Ottawa constable who covered for cocaine-carrying friend faces demotion



By Andrew Seymour, OTTAWA CITIZEN January 14, 2014


OTTAWA — An Ottawa police officer is facing a demotion after he admitted to covering for a friend who appeared to drop baggies of cocaine on a strip club floor.

Const. Jordon Shields was off-duty and at the Bare Fax strip club in the ByWard Market on July 14 when surveillance cameras in the bar recorded his friend appearing to inadvertently drop something as the two men chatted with a pair of dancers.

A short time later, a waitress noticed what she believed to be the baggie of cocaine on the floor near where the men had been standing and pointed it out to Shields, who picked it up and put it in his pocket. Shields — who had already been identified to a dancer in the club as being a police officer — later showed the baggie to a dancer and told her his friend had dropped it on the floor and that he didn’t want him to get in trouble, according to an agreed statement of facts.

Minutes later, the friend dropped another baggie of what appeared to be cocaine on the floor as the two men stood at the bar. The waitress again noticed the baggie and pointed it out to the friend, who picked it up. This time the waitress notified door staff, who called for police assistance since it had been made known that Shields was a police officer.

Shields initially denied any knowledge of drugs when patrol officers responded, although later admitted to one of the officers that he was walking behind his friend and saw him drop a baggie of what is believed to be cocaine on the floor. Shields told the officer he did not know his friend used cocaine and that he scolded him about it, but returned the alleged drugs to him. No drugs were ever found.

Shields, a seven-year veteran who had never been in trouble before, couldn’t recall specifics when asked about that night by internal police investigators. He is currently on front desk duties at the east division police station.

Shields pleaded guilty Tuesday to discreditable conduct under the Police Services Act.

The Ottawa police and counsel for Shields agreed a four-month demotion from first to second-class constable was an appropriate penalty.

Shields is expected to be sentenced Jan. 30.