The Central Field Command drug squad, Team 3, squad officers accused of beating and robbing suspects of drugs and large sums of money. after doing so they are accused of falisfying official police records to cover up their wrong doings. The charges against John Schertzer, Ned Maodus, Joe Miched, Ray Pollard and Steve Correia date back to the late 1990s. The offenses range from conspiracy to obstruct justice, to theft, assault, perjury and extortion. The investigation started in 1997 and has gone through the courts and a verdict was handed, and there is an appeal in the process.
RCMP Chief Superintendent John Neily, handed in his final report to chief Julian Fantino, who was Toronto’s police chief until 2005, In it, he wrote that the task force had found evidence of a “crime spree” by “rogue officers.” He then went on to say “that the real victim, while initially portrayed to be drug dealers who may have lost cash, was indeed the justice system and the police service because by means of the courts, affidavits, search warrants and so on were being utilized as tools for the potential gain of the suspects,” who were all police officers. (CBC)
Throughout the investigation, the much of the information and evidence collected was circumstantial and that many of those who say they were robbed would not be reliable witnesses even if they were willing to come forward at all.
- Allegations that members of Toronto Central Field Command’s drug squad beat up informants, stole money from drug dealers, gave false testimony, falsified documents and faked search warrants.
- Allegations that Toronto 52 Division’s plainclothes officers demanded cash from bars in the entertainment district in exchange for protection.
- Allegations of an improper relationship between some officers and luxury car-leasing salesman and convicted criminal Jeffrey Geller, who died in 2004.
This is a clear form of corruption. First engaging in criminal activity and using their trust from the public and also using authority for personal gains. This falls right into the conventional definition of Corruption – An officer knowingly doing or not doing something against his or her duty for some form of financial or material gain or promise of such gain.
According to the Typology 1 – from the The Knapp Commission (1972) this fits right into the model of Mister average, which is described as being an officer who is laidback about the rules and have the idea that “Don’t fill out form. We can bend some rules.” this become dangerous very fast. an officer choosing to fill out certain incident reports and forms can easily make an investigators job extremely difficult. by not leaving a paper trail, it is hard to prosecute and understand what happened. this is a major challenge prosecutors are dealing with in this case. These “Crusaders” saw an opportunity and used it for their own gain.
In the second typology which deal with the categories of practice, we see that the officers are using a clear Corruption of Authority. By using their authority they are getting personal gain by virtue of their own powers. this includes using their job tools in order to conduct business and find drug dealers and isolate business opportunities for themselves.One of the most apperant categories of practice in the second typology would have to be Opportunistic Theft which is stealing from crooks. This was exactly what the police officers did. Beating up drug dealers and crooks and taking their profit and drugs in order to sell it them selves. The officers used excessive force, unlawful searches and seizures, and theft of cash and valuables which fits right into the typologies we have discussed thus far. The officers also used The Fix, which is when evidence is sabotaged, key witnesses are made unavailable. This also fits into one of the first typologies of Corruption of authority.
In the third Category of typologies, ‘externally driven’ is most prominent. We see that the squad enforces the law when it is convenient to their own personal gain. The officers made sure that the enemies are crushed and they are not opposed in any way.
These types of typologies only scratch the surface of what is currently going on in our policing system throughout the world. only corruption rings are brought to light when the officers slip up or when an agency makes it public. we must be open to the fact that there are many more cases such as this that occur and are far more complex that involve many officers. Though they are sworn to protect and serve us, we must also effectively watch and investigate them of them doing their job correctly and within a code of conduct.
Corruption time line: