Toronto police chief scolds officers who hide 'behind the badge'
Bill Blair speaks publicly after sending scathing internal video to staff this week
Toronto police Chief Bill Blair has publicly condemned officers who abuse their power and "hide behind the badge," as the civilian board that oversees the force recommends more measures to better deal with officer misconduct.
Blair's remarks came after he sent a scathing internal video message earlier this week to thousands of his staff, rebuking officers who take advantage of the public's trust.
"We're not going to permit individuals to abuse their authority, to hide behind the badge ... I want my people to do their job honourably. I want them to do it honestly," Blair told reporters on Wednesday.
"I want them to remember that the authorities that are given to us by the public are authorities that are given to us because we are trusted."
One incident that has sparked Blair's comments involves officers caught on a dashboard camera in 2010, beating an allegedly impaired driver who was already face-down.
Another case involves Toronto officers who were caught on tape allegedly making sexist and racist remarks.
At a meeting held Wednesday, the Toronto Police Services Board recommended more comprehensive and detailed information about incidents of police conduct such as these, which are included in an annual police professional standards report.
The board also requested a meeting with Ontario's minister of safety and correctional services to further discuss how to deal with issues of police conduct, the CBC's Aarti Pole reported.
But John Sewell of the Toronto Police Accountability Coalition says the police force needs to take action.
"Rather than talking about it, I think the chief should actually be imposing discipline," he said. "Charge them, you know, appropriately under the Police Services Act."
With files from the CBC's Aarti Pole