May 19, 2024
Clarke has pleaded guilty to seven counts of police misconduct under Ontario’s Police Services Act for her lead role in a cheating scandal stemming from a competitive sergeants’ promotional process in late 2021. This week, her sentencing hearing has put Toronto police’s promotional practices under the microscope, particularly as it concerns racialized cops.

Stacy Clarke spread ‘cancer’ that cheating is acceptable inside Toronto police, prosecutor argues

Supt. Stacy Clarke’s misconduct instilled the idea that “part of being an officer of the Toronto Police Service is cheating,” prosecutor Scott Hutchison said Friday

Toronto police Supt. Stacy Clarke’s role in a promotional cheating scandal was “an attack on the core values of the institution by somebody who knew better” — someone who wielded the tremendous influence of a barrier-breaking senior cop, a police prosecutor argued Friday. 

That Clarke — who has admitted to leaking confidential interview questions to six Black constables seeking a promotion in 2021 — committed professional misconduct while being a respected figure both inside and out of the force is a “profoundly serious aggravating factor,” said prosecutor Scott Hutchison in closing arguments Friday. The highest ranking Black woman in the force’s history, Clarke set the example of success, particularly to Black cops, he said.

But by cheating, she was “propagating” within her six Black mentees — officers who, Hutchison noted, never asked for her illicit help — the belief that her behaviour was okay. Her actions instilled the idea that “part of being an officer of the Toronto Police Service is cheating,” he said.

Had her misconduct not come to light, the officers may well have gone on to leadership positions and passed on that idea.

“And that cancer grows,” Hutchison said.

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