Every time someone within a Police Service officially apologizes for an incident involving their police officers it immediately blows up and causes instant guilt upon the involved officers. Recently, Toronto police officers were involved in such an incident.

A male party had to be controlled by the officers using physical control and a Taser, something that happens several times a day on the streets of Toronto involving the police, but this time it was caught on video by someone walking by the incident. On the video things were said and done by the police which may seem wrong to those who do not deal with this type of stuff everyday.

The police come across violent individuals everyday and are put in a position to control those people especially after he/she has assaulted one of their own. Usually the control will be made up as you go along because all the training you were given does not always work. At times an involved officer will say something they truly believe like “back up or you could get AIDS”. This incident occurred in Toronto’s 51 Division, which has in the past and is still notorious for coming across individuals who may be caring a number of different diseases. This concerns the officers in 51. It does not matter whether some disease can be transmitted or not, they believe it could. Officers may say things they truly believe at the time.

The real problem is the usual response (apology) from the police service is often from someone who has never worn the uniform or even been in a violent fight with someone who is trying to physically injure them. When there is an immediate apology from the service the involved officers do not even have a chance of explaining their actions. How would they get a chance of a fair investigation or trial if they were charged with an offence, criminal or Police Act charges, when the ones deciding their fate have already found them guilty before they have heard their explanation? There are usually several legitimate reasons explaining the officer’s actions whether physical or verbal.

The police service rushes to judgement when they are afraid of public and media backlash even before they hear from their own officers.

Craig Bromell