The Blue Wall metes out vicious retaliation and enforcement

“(Constable James) Little chose ‘to disregard his professional obligations and embark on a course of retaliatory action against a colleague performing his sworn, lawful duty,’ Supt. Robin Breen wrote in his ruling… ‘He abused his position to express his personal displeasure about his colleague’s arrest of an off-duty police officer.'”

Three officers, including Little and a Staff-Sergeant, were disciplined and lost pay.

Absolutely nothing can express the baleful power of the “Blue Wall” better than its harassment and rejection of fellow-officers who enforce the law and charge fellow-officers, in this case for drunk driving.

On May 31st 2011, in my post “G20 police excesses demand re-assessment of public attitude”, I had this to say:  “Young kids, taught by the schools to have little self-discipline or respect for others, and to place their rights above their responsibilities, naturally adapt to black uniforms, bullet-proof jackets and firearms. That, together with the never-ending violence that we see on TV, particularly in conjunction with crime shows in which the police routinely smash down doors and scream at and shoot civilians, leads them to think that they are in disciplinarian heaven with a God-given right to trample on members of the public, and to physically assault and even kill them with little fear of repercussions.

“Lying, co-ordinating their stories to cover each other, and refusing to obey the rules with the tacit approval of their commanders, turns some of them into vicious, anti-social monsters. These factors, and the accompanying changes that they cause in police attitudes and culture, can lead over time to the kind of “en masse” malfunctions which we saw last June.

“I have said before that every police force needs a strong, vigorously enforced and continuous programme, designed to weed out the bullies, psychopaths and sadists who are naturally attracted to police work in the same way that paedophiles are attracted to school yards and youth groups.”

The fact that a first-class constable in Toronto now makes just about twice the average wage does nothing to discourage the arrogance and contempt shown by so many officers towards the  general public.

We must do whatever it takes to weed out the sadists, and to smash the “Blue Wall” culture and mentality in its entirety.  Our future safety and security demand nothing less.  It is not enough just protecting the whistleblowers such as Const. Andrew Vanderburgh; police commanders must zealously and pro-actively ferret out and expel those whose attitudes and demeanour defy the necessary ‘attitude adjustment’.

Jeff Goodall.

Rookie cop takes heat for arresting off-duty officer

Toronto Star
Betsy Powell: Courts Bureau
May 30th, 2012

It’s an impaired driving case like thousands of others except it involves a rookie Toronto police officer who crossed the thin blue line and paid the price.

Const. Andrew Vanderburgh was “harassed and berated” by fellow officers because on Nov. 28, 2009, he arrested and charged an off-duty police constable with impaired driving and having a blood-alcohol level over 80 milligrams, according to an internal police disciplinary ruling.

Some officers also allegedly called Vanderburgh a “rat,” Justice Paul Reinhardt wrote in a pre-trial ruling.

On Tuesday, Vanderburgh was in Old City Hall court to testify at Breton Berthiaume’s long-delayed impaired driving trial. He declined to comment except to say that while he does not regret charging a fellow officer, the fallout has been difficult.

Berthiaume, a Halton Region officer, has pleaded not guilty.

Also in court was Const. Suhail Khawaja, who accompanied Vanderburgh in his squad car the evening of the arrest.

That night, Vanderburgh and Khawaja went to Berthiaume’s home in High Park after a 911 caller reported seeing someone driving erratically on the Don Valley Parkway, and had recorded the licence plate number.

The officers took Berthiaume to neighbouring 22 Division, the closest station where a breath technician was present, and required him to give breath samples.

Some officers there “took exception to a police officer being charged or investigated,” Crown Attorney Mary-Anne Mackett told court Tuesday, providing an overview of the convoluted 2½-year-old case.

Reinhardt, who is no longer the judge in the Berthiaume case, said in his pre-trial ruling that disclosure he reviewed alleged Khawaja “refused to assist Constable Vanderburgh in the arrest and preparation of paperwork at 22 Division.”

“Constable Khawaja is purported to have stated on more than one occasion that evening to different informants that he wanted nothing to do with the arrest of a fellow police officer,” Reinhardt wrote.

Vanderburgh, meanwhile, continued to pay a price.

After Berthiaume was released, Vanderburgh drove a marked police vehicle back to his division and was followed by a 22 Division cruiser driven by Const. James Little.

Little pulled him over and gave him a ticket for allegedly disobeying a red light, which was later dismissed. Last year, Little pleaded guilty to one count of discreditable conduct under the Police Services Act.

Little chose “to disregard his professional obligations and embark on a course of retaliatory action against a colleague performing his sworn, lawful duty,” Supt. Robin Breen wrote in his ruling.

“He abused his position to express his personal displeasure about his colleague’s arrest of an off-duty police officer.” Little was docked 20 days’ pay.

Two other officers, including a staff sergeant who failed to intervene, were disciplined in the incident. One was also docked 20 days’ pay, the other 15.

“Those penalties are at the upper end and reflect seriousness of what happened and demonstrate the determination of the service to hold people accountable in a meaningful way,” Toronto police spokesman Mark Pugash said Tuesday.

Pugash said the names of the two other officers cannot be disclosed because they were dealt with at the divisional level. However, Reinhardt’s pre-trial ruling referred to incomplete police disclosure records of Khawaja’s “misconduct” on Nov. 28, 2009.

Berthiaume’s impaired driving trial, meanwhile, has been put over until Feb. 18 when he plans to represent himself after firing his lawyer. He remains on active duty with the Halton force.

See original here.

See “Police won’t talk about accident involving OPP Sergeant” here, “Police demand right to alter their notebooks” here, and “Is humiliation and intimidation by the Toronto police deliberate?” here.

Also, see “Is the Toronto Police “Blue Wall” beginning to crumble?” (June 3rd, 2012) here.

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