Winning Against Police Testimony

Cross-examination of police officers is difficult because they are professional witnesses but when they are not telling the truth and you have an experienced counsel doing the cross-examination, anything is possible.

My Experience In Offences Related To The Police

R. v. G. (2016 Brampton) - Assault of Police, Weapons Dangerous, and Assault Resisting Arrest
Factual Background: My client was out collecting scrap metal and the police thought that he was acting suspiciously. He responded in an animated manner, the police felt threatened, they tried to arrest him, he struggled.

Strategy: As my client was 80 years old I convinced the Crown that this was all a big misunderstanding.

Decision/Outcome: All charges were withdrawn.
R. V. P. (Milton Court, September 2010)
Factual Background: Client, a young person, tried to protect a friend at school but got beat up in the process. While returning to school, the client was approached by a police officer and then a scuffle started and the client was charged with Assaulting Police and Assault Causing Bodily Harm on a Teacher.

Strategy: Convince the Crown that the young person had no intent to assault the officer and had no intent to hurt the teacher.

Decision/Outcome: Crown withdrew the Assault Police Charge and the client plead guilty to assaulting the teacher without intent to harm him. The received a conditional discharge and probation for 1 year.
R. V. R. (Brampton Court, March 2010)
Factual Background: Client charged with Causing a Disturbance for yelling and swearing at police who were called to the hotel where he was staying because he was causing trouble.

Strategy: Convince the Crown to allow the client to perform some community service; write an apology and have the charge withdrawn.

Decision/Outcome: Crown agreed and charges were withdrawn.
R. v. BH. Ontario Court of Justice, 2201 Finch Ct., 2007
Factual Background: Client was alleged to have picked up a prostitute and then when the police tried to investigate by stopping him, it was alleged that he tried to run over the police officer. The client denied ever picking up a prostitute and said he did not know it was a police officer who was trying to stop him.

The Strategy: Find a solution that did not result in a criminal record for the client and if a trial is necessary avoid having the client testify because his version was not believable.

Decision/Outcome: On the day of trial I was able to have the client apologize to the officer, who was not in uniform on the night in question, and then had the Crown agree that if the client got some counseling, he would be allowed to plead guilty to the Highway Traffic Offence of Careless Driving. We then adjourned the case to allow the client to complete his counseling and all criminal charges were withdrawn.
R. v. D.I. Ontario Court of Justice, Brampton Ct., 2009
Factual Background: Police are called to a domestic disturbance between a mother and her 20 year old daughter. Police arrive and are very aggressive and an altercation takes place between police and the mother. The daughter then steps forward and is restrained by the police; she struggles to free herself and strikes an officer in the process. She is then knocked down and the mother is grabbed by police at which point the daughter is alleged to threaten the police officer who is touching her mother. Both mother and daughter are in their pajamas and neither one has ever been in trouble. Police arrest the daughter for assaulting and threatening a police officer.

The Strategy: Convince the Crown that this is stupid and they should not be prosecuting this university student who has never been in any trouble before.

Decision/Outcome: Client wrote a letter of apology and signed a peace bond; charges withdrawn by the Crown Attorney.
R. v. P. Ontario Court of Justice, Brampton Ct., 2004
Factual Background: Mr. P. was not liked by the police and they were watching him constantly. They arrested him for assaulting and threatening an officer with a knife and for trespassing at night.

The Strategy: The client was innocent and it was clear to me that he was being set up but the client would not be a good witness and therefore could not testify. I would need to discredit the officers during cross-examination and raise some doubts about the way these allegations unfolded.

Decision/Outcome: Client was acquitted of all charges. The experienced trial judge commented on my cross-examination and said, about the one police witness, “Well I won’t call him a liar but he certainly wasn’t telling the truth.”
Related to
Offences Against the Police
and the Courts