Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Lying cop frames an innocent man 

The cop I am mainly writing about is Constable Bradley Trenouth of the Toronto Police Service. Considering how he lied in court, his last name should be Trenchmouth. Trench mouth is a severe gum infection caused by a buildup of bacteria in the mouth. Only in this particular cop, the buildup of bacteria is in his brain.

The victim of this story is an adult man whose name is Jason Jaggernaut. This story begins on October 31, 2014 and ends in August 14, 2017.

Two officers, PC Blakely and PC Trenouth, were on general patrol in a police vehicle shortly after 1:00 a.m. when they observed a male on a bicycle weaving side to side and entering into a traffic lane without looking. They stopped the male, later identified as Herbert, and when they spoke to him, the officers observed a strong smell of alcohol on his breath.  On further investigation, the officers learned that Herbert was the subject of a bench warrant for a theft under charge. The officers arrested him and agreed to take his bicycle to his residence on the way to the police division. 

  When the officers arrived at Herbert’s apartment, they knocked on the door. There was no answer and no sound within. The officers noted a smell of marijuana in the hallway. Herbert provided the key to the premises, and the officers were able to enter.

 The apartment was very small, estimated by one police witness to be ten feet by ten feet, with the living room and kitchen area in one room. There were four males in the apartment. An adult male, later identified as Jordan Davis, was standing by the kitchen counter a few feet from the entrance. The officers observed a black scale, and a steak knife next to the scale on the counter. There was white residue on the scale, knife and counter. Also on the counter, they observed a torn yellow grocery bag on top of a Pizza Pizza box.

 A second adult male, Jason Jaggernaut, was sitting on a chair facing the centre of the apartment. There was white powder on the floor next to him.   

 A few feet from the entrance,, two males were sitting on wooden chairs at either side of a table. One was an adult male, variously referred to in the evidence as Nembhard Walker, Javante Watson, and finally identified as Jaimal Nembard-WalkerOn the table were some zig zag papers and a marijuana grinder. Across the table from Walker was the accused youth, MC, sitting with his back to the wall. His full name can’t be used in this article as per a court order.        

The males remained in their positions while Blakely radioed for back up. Herbert was seated near the fridge, so at this point there were seven people in the small apartment.  Other officers soon arrived, including Officers Kerr, (female officer) Reigert, Braganza and Hibbit.  

When the backup officers arrived, Blakely informed them that the males were going to be arrested for possession of cocaine. The males were all handcuffed and seated. The officers later testified that the scene in the apartment was calm.

Blakely testified that at the time of the arrest, We observed MC. slide a white plastic bag with his, back under the table using his left foot, at which time Police Constable Kerr picked it up.”

Kerr testified that she walked into the apartment and stood directly in front of MC.  She stated that when she stood in front of him, he was sitting upright in the chair. She stated that MC turned his left toe outward very slowly and then began to draw it back very slowly and that she observed him pushing a white plastic bag back towards him, towards the chair, it was a very controlled movement and very slight. “It was a very slight controlled movement. It didn’t go very far before I stopped it. I would say two to three inches.”

Kerr stated that she reached out with her right foot, stepped on the bag, and pulled it towards herself, leaving it by her foot. She then arrested the accused. (MC)

On a pat down search of the accused, she located one cell phone and a “wad of cash”, neither of which were seized or in evidence at trial. The meaning of “wad”, and the amount of money found on the accused, was not established.

Kerr testified that the white bag had a knot at the top. Inside the bag there was a green plastic bag which contained a silver plastic bag. The silver bag contained a clear Ziploc baggie which contained 89.76 grams of cocaine.

MC was transported to the police station where he was searched. A pouch was located in the fly area of his jeans. The pouch held three small pieces of crack, weighing 1.19g, wrapped in grey plastic and knotted.

There was a blue nylon bag front of where MC was sitting in the apartment. There was no coherent or consistent account of exactly where the bag was located, nor was it clear which officer dealt with it. The bag was found to contain 2.9 g. of cocaine wrapped in grey plastic and 5.54 g of marijuana in a zip lock bag. There was no evidence establishing who owned or possessed this bag.

Given the generic nature of grey plastic bags, about which the judge took judicial notice, the fact that the cocaine was in a grey plastic bag, and the accused had a grey plastic bag in his pants was not sufficient, in the judge’s view, to tie the drugs in the blue nylon bag to the accused, MC.

  Constable Riegert had arrested  Jordan Davis who had been seated by the police, and 1.76 grams of crack were found by the foot of his chair. When Davis stood up, Reigert stated that “a huge crack rock fell out of his pants”, and that when he was taken out to the hallway, more crack cocaine, cocaine powder and rock fragments fell from his waist band and pant legs. Additional loose crack cocaine fell from his pant leg during a level 3 search at the police division. In addition the officer located $550 in cash, two cell phones, and identification belonging to other persons, on Davis. In total Davis was found in possession of 105.77 grams of crack.

Constable Trennouth dealt with Jaggernaut. He later said that he had Jaggernaut stand up, and as he did so, a solid white substance, that was crack cocaine, fell to the ground. Jaggernaut was then cuffed, searched, and arrested. The drug on the floor was seized. Jaggernaut had two cell phones and a small amount of money on his person. The weight of cocaine found on or near Jaggernaut totaled 8.05 grams. 

Blakely dealt with Walker, the male sitting opposite side of the table from MC. Walker was arrested and searched. Walker had 9.56 grams of marijuana in his vest pocket, a sandwich bag containing 17.71 grams of cocaine in a pocket of his shorts, a further 8.5 g of cocaine in a knotted plastic bag in the front pocket of his shorts, and 6 smaller bags of crack and powder cocaine in the waistband of his pants. Walker was also found to possess $480 Canadian, $9 American, and two cell phones.

According to the expert testimony, the value of the drugs found in the apartment was close to $30,000. Obviously, the drugs weren’t for personal use.      

The judge ruled that the only cocaine that was in plain view in the apartment was the white powder and residue on the counter, scales and knife, and the powder on the floor next to Jaggernaut. There was no evidence the accused ever “knowingly put or kept the objects in a particular place”, or exercised any measure of control over any of the drugs other than those he judge had previously dealt with. The fact the accused was present in the room may establish knowledge of the presence of some drugs, but does not establish control of the drugs.

The judge also said in his ruling, “In my view, the evidence, circumstantial or otherwise, does not lead to an inference that the accused had any measure of control over any of these drugs.  In the result, I find that the crown has failed to establish that the accused had possession of these drugs under the theory of joint or constructive possession.”

It would have been impossible to determine who really had control of the drugs that were in plain view when the police entered the apartment.

The judge also ruled. “In this case there is no evidence of a common intention or a common purpose entertained by all the persons in the room, or by the accused in concert with any one of them to traffic in the cocaine.”

Obviously those people in that apartment had drugs in their pockets in which they were using the drugs for their own purposes. There was no evidence that it was used for trafficking, the crime which they were charged with.

Other than the crack cocaine in the clothing of the accused, and the cocaine in the white plastic bag, and the cocaine on the counter, scales, knife and floor, the rest of the cocaine was discovered when the police arrived and had the other males stand up or searched. The drugs fell from their clothing, or were located during a search of their person. There is no evidence that those drugs were visible before the police entered the room and commenced the investigation.
The police had no right to enter Herbert’s apartment. He only wanted to place his bike in the apartment for its safety. When they entered the apartment, it was without a search warrant. That is because they only arrested Herbert on a bench warrant. That means that because they entered the apartment without a warrant, their entry was illegal. Aside from them not seeing any evidence of drugs or drug paraphernalia when they first entered the apartment, they had no authority to proceed further into the apartment where they did see drugs on the floor and table. 

Now I am going to deal specifically with Constable Trenouth’s role in this case. In doing this, I am literally quoting the column written by Toronto Star staff reporter, Peter Goffin. It is titled, A few bad apples? More like a bushel

Drug charges against three men have been thrown out after a judge ruled that a Toronto police officer had been “deliberately misleading” in his testimony and notes in an attempt to “strengthen the case” against one of the accused.

Const. Bradley Trenouth “falsely attributed” a large piece of crack to Toronto man Jason Jaggernauth, Judge Katherine Corrick wrote in her Aug. 8 decision, staying the charges against Jaggernauth.

Because of Trenouth’s actions, Judge Corrick excluded evidence gathered by him and other officers from the trial of Jaggernauth’s co-accused, leading the judge to find them not guilty in the same decision.

“The false attribution of evidence to an accused’s possession, and false testimony by a police officer constitute precisely the type of state misconduct that undermines the integrity of the judicial process,” the judge wrote.

Jaggernauth, Jordan Davis and Jimal Nembrand-Walker were charged with possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking and possession of the proceeds of crime in 2014, after police found them in a Scarborough apartment that contained multiple types of drugs and drug paraphernalia.

Police officers found several grams of crack on Davis and crack, powdered cocaine and other drugs in Nembrand-Walker’s pockets at the time of the arrest, judge Corrick wrote in her decision.

Police did not find any drugs on Jaggernauth, Corrick said.

Trenouth testified in a pretrial hearing that he saw a large piece of crack fall from Jaggernauth when officers got Jaggernauth to stand up from his chair — testimony that was backed up by the notes Trenouth said he took at the time of Jaggernauth’s arrest, according to the judge’s decision.

But at the trial several months later, Trenouth told the court that he did not see the crack fall from Jaggernauth, Corrick wrote. Instead, Trenouth testified that he found the piece of crack on the floor near Jaggernauth and assumed it had fallen from him.

Judge Corrick noted other discrepancies between Trenouth’s pretrial and trial testimonies in her decision.

At the preliminary hearing, Trenouth said he picked the large ball of crack off the floor after forensic officers had taken photos of the scene. But the photos taken do not include images of that specific piece of crack, the judge wrote.

Trenouth told the court that might be because the piece of crack had been moved or stepped on before the photos were taken.
The large piece of crack was also missing from evidence photos taken by police about three hours later, in Trenouth’s presence, the judge said.

Trenouth’s story changed at trial, where he said there were no photos of the piece of crack because he had already picked it up and put it in his pocket before the photos were taken, Judge Corrick wrote.

Judge Corrick ruled on Aug. 8 that Trenouth did not find the crack near Jaggernauth, as the police officer had claimed.

“I have concluded that Officer Trenouth was deliberately misleading when he prepared his notes and testified at the preliminary hearing, in an effort to strengthen the case,” Corrick wrote.

It is unlikely that Trenouth, who has eight years of police experience, would pick up unwrapped drugs and put them in his pocket at a crime scene, Corrick said.

And if Trenouth had merely been mistaken in his pretrial testimony, he should have informed the Crown before the case went to trial, the judge added.

An investigation should be immediately opened into Trenouth’s conduct in the case, Jaggernauth’s lawyer Chris O’Connor said in an interview.

“The bottom line is . . . an officer falsely attributed an exhibit to my client that never was on my client,” O’Connor said.

Toronto police spokesperson Meaghan Gray said she “can’t say whether (Trenouth) will face any discipline.” All disciplinary matters are confidential until the officer in question has appeared before a police services tribunal, Gray added.

“Generally speaking an investigation into allegations of an officer providing false evidence in court could lead to criminal charges (such as) perjury or (internal) discipline under the Police Services Act,” Gray said.
Judge Corrick was scathing in her decision about the effects of Trenouth’s false testimony.

“It is difficult to imagine how public confidence can be maintained in the rule of law when police officers present false evidence against accused persons,” Judge Corrick wrote. “Our justice system cannot function unless courts can rely on the willingness of witnesses to . . . tell the truth.” unquote

Now we will wait to see what Toronto Police Chief Saunders decides to do with this rotten apple. When I learn that information, I will place it at the end of this article as an UPDATE. 

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