TORONTO – On the way to his own swearing in ceremony, newly installed chief of police Mark Saunders was stopped and questioned by Toronto police.
The married father of four was “crept up on” by two officers in a cruiser as he walked towards City Hall, who were advised there had been some suspicious activity in the area and asked for his ID.
“Sir, calm down! Calm down sir!,” said one of the Officers to a completely stationary, silent Saunders. “Just let us do our jobs!” he then yelled.
Saunders said he didn’t have his identification on him. When the officers asked why he replied “because I’m the chief of police. Look at my uniform.”
The two constables radioed their supervisor, who showed up in another cruiser a few minutes later. He proceeded to frisk the police chief.
“I was really scared,” said Saunders. “Even though I knew I could refuse the search, I just couldn’t get the courage to say no. There were no witnesses around, it was just me and these three officers. I was worried that something could happen and I could end up in jail or worse and nobody would see it.”
After a fifteen minute wait as one of the officers pretended to use the computer in his cruiser, Saunders was told curtly that his story “checked out” and he was allowed to go.
According to Saunders this is the tenth time this year he was carded by police.
“I expect it,” he said. “I’ve been stopped so much without cause it’s more irritating now than scary. I’m tired of feeling constantly under suspicion and tired of being treated with disrespect from the fine men and women that I am so proud to lead.”
Adding: “Now if only I could get a fucking cab.”