More than a dozen Peel cops were found guilty of crimes since 2017, records show. None lost their jobs

Weapon charges, fraud among offences committed by Peel officers, CBC analysis of disciplinary rulings shows

Apr 06, 2023


Michelle O'Neill's ex-boyfriend, veteran Peel Regional Police officer Amarjit Rehan, pleaded guilty in July 2020 to a criminal charge of being unlawfully in her home. Peel police confirmed in November that Rehan was still a member of the service on regular duties. (Hugo Levesque/CBC)

When Michelle O'Neill awoke in the middle of the night in July 2019, she thought she was imagining the figure she saw in the darkness.

Instead, Amarjit Rehan, her ex-boyfriend and a veteran Peel Regional Police officer, was sitting on her bed, holding her phone, and speaking incoherently. He had broken in through her window. 

"I was absolutely, 100 per cent, afraid for my life," O'Neill told CBC Toronto in a recent interview. 

Rehan was one of dozens named in a collection of recent disciplinary tribunal rulings released to CBC Toronto. 

Last August, CBC Toronto requested all Peel police disciplinary findings since 2017. The service released more than 40 rulings, detailing hearings under Ontario's Police Services Act. 

The records show more than a dozen officers were found guilty of criminal offences before being convicted at the disciplinary tribunal. Those offences span a variety of crimes, including drinking and driving offences, forgery, weapons offences, and multiple officers found guilty of criminal assault. 

None of those officers were fired. 

Other officers were charged with criminal offences and then acquitted, or found guilty under legislation like the Highway Traffic Act. 

Three officers named in the records lost their jobs. One, with a history of misconduct, was found to have repeatedly lied to a superior and neglected workplace duties, including attending court. Another made several false benefits claims. A third appealed his dismissal for sexual misconduct, but retired before the matter was completed.

One case recently posted on Peel's website, which was not included among the records previously released to CBC Toronto, describes a fourth officer being ordered to resign or be dismissed. Some of the rulings reviewed by CBC Toronto contain apparent references to other cases that Peel police did not release.

'There is a double standard': advocate

Abby Deshman, former director of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association's criminal justice program, said she does not believe every officer convicted of a crime should lose their job. But she said it is clear a criminal conviction is a larger obstacle for an ordinary citizen than a police officer.

"There is a double standard," Deshman said. "Many people are summarily dismissed… even on… the basis of a criminal allegation that hasn't been proven." 

An officer's positive employment history and acceptance of responsibility for misconduct can mitigate their penalty before a disciplinary tribunal. Past misconduct and other factors can have the opposite impact on an officer's penalty.



Abby Deshman, former director of the criminal justice program for the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, says civilians often face more negative consequences than police officers do if convicted of a crime. (CBC)

Ottawa lawyer Joël Dubois, who has worked for multiple police services, including Peel police, said tribunals see charges that contradict an officer's duty to uphold the law as particularly serious. These include charges connected to dishonesty and criminal convictions, Dubois said.

When a tribunal is considering dismissal, Dubois said, it asks whether an officer is still useful to the service and the public. 

"The analysis is whether or not, taking into consideration all of the sentencing factors … that police officer can still be, if you will, quote-unquote useful," Dubois said. 

Victim says she 'second-guessed' herself

Like most of the officers named in the records released to CBC Toronto, Rehan pleaded guilty rather than contest the charge against him in his subsequent internal disciplinary hearing. 

He was arrested and pleaded guilty in 2020 to a criminal charge of being unlawfully in O'Neill's home. Brian Micner, Rehan's criminal lawyer, declined to comment.

Rehan's rank was reduced to second-class police constable for eight months after a disciplinary hearing, and he was ordered to complete a "partner assault response program," among other conditions. His representative at the tribunal said the penalty would entail $13,500 in lost salary, according to hearing records.

Peel Regional Police confirmed in November that Rehan was still a member of the service on regular duties but said it couldn't comment further on individual cases.

It did say the disciplinary process is aimed at corrective action against officers whenever possible.

"While there are certainly some instances of serious misconduct that can be aggravating enough, on their own, that they warrant dismissal, the Police Services Act also requires hearing officers to treat the respondent police officer with a view to fairness and a focus on corrective discipline as opposed to punitive discipline," Sgt. Jennifer Trimble said in an email. 

The night of the break-in, O'Neill said she had fallen asleep while compiling records of her communications with Rehan.

During the course of their on-and-off relationship, O'Neill said Rehan was often verbally abusive, "volatile," and threatened to use his police powers to have her arrested and destroy her career as a naturopath.

"He told me on numerous occasions he wanted to watch me die," O'Neill said.

O'Neill said she doesn't recall what she said to convince Rehan to leave after the break-in. She said she remained calm as Rehan, whom she described as "visibly impaired," stumbled through her home, telling her she should have remembered to lock her door.

"Single female — I live alone. I've never not locked my door," O'Neill said. "I, again … for the hundredth time in our relationship, second-guessed myself." 

Peel Regional Police says in a statement the disciplinary process is aimed at taking corrective action against officers whenever possible. (Peel Regional Police)

Police repeatedly kicked impaired driving suspect

Other disciplinary records include a ruling for Const. Sunny Mukhi, found guilty of criminal assault alongside Const. Roman Marchyshyn in 2021. A tribunal ordered Mukhi's rank reduced from first- to second-class constable for six months. Both officers received conditional discharges, according to tribunal records.

The assault involved a driver named Conan Hamdani.

Hamdani was intoxicated when he ran a red light in front of Mukhi before speeding away in a Land Rover, according to a judge's ruling from the criminal proceeding. Mukhi followed Hamdani, who leapt from the vehicle while it was still moving, and the chase continued on foot.

Surveillance video filed in court and viewed by CBC Toronto shows the officers finding Hamdani hiding underneath a backyard barbecue. They beat him as he lays on the ground.

WATCH | Surveillance video shows Peel police officers arresting and kicking impaired driving suspect who fled:

Surveillance video captures the arrest of Conan Hamdani by Peel Regional Police officers in 2021. Hamdani had fled from the officers after driving through a red light while intoxicated, according to a judge’s ruling from a criminal proceeding. Two officers, Const. Sunny Mukhi and Const. Roman Marchyshyn, were found guilty of assault for their role in the arrest.

A Peel spokesperson said that Marchyshyn pleaded guilty to one count of discreditable conduct in February, but a penalty decision had not been released. 

Both Mukhi and Marchyshyn remain employed with the force as constables on regular duties, the spokesperson said.

CBC News contacted both officers by email but did not receive a response. 

As a result of the assault, Hamdani and his wife filed a lawsuit against the officers, Peel police officials, and the police service board. Hamdani's lawyerDarren Sederoffsaid the lawsuit was eventually settled and a confidentiality agreement prevented him from sharing details.

Hamdani's own charges were withdrawn at the request of the Crown, according to the statement of claim. 

Officer assaulted man with mental health issues 

In May 2021, Const. Abdul Deffie escorted a suspect experiencing mental health issues arrested for mischief to the Brampton Civic Hospital.

When the suspect grabbed paperwork from Deffie and ripped it up, the officer held him down on a bed "and delivered multiple closed fist strikes," according to a tribunal ruling. Deffie stopped when a nurse intervened.

Citing several mitigating factors, including Deffie's employment history, a hearing officer ordered him to forfeit 10 eight-hour days' pay and complete additional training.

Deffie too remains employed as a constable with Peel police on "regular duties," a spokesperson said. 

CBC News contacted Deffie by email but did not receive a response. 

Yet another one of the officers named in the documents may have avoided dismissal by retiring. According to a summary of tribunal testimony, Cst. Timothy Brooks entered a room at a Brampton Motel 6 where a sex worker had just finished meeting with a client. The woman testified that she was partially covering herself with a small towel when she answered a knock at her door. The woman and Brooks spoke at her door, and the officer entered the room when the woman went to answer her phone. 

Brooks, touched the woman's thigh and shoulders, and asked her what she charged for oral sex, the summary said. He said he would return when his shift ended, according to a summary of the woman's testimony. 

The woman reported her interaction with Brooks after she and her boyfriend were arrested later that day.

The tribunal also heard Brooks was previously disciplined for sexual misconduct, including downloading and viewing pornography on duty, in a case reported by the Toronto Star in 2015. 

The veteran officer was dismissed for one count of discreditable conduct related to the interaction at the Motel 6, and received a forfeiture of eight days' pay for a second charge related to note-taking. 

Brooks appealed to the Ontario Civilian Police Commission, but a ruling posted online says he retired before the matter was completed. 

Brooks denied the woman's story in an interview with internal affairs detectives, saying he never touched her, asked about oral sex, or became aroused. Brooks also said the woman was worried someone would see them speaking, and asked the officer to step into the hotel room. He said he also suggested she put some clothing on, according to an interview transcript reviewed by CBC Toronto. 

Officer bears '100% responsibility,' says victim

Lawyer Maureen Salama said she has seen some cases of misconduct that could be attributed to serious mental health issues, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), often as a result of officers' work. 

Salama said she represented an officer who was ordered to resign or be dismissed for misconduct that included repeatedly lying about working unpaid days. She said the officer was diagnosed with an adjustment disorder after "several losses … in a very short amount of time, including a miscarriage." 

The tribunal heard testimony from a psychologist and psychiatrist who had treated and assessed the officer. 

"Disability is considered a sentencing factor," Salama said. "I don't know that it's often given the weight it deserves." 

For her part, O'Neill continues to work as a naturopath and is establishing a clinic devoted to treating first responders. 

She says Rehan was on mental health leave during their relationship. He also abused alcohol and had sought treatment for post traumatic stress, according to a summary of his representative's tribunal submissions.

But while O'Neill believes sleep deprivation, danger and other parts of an officer's work have powerful psychological impacts, she was unequivocal about where she lays the blame for the break-in that made her leave her old home, and left her with long-term sleep problems, persistent fear and post traumatic stress. 

"He bears 100 per cent responsibility for his actions," she said.


Commentary by the Ottawa Mens Centre

First  notice  how CBC refuse to allow anyone to comment on this story, its the establishment engaging in censorship and in this case apparently afraid of the Police.

CBC has a very long history of censorship, political correctness in protecting police from comments about their criminal conduct.

This particular offense is relatively minor compared to the cases that the Police cover up.

Take the case of Ottawa Police now Sargent Peter Van Der Zander who personally fabricated evidence to obstruct justice. His fabricated written report was the direct opposite of a police interview.

Its enough to make  you want to puke.

Police Forces like Peel and Ottawa operate like private corporations, or more to the point, Criminal Organizations.