June 14, 2011
By DAVE DALE, The North Bay Nugget
There's a funny quote in one of the Toronto Sun articles Tuesday.
A tearful Toronto cop apologized in court for threatening two suspects with an electronic shock to the testicles if they didn't give up the name of their break-in accomplice.
That's not the humorous part, although it depends if you're a sick puppy who gets off when someone is tortured. George W. Bush might giggle if given the opportunity to Taser a Democrat.
Part of Const. Christopher Hominuk's defence was the fact he was diabetic and may have experienced a hypoglycemic incident.
An expert medical witness said his actions were compatible with such events which can dramatically alter a diabetic's behaviour temporarily from gentle to aggressive.
If you don't eat properly, diabetics develop low blood sugar levels and certainly can alter moods as the body tries to function on a bad mix of fuel coursing through their veins.
He also slapped one suspect across the face.
It's a bit of stretch, however, to excuse specific, repeated violent behaviour just because you may have skipped lunch.
Not a bad attempt to sway a judge's view of a cop taking matters into his own hands, but too silly to be taken seriously.
Still, that's not what made me laugh out loud.
The probationary sergeant, who was demoted after the Taser threats came to light, told the court he wanted to cry when he realized what he had done — all of it caught on video as the handcuffed suspects were detained in the back of two cruisers.
"I knew what I had done was wrong," Hominuk said, leading to the knee-slapper of a quote.
Drum roll please . . .
"You'll always get more information from people by being nice than threatening them."
It's true, actually. People are often more eager to share information if you don't appear as a threat. Defence mechanisms go up and it takes a long time for them to go down when someone holds an energy conducting device to your crotch.
The court heard that neither suspect co-operated despite Hominuk's extreme investigative strategy. It doesn't say, however, if they sang like canaries when the "good" cop arrived on the scene with lollipops.
Seriously, it's a major stain on an otherwise exemplary 14-year career and it's a shame one bad moment will likely ruin his changes of moving up the ranks.
But it's good to see an incident like this being aired in public. Canada needs good cops, we have some of the best in the world. Prosecuting the bad apples is important to build public trust.
Don't get me wrong. Crap like this used to go on all the time. Every town had its bruisers in cruisers. I just didn't realize it was because they were eating too many doughnuts and not enough veggies.
WELCOME to TRUTH ... not TASERS
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
June 14, 2011