THE ONTARIO CIVILIAN COMMISSION ON POLICE SERVICES|
Report on an inquiry into administration of internal investigations by the Metropolitan Toronto Police Force
PrefaceThis inquiry by the Ontario Commission on Police Services was constituted to investigate the administration of the Metropolitan Toronto Police Force as it relates to internal investigations of allegations of wrongdoing against members of the force. The Inquiry was conducted pursuant to Section 58 of the Police Act by a panel of three Commission members: Frank Mark D'Andrea (Chair), Jean Margery Beauprie and Julio Roberto Menezes.
Between October 1990 and March 1992, the Commission's Inquir spent 53 days and held 13 evening sittings to hear more than 30 witnesses and legal argument presented by counsel for individuals and organizations with standing at the Inquiry.
The terms of reference (attached as Appendix A) included inquiry into the force's policies, practices and procedures for internal investigations and their specific application to allegations against former Constable Gordon Junger. The terms of reference also allowed the panel to consider any matters touching on the areas of investigation that arose during the course of the Inquiry.
Another matter involving (formerly Sergeant) Brian Whitehead was brought to the panel's attention during the course of its work and a detailed study of the management of that case, including the hearing of sworn testimony, was also conducted.
A major focus of the Inquiry was on the Internal Affairs unit of the Metropolitan Toronto Police Force because the unit conducted the investigations of both Junger and Whitehead.
Public notice of the Inquiry specially excluded consideration of any matter which was referred to the Public Complaints Commissioner pursuant to the Metropolitan Toronto Police Force Complaints Act or any matter involving a shooting incident. However, the relationship between Internal Affairs and the Office of the Public Complaints Commissioner, now called the Police Complaints Commissioner, emerged as an issue during the course of the Inquiry. The Office of the Commissioner was represented at the Inquiry.
The following individuals and organizations had standing before the Inquiry and were represented by counsel: the Metropolitan Toronto Police Services Board, the Chief of Police of Metropolitan Toronto, the Metropolitan Toronto Police Association, the Internal Affairs unit of the Metropolitan Toronto Police Force, the Office of the Police Complaints Commissioner, Franklina (Roma) Langford, Gordon Junger and Jane Doe (The real name of the witness was kept confidential at her request.).
The panel decided that an independent review of the files of Internal Affairs was required. Retired Justice R. E. Holland Q.C. was retained to carry out the review of Internal Affairs files for the period December 1984 through October 1990.
A submission to the Inquiry by Alan Story, formerly a reporter with the Toronto Star included information about a number of cases which the author argued revealed significant flaws in the way the Metropolitan Toronto Police Force dealt with alleged wrongdoing by officers of the force.
The Inquiry panel instructed an investigator for the Ontario Civilian Commission on Police Services and Commission counsel to examine those cases raised in the Story submission which involved an investigation or review of an investigation by the Internal Affairs unit. Internal Affairs' files and other documentation, including court transcripts in some cases, were examined. Where possible, individuals outside the force who had knowledge of the cases, such as victims and Crown Attorneys, were contacted and interviewed. Some of the more important witnesses did not respond to requests for information or were otherwise uncooperative.
The work of the investigator and counsel on behalf of the Inquiry resulted in a report documenting what could be ascertained about four cases. Given that the Inquiry panel did not hear sworn evidence on these cases and the investigations could not be completed, the cases were given significantly less weight than the Junger and Whitehead matters. However, the panel considered whether the management of these four cases reflected some similar problems to those revealed in the Junger and Whitehead cases.
During the course of the Inquiry, a new Police Services Act was proclaimed Dec. 31, 1990. Both the Junger and Whitehead occurrences took place under the previous legislation. Any changes in the law which would have affected what happened or will affect how future investigations are conducted are noted, where relevant, in this report.
Appendix C lists the written submissions which were received and reviewed by the Inquiry panel. These submissions are on file at the Commission offices in Toronto.
For comparative purposes, the Inquiry conducted a survey of police forces in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom to ascertain how they dealt with internal investigations. The survey sought information on the existence and structure of internal affairs units and public complaints units, and the policies and practices followed by different police forces in dealing with alleged wrongdoing by members of the force. Appendix D is a compilation of the replies of 18 police forces which responded to the survey.
In addition, the Inquiry heard evidence from witnesses representing six police forces: Hamilton-Wentworth Regional Police Force, Ontario Provincial Police, Edmonton Police Service, Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Detroit Police Department and New York City Police Department.
The information provided by these witnesses, in addition to that supplied in the responses to the survey, provided the Inquiry panel with a valuable perspective on the administration in internal investigations in other police services and jurisdictions.
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Created: January 21, 1997|
Last modified: February 12, 1997
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