A Toronto police detective is facing disciplinary proceedings, accused of making racially and sexually inappropriate comments at a murder scene that were caught on body camera.
Detective Christopher Hominuk’s remarks were discovered as another officer reviewed body camera footage in the first-degree murder case in the death of 22-year-old Jovahn McKnollys, who was fatally shot on a spot from Etobicoke last summer.
“During the review of the images, you were heard to make inappropriate comments based on ancestry and/or color and/or race and/or citizenship and/or ethnic origin and/or place of residence. ‘origin, what constitutes a fault,’ reads Hominuk’s notice. of hearing.
It is not known what Hominuk would have said. Neither he nor his attorney returned calls from CTV News on Wednesday.
The case had its first appearance at a Toronto police disciplinary hearing on Tuesday.
Critics say the new disciplinary charge is a sign that more work needs to be done to root out racist attitudes within the force.
“It’s rampant,” Nigel Bariffe of the Urban Race Relations Alliance said in an interview.
“The Toronto Police Service may make grandiose claims about building bridges with the communities they police, but we continue to see incidents.”
This is not the first time that Hominuk has been accused of misconduct caught on police cameras.
In 2010, he was recorded by a camera in the back of a police car threatening to taser a suspect in the genitals if that person did not provide information. The taser was not discharged and the man was not injured.
At that time, Hominuk pleaded guilty to dishonorable conduct. He was found guilty by the court of threatening bodily harm, but was granted parole as the judge accepted evidence that his diabetes played a part – he hadn’t slept the night before, he hadn’t ate recently and had low blood sugar.
Hominuk kept his job but was bumped from first class to second class for a year.
The case is an illustration that body cameras can change the behavior of officers — but only for a short time as police become familiar with their use, said Akwasi Owusu-Bempah, assistant professor in the sociology department at the University of Toronto, speaking for the Canadian Civil Liberties Association.
“This incident in isolation is troubling,” Owusu-Bempah said. “We need to look at the institutional and systemic factors of policing that would make this officer feel comfortable making such remarks in front of others.”
Toronto police have charged Abdirashid Ismail Adam, 32, with first-degree murder in McKnollys’ death.