of a six-year-old girl kicking and spitting at her Mississauga school, handcuff the little dickens — for her own protection, explains long-suffering Peel police spokesthingy Josh Colley ($129,179). The girl is, incidentally, black.