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TTC fires 2 officers involved in violent streetcar altercation last year

Last Updated Jan 22, 2021 at 5:48 pm EST

The TTC has fired two constables that were involved in a streetcar altercation almost a year ago.

The union representing the constables revealed the termination has called the decision politically motivated and says the investigation was flawed.

On Feb. 7, 2020, a man was caught on video in a violent altercation with transit officers.

In December, an independent investigator had determined three TTC officers used excessive force against the man.

 

 

 

Steven Phackaberry, 34, was charged with two counts of uttering threats and two counts of assaulting an officer.

The incident occurred on the 501 Queen streetcar near River Street shortly before 8 a.m. on Friday morning.

The union representing TTC constables, fare inspectors and service guards released a statement expressing disappointed in the decision by the TTC.

“In an unfortunate turn of events, we were informed earlier today that both of our officers involved in this incident have been terminated,” reads the statement. “The decision comes in the wake of an 11-month investigation by Rubin Thomlinson that was politically motivated and failed to take into consideration any of the relevant legal, procedural, or factual evidence.”

When asked for comment on the statement from CUPE, the TTC said “the statement is accurate” and would not comment further.

The independent investigation from Rubin Thomlinson LLP, a third-party workplace investigation firm, revealed that both Special Constables used unnecessary force against the passenger and that one fare inspector used unauthorized and unnecessary force against the man as well.

The report says the initial interaction between the passenger and the TTC Special Constables and fare inspectors did not breach any TTC policy.

The investigator made four recommendations including improving training on how to interact with anyone who has mental health issues.

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