Badge Of Dishonour

http://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/three-toronto-police-officers-charged-with-sex-assault-1.2243467

At the time I have written this, it is an alleged crime.  I’ve held back a lot.  But needed to put something out there or my brain is going to burst.  I’ve put alleged in a lot of places.  Some other areas I haven’t as it’s irrelevant.

I’m sorry. I’m furious. I’m ashamed. I’m cautious.

As a citizen I would like to extend my sincere apologies for the events that (allegedly) took place. I’m truly sorry. It’s shameful. Inexcusable. Barbaric. I’m sorry members of our society have let you and others down in unthinkable ways. From one woman to another I would like to encourage you to seek help and continue to get help. I wish for you a strong support system and eventually inner peace.

I acknowledge this victim has had her life changed by this tragic event. She is changed. Forever. Such acts of violence change who we are at the core of our being.  These violent acts alter our personalities and alter our feelings of safety and trust. They install triggers, put us on a sense of alert most others don’t have to experience in their lifetime. This is an absolute tragedy. She will hopefully receive some level of support and counselling, but she is forever changed. I’m hoping one day, for her, she will be counselled through her victim stage and emerge a strong survivor.

Three police men from Toronto, Ontario, Canada, 51 Division are facing charges of sexual assault and gang sexual assault against another female officer who works in the parking enforcement division. These 3 police men have been suspended with pay. Situations like this need to have a stronger set of consequences and suspended with pay just doesn’t cut it.

Here’s my thing. Police. Integrity. Safety. Security. Protection. One of these 5 words doesn’t belong. Police. They have lost my trust as a citizen and they have lost my trust as a parent. A long time ago.

As a parent who exercises caution, I instruct my child to do whatever it takes to get home if the police are after him. Yes that means not stopping if he is driving, when he does start to drive. If he is far from home, in a city setting, set up his phone to record before stopping and put it out of sight. Never ever stop on country roads. Ever. Call 9-1-1 and tell them you aren’t stopping as you’re in a remote location and fear for your safety and you’re heading home and the police in pursuit can follow you. Let 9-1-1 know where you live and your parents will be there waiting. Don’t speed or be reckless. I’ll handle it when they all arrive. They don’t intimidate me but they definitely would him. I don’t teach my kids to disobey the law, in fact it’s the opposite. Behave in a manner where you will never need to have police intervention at your own doing. That’s where I’m at with police. It’s no longer a sense of safety, it’s a sense of avoidance, insecurity and knowing you’re potentially always at some level of risk with police. I don’t know about anyone else, but I sure can’t tell a good cop from a bad cop when in uniform. The uniform and badge has been disgraced. Too many police officers have tarnished the badge of honour and it no longer represents the law, safety and security. For me.

A few years ago I was stopped at a traffic light. I saw police men on bikes and thought they were yelling excessively and be a bit too aggressive with this 50+ year old women who wasn’t resisting had her hands up and honestly with a ton of other people around watching. Of course an audience formed on the sidewalk with this chaos happening. They turned her bag inside out and had dumped all her items on the sidewalk. I’m not sure if she was homeless, but she did look like she was having a hard time with them. I pulled over, put my car in park and got out my phone. I started to video and one police officer noticed me and blocked my view at the car window and told me to stop videoing. I said ‘this is accountability sir’ and got out of my car and continued to video. There is nothing they can do to stop me on a public street from videoing. This I know. The police officer attempted to intimidate me, this is a regular routine ma’am, no need to video ma’am and I strongly suggested you stop ma’am. I said if he continued to address my videoing in what I felt was a threatening manner I was calling 9-1-1. They didn’t address the crowd that had formed as persistently as they address my phone videoing. Thankfully things didn’t get out of hand that day. I’m not so sure they would of anyways with the audience they had. Regardless I felt compelled to video for the citizens safety. Not the police officers. That’s a very strong internal message to myself. For the citizens safety, not the police officers.  Let that sink in for a minute.

The woman was left to pick up her belongings in front of the crowd as the police biked away telling everyone to disburse. I helped her pick up her things – which included a few groceries from the farmers market around the corner. Not one other person helped her, including the police officers who dumped her belongings. We’re missing a code of conduct within our police force. Well I’m sure there is one, but perhaps it should be executed. Not one person out of 50+ people helped her gather her belongings and asked if she was ok. Society in general is such a let down.

There have been so many cases brought against members of our police forces at all levels, in recent years. These criminal acts are introducing a lack of trust for people and it is being adopting into their lives more and more. When police, on duty or off, behave badly it just seems to sting so much more. Its a heightened sense of distrust with abuse of power. I can better tolerate criminal behaviour from our neighbours than I can from members who wear a uniform and badge to honour and protect. This badge of honour needs to be ‘lived’ while on duty and off duty. These 3 police officers were off duty when they allegedly sexually assaulted the woman. On duty, off duty, it’s irrelevant to me. A police officer is a police officer 24/7/365. We, as society, need to hold our police men and women to a higher standard in order to entrust our lives to them. As more and more people distrust the police forces, the harder it is for police to get control of situations and enforce the law in a manner that is community like.  It’s a vicious circle.

I was there. Today, I’m not. I don’t trust. I question authority at every opportunity and have taught my children to question authority. Always. Shame on every police officer who has broken the code. Shame on their breach of trust to this victim and society as a whole. This alleged criminal behaviour, by these 3 police men, will haunt the victim for her life. I know it’s an alleged crime…right now. I also believe I know where this will end. Every act of dishonour is a tarnished smudge on all police men and women. The act doesn’t just stay with the police officer(s) who has committed the crime(s), it is applied to every single police officer, globally.

There is always potentially other victims in situations like this. Usually it’s not an isolated incident. Could be isolated, but usually not. We don’t know and maybe we never will. If there are other victims, they may not step forward. The reasons are plenty for that. These 3 police men have also put their families at risk. What if they have children; I can’t even go there. Parents, siblings, wives, girlfriends. It’s not a egocentric criminal act. It’s an assault on a victim, our community and all those within it.

This doesn’t sit well with me in the least. I have a gut feeling. For once, I can honestly say I hoping to be horribly wrong.

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2 thoughts on “Badge Of Dishonour

  1. So well written and lots to think about. I hadn’t considered havig to “safety plan” with my kids if they get pulled over by police but it’s something to think about. Imagine what it’s like for young black men in cities.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can’t imagine. No. I wouldn’t want to be a young black male subjected to questioning from any form of ‘authority’
      For many, you are guilty until proven innocent.
      Just yesterday I read about a RCMP officer who lied during testimony about his taser antics.
      When will the bullshit stop?

      Thanks for reading and commenting. It’s a ‘scary’ post and although viewed many times it’s been avoided for comments like the plague.
      Think I’ll go on Twitter and send the link to some local police stations.

      Like

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