Dec 08, 2014
By Jane Brown
The chair of the Toronto Police Services Board is fighting back. Alok Mukherjee is demanding that Toronto Police Association President Mike McCormack retract statements made about him over a poster he shared on Facebook. Mukherjee says he’s the victim of a “smear campaign” steeped in “racism” to “destroy” his reputation.
“He has in fact, suggested, that somehow I’ve been sympathetic to the terrorists, or I was comparing the police, Toronto Police, to ISIS. That is so offensive. I did no such thing whatsoever,” Mukherjee tells the CBC.
He says the campaign has been organized by his opponents to shut down his efforts to introduce reforms to Toronto’s Police Service. Mukherjee is also hinting at taking legal action and consulted a lawyer about it yesterday.
The post Mukherjee shared on Facebook, which has now been removed, says “Americans killed by ISIS: 3, Americans killed by Ebola: 2, Americans killed by the police, 500+ every year. Mukherjee says he regrets the post.
In calling for his resignation, McCormack says Mukherjee has no objectivity, is biased against policing and is not fit to continue as chair. McCormack says he won’t back down. He also disputes Mukherjee’s accusations that he’s grandstanding ahead of all important contract negotiations.
“Mukherjee well knows that we’ve been involved in police reform the last few years, we’ve been involved in discussions. We’ve already made significant changes in policing, civilianized a whole bunch of positions. We’re currently looking at a whole list of issues around policing and reform. And we’ve been sitting at the table having these discussions. Clearly this is deflection. He needs to take ownership of these comments, address what they are, and address the concerns that we’ve raised,” McCormack explains.
Mike McCormack is the first guest up on the New AM 740’s Goldhawk Fights Back right after the 11am news today.
Mukherjee says the Toronto Police Association has resisted reform. He also says he plans to fulfill his provincially appointed commitment until 2016 and will hire a new chief and usher in a new era of change.
Mayor John Tory called Mukherjee’s posting on Facebook, an “error in judgement since it just inflames situations here in Toronto.”