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Toronto cop fired for assaulting cyclists

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A Toronto police officer was dismissed from the Toronto Police Service (TPS) for eight counts of misconduct spanning four years, notably involving the assault of a cyclist in 2017.

In 2017, at 52 Division, Constable Douglas Holmes investigated a cyclist for running a red light along the waterfront, according to The Toronto Star. When the cyclist refused to provide identification, Holmes arrested him, resulting in the cyclist being pushed to the ground and sustaining injuries, including a broken clavicle.

Holmes was subsequently charged with assault causing bodily harm and was found guilty in 2019, receiving a suspended sentence and a year of probation. In 2018, while already facing charges from the initial incident, Holmes, off duty, became involved in a verbal dispute with another cyclist.

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Upon identifying himself as a police officer, Holmes displayed insulting and uncivil behavior towards the cyclist.

Toronto officer’s assault of cyclists was violation of public trust

According to police tribunal documents, Insp. Susan Gomes, who presided over the hearing, ruled that Holmes will be dismissed from TPS within seven days unless he resigns before that. Gomes said Holmes “violated the public trust by not living up to his oath of office on multiple occasions as he had sworn to do.” HHolmes was charged with six counts of discreditable conduct and three counts of insubordination stemming from interactions with cyclists and TPS officers. Gomes acquitted him of one count due to an error. Holmes admitted guilt to eight out of nine counts. The documents online detailed the misconduct and the hearing’s proceedings.

“In both cases regardless of one being off duty and the other being on duty they take place in a public setting where additional eye witnesses were involved observing, providing statements and or calling 911 in response to the escalation of the altercations. Internal reputational damage was incurred in this matter,” Gomes said in a written ruling.

Insulting messages sent while on sick leave

The remaining incidents took place in 2021 and 2022 during Holmes’s sick leave. According to the documents, Holmes sent inappropriate and insulting text messages and emails to a number of superior officers on separate occasions.

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