By Graeme MacKay, Editorial Cartoonist, The Hamilton Spectator – Thursday June 18, 2015
Five ACTION officers charged in fake ticket probe
Five Hamilton police officers are facing criminal charges for allegedly writing 32 falsified tickets as members of the high-profile ACTION unit.
It’s alleged the tickets named 18 people who had no idea they were victims.
The five are among seven members of the former ACTION Team One who were arrested Tuesday. They had been relegated to administrative duties amid a nearly nine-month long internal investigation.
All seven have now been suspended with pay and could still face Police Services Act disciplinary charges, which are being investigated by a separate group of officers.
At a news conference announcing the charges Tuesday night, police Chief Glenn De Caire said the service took the investigation very seriously and he’s confident detectives have looked at all of the evidence.
“We have followed the evidence and we have followed the law,” he said.
The investigation began after a Hamilton police officer found provincial offence notice books in a box destined for the shredder on Sept. 30, 2014. The booklets had the fill-out paper that is supposed to go to the offender still attached.
It’s alleged the officers made up the tickets, submitting them in court and for police statistics. It’s also believed many of the victims were known vulnerable people the ACTION officers came across downtown.
De Caire said police have met with some of the victims and all 32 tickets will be withdrawn. (Source: Hamilton Spectator)
Letter to the editor, June 22, 2015 – Cartoon was vilifying, premature
I found the editorial cartoon in the June 18 Spectator that portrayed police officers in a mirror under the word “thugs” to be demeaning, vilifying and certainly premature in its treatment of police.
While our local police service has suffered the slings and arrows recently afforded it by having several members charged with criminal offences it is important to recognize that the vast majority of our serving officers are in fact providing service to the public in a manner that is adequate, just and compassionate.
The officers charged with transgressions will have their day in court. If guilt is assessed against each, then the cartoon might have modest merit.
For the present, it does nothing to restore what a few officers have tarnished and in point of fact helps to erode public trust even further.
It suggests in a very graphic way that all police are thugs. I am sure, the artist and The Spectator did not really wish to convey such a message.
Policing is difficult enough without outside assistance which goes a great distance toward making daily work more difficult by exacerbating an already poor situation.
To blindly follow recent U.S. knee jerk response to perceived and alleged wrongdoing by police is dangerous and hurtful.
We can not condone what is alleged to have happened.
However, one truth is real. Thugs are thugs and these officers are innocent until proven guilty. The checks and balances built into our system of justice will win out at the end of the day.
Our serving officers still deserve public and media support and assistance for the good work they do on a daily basis.
Dan Welsh, Mount Hope