Seven months ago the Ontario Provincial Police were aware that one of their officers, Constable Darren Zorn, was using crack, or at least hanging around with a woman “known to police” while she got high. A few months later, internal investigators reported that he gave this same woman money to buy crack.
Until very recently, perhaps up to this week, this motorcycle cop was still on active duty. Two days ago he was served notice that he was being charged with “discreditable conduct” (not a criminal charge) and yesterday he skipped his disciplinary hearing.
The Ottawa based constable also happens to be President of his Police Association. If he is found to have violated the Police Services Act by behaving “in a disorderly manner or in a manner prejudicial to discipline or likely to bring discredit up the reputation” of the OPP, he risks being kicked off the force. That’s the maximum penalty.
I stood before the judge that day as he refused me bail
And I knew that I would spend my time awaiting trial in jail
I said there is no justice as they led me out of the door
The judge said, “This isn’t a court of justice, son. This is a court of law.”
Is it any wonder there is so much distrust of the cops, and the entire legal system, amongst the outer class? Street addicts do hard time for crack. Some may even have been busted by Constable Zorn. If they were to miss a court date, there would be an immediate bench warrant issued for their arrest and they would spend time, possibly many months, in jail “on remand” despite never having been convicted. Should they be found innocent later, they wouldn’t get any of that time back, nor any compensation at all.
According to Statistics Canada, the number of adult prisoners in remand in Canada now exceeds those serving sentences. No wonder our jails are over capacity. I wonder if the innocent get the best bunks.
No, I suppose those are reserved for the very rare cases in which agents of law enforcement are actually imprisoned for their crimes.
Here’s Billy Bragg’s take on it.