Toronto's police brass has called for an immediate end to rookie buy nights following "recent, and very public, revelations" about the initiation rituals for new officers detailed in a sexual assault case involving three male police officers.
All three men were found not guilty of sexually assaulting a female parking enforcement officer two years ago.
"Disorderly behaviours, including excessive alcohol consumption and the unfair expectation of junior members to pay for others, are to end immediately," says the internal memo sent to rank-and-file officers on behalf of two superintendents and obtained by CBC Toronto Friday.
"Our Chief has made it clear that these events are not consistent with our policing culture."
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The memo makes specific reference to Ontario Superior Court Justice Anne Molloy, who on Wednesday found Toronto police officers Leslie Nyznik, Joshua Cabero and Sameer Kara not guilty of having non-consensual sex with the parking enforcement officer at a downtown hotel after a night of partying in 2015.
According to the allegations, the accused and the complainant visited three Toronto bars as part of a "rookie buy" party before going to the Westin Harbour Castle, where the alleged assault took place.
The term "rookie buy" refers to an event where new officers are expected to pay for drinks for the larger group as part of their initiation into the force.
In her ruling, Justice Molloy pointed to questions in the complainant's evidence, saying it was simply not possible to know for sure what happened in the hotel room that night.
"The question is not whether [the defendants] behaved admirably, or even ethically. The question is whether I am satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt," Molloy wrote in her ruling. "Based on the evidence ... it is simply not safe to convict."
The three officers remain under suspension as Chief Mark Saunders reviews the case with the force's Professional Standards unit, according to spokesperson Const. Meaghan Gray.