Sun, May 31, 2002
Sun Media Corporation, 333 King St. E., Toronto, Ontario M5A 3X5
By Gretchen Drummie, Courts Bureau
The lead cop in the Pussy Palace lesbian bathhouse raid admitted yesterday he was told by senior Toronto Police officers, including Chief Julian Fantino, that he was a "lightning rod" who was "hated and feared" in the cityís gay community.
But Det. Dave Wilson denied a suggestion he has a personal issue with gay sex practices, saying "what I have a problem with is (illegal) activity going on in a public area."
And Wilson further denied he thought it was immoral for the women to be topless inside the club. "Being semi-nude wasnít illegal. If it was criminal it would have been immoral. Thatís how my mind works. Iím a cop," Wilson testified.
Wilson and six other officers are suing Councillor Kyle Rae for defamation over remarks made after a liquor licence inspection of the event by undercover officers.
They claim Raeís alleged September 2000 comments that the cops were "rogue officers" and "cowboys" on a "panty raid" to "catch a peek at topless women" has damaged their careers.
Testifying under cross-examination by Raeís lawyer, John Holding, Wilson agreed that he became a "targeted man" by the gay community in the wake of two controversial inspections of gay bars prior to the Pussy Palace raid.
Holding was critical of Wilson for not enlisting female officers to do the inspection, noting a judge dismissed liquor act charges laid against the Pussy Place organizers because the use of male officers violated the womenís privacy rights.
Two female undercover cops went in initially to covertly gather information, but Wilson said he didnít consider calling in more female cops because "police officers are police officers.
"The (Police) Act allows for police officers to do certain duties. Itís unfortunate people felt uncomfortable but we didnít make up the laws, we enforce them. My interpretation of the Act is male officers can go in."
This article Originally appeared in the Toronto Sun