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Flood of Charges Against Toronto Police

ShonTron

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Star: Detective's beating acquittal quashed
Nov 28, 2007 06:17 PM
Peter Small
Courts Bureau

A judge has quashed the acquittal of a veteran Toronto police detective and ordered a new trial on a charge of assault causing bodily harm for allegedly breaking the arm of a prisoner in an interview room.

Superior Court Justice Frank Caputo said provincial court Justice Bruce Young erred by not adequately considering medical and other evidence that corroborated drug addict Gary Shuparski's contention that Det. Christopher Higgins beat him for several seconds, finishing by kicking him in the torso in the early morning hours of April 1, 2004.

Shuparski, 50, said he hugged his ribs to ward off blows.The 120-pound drug addict sustained a "nightstick fracture" to one of two bones in his forearm — often caused when a victim tries to ward off a kick or two-handed blows from a police baton.

The trial judge never subjected Higgins' testimony to any critical scrutiny, Caputo said.This was especially important because the officer's evidence "conflicted not only with common sense but also with the other evidence," Caputo wrote in his 21-page decision, released today.

On the other hand,the trial judge dismissed the evidence of Shuparski and four witnesses "based solely on their criminality, demeanour and some conflicts in the testimony," while failing to test it against other reliable confirmatory facts, the appeal judge ruled.

Two prisoners were seated on a bench outside the interview room when the alleged assault took place and said they heard what they thought was a beating. Both said they heard Shuparski say, "You broke my" arm.

Prosecutor John McInnis said today he was "grateful for a very thorough hearing" and pleased with the judgment.
 

voxpopulicosmicum

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4.5 years later, some of the former Entertainment District drug squad that were charged back in 2007 are finally getting their day in court, in spite of their own best efforts:

DiManno: Curtain raised on biggest cop corruption case in Toronto history
January 16, 2012

Rosie DiManno


Leaning far back in his chair, the former drug cop stretches his arm along the courtroom railing, drums his fingers, tap-tap-tap.

The only way Nebojsa (Ned) Maodus — he of the dark slicked back hair, almost a pompadour quiff — would look more relaxed is if he were to prop his feet up on to the defence counsel’s table.

Body language can speak volumes. It’s cop posture, or posturing.

But it is Christopher Quigley doing the talking, having waited some 14 years for the opportunity.

Crown spells out its case against former Toronto drug squad officers

The drug cop and the purported drug dealer — except it’s the cop who’s on trial and the drug dealer testifying against him. Five used-to-be detectives, in fact, crowding the business end of a Toronto courtroom, each flanked by his prestigious defence lawyer, the very cream of the criminal bar.

Arrayed against them, a quartet of Crown attorneys. Aligned against them, a bunch of perhaps “unsavoury” characters, the accusers.

The curtain has finally been raised on what has been described as the biggest cop corruption case in Toronto history.

Eleven years since the investigation into them was launched by former Toronto police chief Julian Fantino. Eight years since they were charged. Four years since the preliminary hearing and five months of pre-trial motions, after which all charges were stayed by Superior Court Justice Ian Nordheimer because of “glacial delays.” Three years since that decision was overturned by the Ontario Court of Appeal, which ordered a new trial for five of the six original defendants.

And, on Monday, before Justice Gladys Pardu, a three-hour opening statement delivered by Crown John Pearson — a broad outline of the prosecution’s case, summoned from five different complainants, five separate episodes of alleged police larceny and lying dating back to 1997 and 1998, with Quigley the first alleged shakedown victim to take the stand.

Clearly a fitness buff, well-cut muscles of a triangular torso evident even beneath the fabric of his suit jacket. More evident, though, in the photographs shown on a monitor screen, Quigley in the raw — and we do mean raw — from the waist up, newspaper held strategically to cover what’s below.

Purple bruising across the rib and waist. “That’s from being punched in the stomach,” says the witness.

Laceration over the forehead, abrasions around the eye. “Once again, by the same individual.”

Redness around the lips. “I was punched in the mouth, assaulted.”

Deep bloodied gash on the elbow. “I was dragged out of the car, my arm yanked behind my back,” though the injury did not result from that specific rousting, happened later.

It was Maodus who allegedly did the dragging. Then he and colleagues — fellow defendants now — bundled Quigley into 53 Division, afternoon of April 30, 1998, following a gun-point takedown in the parking lot of George Harvey high school, midtown Toronto.Quigley tells it: “They barraged me with questions. Where are your drugs? Where is your money?”

In the common room on the station’s third floor — an open area, rather than the holding cell in the basement — another officer blisters Quigley with similar questions. This cop, Quigley learned, was John Schertzer, head of Team 3, Central Field Command Drug Squad, the one they called “the boss.”

“And then he hit me, with an open hand.”

Schertzer, Maodus, Steven Correia, Joseph Miched, Raymond Pollard: All one-time members of elite Team 3, all accused on a slew of assault, extortion, attempt to obstruct justice, conspiracy and perjury charges.

Addressing the jury, Pearson puts the point frankly about key testimonials to come: “You might find these witnesses to be disreputable and unsavoury. Many of them have criminal records and were drug dealers during the time of concern to us. No one condones the actions of people involved in illegal drug activity. And I expect Her Honour will tell you that when it comes to the testimony of the drug dealers in this case, you should approach their evidence with caution and look for other evidence which confirms their testimony.”

Quigley recounts his narrative clearly, as if the incident occurred just last week, but then it would be branded into his memory, would it not, if true?

The Crowns believe it to be true.

“They engaged in unjustified acts of physical violence against people in their custody,” said Pearson of the defendants, drawing a vivid picture not just of rogue cops, the odd bad apple, but a gang of punks with badges and guns; a self-contained lawless posse that threatened suspects to extract information about the whereabouts of their cash and stash, to which they helped themselves, then tried to cover their tracks by falsifying notes, disguising illegal searches, withholding vital information from both prosecutors and defence lawyers, and fabricating tales in court.

When Quigley’s photos are displayed, he explains their provenance: “I took (these pictures) to document what I looked like while I was in custody. I was beaten up repeatedly on a number of occasions while I was in custody at 53 Division . . . their hands, their fists, they choked me.”

It was around three in the afternoon, Quigley testified, when he went to meet a friend at George Harvey, driving his girlfriend’s car. In the parking lot, this friend got into his vehicle. He handed over a brown paper bag.

Inside the bag was a pair of sunglasses, which were entered as an exhibit Monday.

Suddenly, the car was surrounded by men, maybe six, seven, eight, wearing civilian clothes. “I didn’t even realize they were officers. They were screaming and yelling at me — get out of the car!”

One of the cops grabbed the bag, looked inside, and erupted in curses. “They’re eff-ing sunglasses!”

The officers, said Quigley, did not identify themselves, did not show badges. He was pulled roughly from the car, allegedly by Maodus. Quigley told court he had no drugs on him, no drugs in the vehicle, and wasn’t armed. He was handcuffed, placed in the rear of an unmarked vehicle and delivered to the station, all the time asking what was happening, was he under arrest?

One officer said: “Shut up, you’re in big trouble. You’re gonna find out when you get to the station.”

At 53 Division, Quigley was booked by a sergeant — “he was polite, professional, he wasn’t aggressive in any way, just following protocol” — and then led upstairs. At that point, Quigley says he had no injuries.

“It started off reasonable. Then (they) became somewhat aggressive.”

He was not permitted to call a lawyer. “We’ll get to that later,” one of the officers told him.

Because they kept hounding him about drugs, Quigley admitted he had some marijuana at home, hidden in a bag of dog food, for his Boston terrier.

Another cop — Quigley says this was Correia’s partner — boasts: “My guys are bulldogs. We will tear your place apart.”

But Quigley has told them exactly where to look for the dope in his Eglinton Ave. W. apartment. It’s in the kitchen. “After I’d given all the information I could, they still didn’t believe me. They said, ‘We know you have more drugs somewhere, we know you have money somewhere’.”

They were going to search his place. But if Quigley was cooperative, they’d be careful not to let the dog out and “nothing would be broken.”

At this juncture, Quigley had been taken into an interrogation room. Now his tormentors wanted to know if he kept his drugs and his money at his mother’s place. He insisted he kept nothing there.

“They said, we’re going to search her house so you better tell us where the drugs are. I told them, please be respectful, she’s an older lady, she has a heart condition.”

The officers seemed to know that Quigley was in the jewelry business at that time. Schertzer, in particular, appeared “extremely agitated, very angry.”

From the interrogation room, Quigley says he was moved to a smaller space, an interview room at the back.

On the witness stand Monday, that’s as far as Quigley got in his recitation of events. But the prosecutor, Pearson, had already provided a preview of what happened next in his opening statement, how Schertzer allegedly “watched” as two drug squad officers delivered a “serious beating” to Quigley.

At 9.33 p.m., a warrant was issued by a Justice of the Peace to search Quigley’s residence and members of the squad went there, discovering the marijuana where the suspect said it would be. “However, the finding of the marijuana did not stop Christopher Quigley’s ordeal that night,” said Pearson.

Another search warrant was obtained for the home of Quigley’s mother, Greeba, on the basis that he often resided there and kept drugs in her basement. No drugs would be found at that location.

Under interrogation, said Pearson, Mrs. Quigley said she had a safety deposit box at a bank where she was keeping money for her son. Feeling intimidated, she gave the officers the key to it. Back at 53 Division, meanwhile, Quigley was turned over to uniformed officers who weren’t members of the drug squad. “He was bleeding from his forehead, throwing up blood and there were signs of serious distress.” Quigley was rushed to hospital.

According to notes Maodus made in his memo book, Quigley had become violent when told about the search of his mother’s home, punched an officer and had to be physically restrained. Quigley was charged with assaulting police.

The following morning, a third search warrant was issued for the safety deposit box. Schertzer and Correia went to the bank, Pearson told court, unlocked the box and dumped a quantity of money into a plastic bag. Pearson said Mrs. Quigley will testify that there had been $54,000 in the safety deposit box.

After leaving the bank, Schertzer prepared an official police property receipt for the money that had been seized: 22 $1,000 bills and 17 $50 bills.

What Schertzer documented: $22,850.

It would eventually be returned to Quigley. But the rest of the money he and his mother claim was in that box — $31,000 — vanished.

The trial continues Tuesday — and for a long time beyond.
 

Electrify

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I say throw these dirtbags into the general prison population. See how long they last before their cellmates strangle them with their own intestines.

On a side note, there is a great movie from the 80s with Tom Sellick called An Innocent Man which has a storyline which is quite comparable to what is happening here.
 

Shawn murphy

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My case is of an owner of a building that got the police to do his dirty work because he refused to hire security for his building, called being cheap,he falsely accused me of B and E, police broke into my room took stuff out ,left door open , parasites of this rooming house stole whatever was left in the room, I was not charged with a crime, moved to east end 51 division,a 14 division cop A.K made a appearance at my 1st place of residence without a 51 division cop, that is illegal , there was NO warrant for my arrest then put the owner on the phone to talk to me,Now 2 months later the same cop comes to my new place of residence again with no warrant for my arrest and again with no 51 division officer, to ask me questions ,this cop A.K use to work for 51division and was transferred due to an incident that happened at Queens Park to14 division where he still is
 
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