Police charged with perjury, obstructing justice

Officers arrested for planting heroin in suspect's car in 2014

At 7 a.m. this morning, four veteran officers of the Toronto Police were arrested for perjury and obstruction of justice in the January 2014 arrest of Nguyen Son Tran.

Constable Jeffrey Tout, 41, Detective Constable Benjamin Elliot, 32, Detective Constable Fraser Douglas, 37 of Division 55 and Constable Michael Taylor, 34, of Division 51, are facing a total of 17 charges.

Charges of police misconduct in the last six months

At least two other Toronto Police officers have been on trial for misconduct and abuse of authority recently.

• On Jan. 25, Constable James Forcillo, 32, was found guilty of attempted murder in the 2013 shooting of 18-year-old Sammy Yatim. Forcillo delivered a total of nine shots to Yatim, resulting in the teenager’s death. The event created a wave of protests against police brutality in Canada and the United States. It was the first time since 1979 that an officer in Toronto has been convicted of charges related to manslaughter.
• In August, the Ontario superior court found Mark Fenton guilty of discreditable conduct and unnecessary exercise of authority. The conviction was related to the 2010 G20 summit when Fenton ordered mass arrests of protestors, many of whom were never charged.

It is alleged they planted heroin in the car belonging to Tran, then a suspect, and provided false and colluded testimonies in court.

Police chief Mark Saunders spoke in a press conference this morning about the investigation. He did not say much about the case but he promised, “We will leave no stone unturned when we discover any information that raises the possibility that any of our members have not lived up to the high standards and expectations.”

Saunders said previous cases of these four officers would be “scrutinized” by a team of investigators whose job it will be to see “if there is any other cause of concern.”

Constable Tout and Detective Constable Douglas have each been charged with two counts of obstruct justice and two counts of perjury. Detective Constable Elliot has been charged with three counts of Obstruct Justice and three counts of Perjury. Detective Taylor has been charged with two counts of Obstruct Justice and one count of Perjury

The four officers are set to appear in court on March 11th at 2201 Finch Ave. West in room 202 at 1:30 p.m.