A day after a Toronto police professional standards investigation was launched into the conduct of two officers, new video has surfaced appearing to show the same officers partying while on duty.
The video, which is undated and appears to have been originally posted on Instagram, appears to show a woman jumping into the arms of an officer and has the caption, “These cops tried to charge us.” She can be seen getting back onto the ground before hugging him again.
The video cuts to another clip of at least two women getting into the back of a marked Toronto police cruiser with the caption, “Then took these girls home.”
The next clip shows the Toronto police cruiser driving away with the caption, “Then drank some beers and told us they’re strippers then drove the cop car home.”
The video cuts to a still image of one of the officers appearing, according to the caption, to hold a bottle of beer. The next image shows the other officer appearing to hold cuffs on the wrists of a woman with her arms behind her back.
“I’m a stripper, this is fake,” the caption of the photo said.
The original poster of the video, who didn’t want to be identified, told Global News the videos were captured on Sept. 5. She said she and a friend went to Bathurst Street and Queen Street West-area restaurant when she saw the two officers. They greeted the owners and the woman alleged one of the officers said they were strippers.
“[I], not knowing and being gullible, said, ‘OK, if you’re strippers arrest me!’ He put his handcuffs on me and then I walked away with them and slipped my hands out of them and kept them on me,” she told Global News.
“Then some girl comes up to us and says she needs the handcuffs, and the cop follows behind her and says we could be charged for stealing police equipment.”
It’s not confirmed where and when the videos and photos were captured, if any alcohol was consumed, or where exactly the group was allegedly travelling.
A Toronto police spokesperson told Global News officers are aware of the most recent video and that it, like the others that surfaced on Monday, has been referred to the professional standards unit for review. The spokesperson said the investigation is ongoing.
The video comes a day after multiple videos posted online appeared to show two uniformed officers taking a group of women between nightclubs, playing videos on the in-cruiser computer and posing for photos with two women wearing handcuffs.
A Toronto police source told Global News the same officers are involved in all of the videos. The officers were identified as constables Jian Liang and Aaron Isaac.
Global News contacted the Toronto Police Association, the union that represents officers, on Monday and Tuesday to ask for comment about the videos.
President Mike McCormack declined to comment both times, citing the probe by the professional standards unit. He said the union may offer comment once the investigation has concluded.
Dave Perry, a retired detective sergeant and a crime and policing analyst for Global News, said he has been fielding calls from policing colleagues about the message the videos are sending to residents.
“When you start using police equipment and handcuffing women in a bar, an establishment where there’s music and alcohol, you’ve started to cross the line there,” he said.
“Sort of the seediness of that scene in a bar with women and wearing handcuffs and the comment about ‘our Uber is here’ as a woman is letting herself into a police vehicle … I don’t think that’s what any of us think of when we think about community outreach.”
John Sewell, the city’s former mayor and now a coordinator with the Toronto Police Accountability Coalition, said officers have a fine line to walk and such instances can cast a negative light on the service.
“There’s no question that when a cop steps out of line and does something stupid it sure reflects on the whole police force,” he said.
“I think there’s a bunch of games that are being played, which we hear a bit about, and it’s unfortunate because it doesn’t mean that you end up respecting the police.”
No one is facing any charges. It’s not clear what, if any, disciplinary action the officers might face.
Source: Read Full Article