Peel officer engaged in serious misconduct during 2018 arrest, Ontario police watchdog says
Const. Bernard Trlaja accidentally recorded himself making xenophobic statements
A Peel police officer engaged in serious misconduct by making xenophobic comments while arresting a food delivery person, according to Ontario's Office of the Independent Police Review Director(OIPRD).
Const. Bernard Trlaja accidentally recorded himself making the comments while arresting Massod Masad in November 2018.
"I am of the opinion that this misconduct is of a serious nature," wrote Sylvana Capogreco, the OIPRD's director, in a letter to the Masad family.
Masad was arrested after an alleged altercation at a restaurant where he was picking up an order for the delivery service DoorDash.
Masad tried to record the arrest on his phone, but Trlaja confiscated the device and placed it on the front seat of his police cruiser. He accidentally restarted the recording, which captured several xenophobic statements.
"This kid obviously doesn't understand the rule or nature or culture of Canada," Trlaja can be heard saying.
"OK, he wants to be violent and bring that violence with him, then he's going to have to learn the way."
The charges against Masad, 25, were dropped, and his family later asked the OIPRD to investigate the arrest.
The OIPRD has now determined that Trlaja was responsible for two types of misconduct: unlawful arrest and discreditable conduct.
Capogreco has directed Peel Police Chief Chris McCord to hold a hearing on the incident, though a date has not yet been determined.
The Masad family previously said it would like Trlaja, an 18-year police veteran, to receive extra training and deliver an apology.