Toronto Cop Demoted After Cocaine Was Found in His Wallet

The Toronto police officer who was caught with cocaine in his wallet after he forgot it in court has been demoted, and will be subjected to random drug tests for the next year.

Const. Kirk Blake was not present Friday as his sentence was read out at the Toronto police disciplinary tribunal by hearing officer, Insp. Richard Hegedus, who stressed the seriousness of the misconduct by the longtime officer.

Blake, a former drug squad and guns and gangs unit officer, pleaded guilty to professional misconduct after he brought a small amount of cocaine in his wallet into a Scarborough courthouse in September 2016.

The drug only came to be discovered because Blake, who had been at the courthouse as part of his work duties, accidentally left his wallet behind. A fellow officer looked through it to find identification and came upon a clear plastic baggie containing cocaine.

Toronto police Professional Standards initiated an investigation and charged Blake with possession of cocaine. He pleaded guilty in court and was granted an absolute discharge.

Hegedus said the fact that Blake pleaded guilty to the criminal and tribunal charges demonstrates that he has recognized the seriousness of his misconduct. The hearing officer also gave Blake credit for willingly submitting himself to twice-weekly drug testing after the discovery of the drug in his wallet.

“Those actions were voluntary and speak to his acceptance of responsibility and prospect for rehabilitation,” Hegedus said.

Blake will be demoted from first-class constable to second-class for one year. He will also continue to be monitored for drug use, including random drug tests.

Hegedus warned that a positive test, or a refusal to provide a sample, would result in a prosecution for insubordination under Ontario’s Police Services Act and Toronto police would seek his dismissal.

At a hearing late last year, Blake’s lawyer Gary Clewley explained that Blake had developed post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after a traumatic and near-fatal guns and gangs operation in 2013. Zoltan Hyacinth, 23, had attempted to shoot at officers during a high-risk confrontation at a Burger King drive-through, but accidentally shot himself.

Hegedus reviewed some of Blake’s medical reports from his treatment for PTSD. He said the personal circumstances do not provide an excuse for Blake’s misconduct, but “provide some context and have been factored into my decision.”

According to an agreed statement of facts read out at an October hearing, Blake was initially suspended by Toronto police but had since been reinstated in an administrative role.

Source: https://www.thestar.com/news/crime/2018/02/01/toronto-cop-demoted-after-cocaine-was-found-in-his-wallet.html

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Filming Cops
Filming Cops 5648 posts

Filming Cops was started in 2010 as a conglomerative blogging service documenting police abuse. The aim isn’t to demonize the natural concept of security provision as such, but to highlight specific cases of State-monopolized police brutality that are otherwise ignored by traditional media outlets.

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