Do you still trust your police?
It's been a rough week for police in Canada, especially in Toronto
It's been a rough week for police across the country, especially in Toronto.
- Toronto police Chief Mark Saunders announced nine counts of obstructing justice and eight counts of perjury today in relation to an arrest involving constables Jeffrey Tout, Benjamin Elliott, Michael Taylor and Fraser Douglas.
- A jury earlier this week found Toronto police Const. James Forcillo guilty of attempted murder in the 2013 shooting death of Sammy Yatim.
- Another Toronto police officer, Const. Tash Baiati, was charged under the Police Services Act this week after he fired 15 rounds into a stopped car during an arrest.
- In Halifax, Const. Gary Basso was charged with theft, breach and trust and obstruction of justice for allegedly stealing from an evidence locker a chemical used to dilute illegal drugs to increase their quantity.
A cursory search of CBC News stories over the last 12 months reveals officers facing allegations of drug trafficking, dangerous driving, drunk driving, excessive force during arrest, assault and sexual assault.
There are roughly 70,000 police officers in Canada. Are some problems to be expected in any large group of people? Or is this unacceptable?
Do you trust the police in Canada?
You let us know in our latest CBC Forum — a live, hosted discussion where readers can talk about stories of national interest and the issues that arise from them.
Here are some of the most interesting comments:
(Please note that usernames are not necessarily the names of commenters. Some comments have been altered to correct spelling and to conform to CBC style. Click on the username to see the comment in the blog format.)
Many readers said they trust the police.
"I thought we were trying to refrain from stereotyping huge groups of people." — Eric
"The public gets the policing it deserves. If nobody trusts the police and smears them all as untrustworthy then you're not going to attract quality recruits. It's a self fulfilling prophecy." — TiRand
Others had serious concerns.
"The G20 was the end of the innocence. I no longer trust the police and our children have been raised not to trust the police." — Westcoaster
"While the majority are most likely decent, their silence is creating an environment where decent people couldn't possibly want to work." — Rose
Some readers offered solutions.
"When the police commit a crime, the punishment should be doubled." — PCSTAR
"I think police recruitment standards need to be updated across the country on both a municipal and provincial level to include psychological assessments of their personality and likelihood to be bullies and abuse their power before they are hired." - DoomedCanadian
And some commenters distinguished between individual police officers and the institution of policing.
"I trust police as individual people trying to do a hard job, but not the system of police unions and slow judicial process that holds up prosecution for years and seems to make firing bad apples very hard." — Stellars Jay
"I think of them the way I often do of Americans: Individually, you won't find nicer, more accommodating and genuine people, but when you look at them in aggregate, you shake your head wondering what is going on with them." — Black Swan
You can read the full discussion below.