Toronto police officer admits to making 'inappropriate' racial remark at scene of fatal shooting
Published Tuesday, March 28, 2023 12:46PM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, March 28, 2023 12:51PM EDT
A Toronto police officer has pled guilty to a disciplinary act charge after he speculated to another officer at the scene of a fatal shooting that a “Somalian guy did it” or “at least…Black guy.”
Const. Christopher Hominuk entered the misconduct plea at a police tribunal hearing on Monday.
According to an agreed statement of facts, Hominuk was assigned to 23 Division when he responded to a radio call for a shooting at an Etobicoke plaza shortly after midnight on July 20, 2021.
The documents state that the incident that led to the shooting began inside a Somalian restaurant, which is “frequented by members of the Somalian community.”
The documents also say that the victim in the case, 22-year-old Jovahn McKnollys, was Somalian.
“In light of all of this, officer Hominuk drew an inference and remarked to another officer, ‘Somalian guy did it…or at least…black guy.’ It was an attempt at humour designed to lighten a tense situation,” the agreed statement of facts notes.
According to tribunal documents released in November, Hominuk’s “inappropriate comments” were discovered by an officer reviewing body worn camera footage “for the purpose of disclosure.”
The agreed statement of facts notes that Hominuk acknowledged that the remark was inappropriate during a subsequent interview with members of the Professional Standards Unit and “apologized for making it.”
The documents also state that Hominuk acknowledged that the comments “could be construed as offensive” under the protected grounds set out by the Ontario Human Rights Code.
“In doing so, officer Hominuk committed misconduct in that he did act in a disorderly manner or in a manner prejudicial to discipline or likely to bring discredit upon the reputation of the Toronto Police Service,” the documents state.
Hominuk also pleaded guilty to discreditable conduct in 2010 after he was recorded by a camera in a back of a police cruiser threatening to taser a suspect in the genitals if that person didn’t provide information.
Hominuk was demoted from first class to second class constable for a year following the guilty plea.
It is not clear what penalty Hominuk will face in connection with Monday’s guilty plea. A spokesperson for the Toronto Police Service said that a decision will be released “when it’s ready.”