Former cop suing Hamilton Police and OPP

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Former cop suing Hamilton Police and OPP

Postby Thomas » Fri Apr 22, 2016 3:47 am

A former Hamilton undercover police officer, on stress leave, has filed a lawsuit against the Hamilton Police Service and the OPP for 6.75 million dollars.

A story in the Spectator says Paul Manning is alleging the service failed to protect him and his family while he was undercover investigating organized crime.

Manning says the team working with him during the infiltration lacked proper training and there was no “structured exit strategy” for him and his spouse.


There are numerous other allegations, none of which have been proven in court.

While Police Board Chair Lloyd Ferguson has refused comment, saying the suit is before the courts, he did say the board directed legal counsel to vigorously defend it.

The Manning’s are seeking $4.5-million from the Hamilton Police Service and 2.25-million from the OPP.

http://www.inews880.com/syn/66/69168/fo ... ce-and-opp

http://www.900chml.com/2016/04/21/forme ... e-and-opp/
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Hamilton cop alleges betrayal by his force

Postby Thomas » Fri Apr 22, 2016 3:55 am

Danger came with Paul Manning’s job. One time, as an undercover Hamilton police officer, he was lured into a dark basement, certain that he was about to get a bullet in the back of the head.

Other times, the danger came from within. Feeling sold out and alone, Manning says he placed his service handgun in his mouth and thought of pulling the trigger.

In an extraordinary lawsuit, Manning and his wife, Sabina, are seeking $6.75 million in damages, including $4.5 million from Hamilton police, alleging the service failed to protect him and his family, effectively ending his career. Sabina Manning claims the police had a “duty of care” to her husband that should have been “extended to her.” The couple is also seeking $2.25 million from the OPP.

Manning, an experienced undercover officer trained in England, alleges his cover team during an infiltration of illegal gambling lacked proper training and there was no “structured exit strategy” for him and his wife.

Those failures, he alleges, led to mental health issues and suicidal thoughts he shared with peers and superiors – yet no one asked him to turn in his gun.

Manning is unable to work due to chronic post-traumatic stress and is unlikely to return to police work.

He is also suspended due to pending police act charges stemming from a threat he allegedly made to a lawyer for the Hamilton Police Association, the police union.

Manning also alleges his identity was revealed by a high-ranking police colleague to a Hamilton crime family because Manning’s undercover work was close to exposing the officer’s criminal activity. The officer, Manning alleges, asked the crime family to “scare off” Manning.

Manning’s lawsuit includes a long list of explosive allegations of police corruption in Hamilton, which Manning claims to have learned about from his police duties and undercover work, including his network of informants, two of whom have since died violently.

It is highly unusual for police officers in Ontario to sue their own service and just as unusual for officers to make public allegations about the misbehaviour of colleagues.

“This is a way of punishing them,” Manning said in an interview, “because there is no other way I can punish them.”

His wife, Sabina, supports the allegations.

“He was born to be a cop, he was born to help people,” she added. “And they destroyed it.”

None of Manning’s allegations have been proven in court and many of his claims cannot be independently verified. He and his wife are representing themselves without a lawyer.

The Star and the Spectator have elected to remove many of the names in the suit, because of the serious and personal nature of the unproven allegations.

Lloyd Ferguson, chair of the Hamilton Police Services Board, said he could not comment on Manning’s statement of claim because the matter is before the court.

“The board has given legal counsel direction to vigorously defend it,” said Ferguson, councillor for Ancaster.

Neither Hamilton police nor the OPP have yet filed statements of defence. Reporters sought comment from the Ministry of the Attorney General in regards to the OPP allegations but did not receive an immediate reply.

Hamilton’s police services board is attempting to have the suit tossed out, arguing his claims should be dealt with as union grievances. In its motion, Hamilton police call Manning’s allegations “scandalous, frivolous or vexatious or are otherwise an abuse of the process of the court.”

The board also alleges Manning’s claims of “injury to reputation” are an attempt to “dress up a defamation claim.”

Among Manning’s claims in his lawsuit:

Hamilton police officers fraudulently claimed reward money from Crime Stoppers, and others were involved in “ripping off” drug dealers and marijuana grow operations.

Two officers “have been ‘on the take’ since the ’80s.” They would pay reward money to a relative and then split the proceeds.

A senior Hamilton officer sold information about the investigation into the unsolved 1998 murders of criminal lawyer Lynn Gilbank and her husband, Fred. It’s believed Gilbank may have been the subject of a gangland hit at her Ancaster home.

Several Hamilton police officers have ties to organized crime and the Hells Angels. Manning also names a Toronto officer he alleges was selling guns to Toronto gang members.

He and his wife were falsely detained and their rural home subject to an improper search by Hamilton police, who told him they had received a tip and came looking for a marijuana grow op.

More than 20 officers showed up but no grow op was found. What police did find and took from his safe without issuing a receipt, Manning alleges, were personal notebooks detailing his undercover activities.

Manning has applied to have the search warrant unsealed and his notebooks released.

An off-duty Hamilton police officer frequented an illegal “booze can” operated by a member of the Hells Angels, where cocaine was openly “snorted off the bar.”

Manning says his mental health has suffered and that he has engaged in some reckless and self-destructive acts since 2006, when his cover was compromised.

Once, during a routine traffic stop, Manning admits pointing his handgun at the driver as he experienced a flashback and thought the driver was one of the men who had tried to kill him. On another occasion, he pointed a gun at the head of an officer from behind a partially closed front door.

While Manning’s allegations are unproven, he has clearly been damaged by his police work, according to psychologists’ reports. And what is also true is that, in filing such a lawsuit, Manning has broken a police code of not speaking out.

What follows is based on medical letters, documents, interviews, news reports and Manning’s unproven allegations in his lawsuit.

Paul Manning, 42, grew up in Accrington, a suburb of Blackburn, in northwest England.

He began his policing career in the U.K. in 1993 and, according to his lawsuit, he worked for numerous law enforcement agencies, including the Metropolitan Police Service in London.

He says he worked in special squads, including a stint in Belfast combating IRA terrorism.

In 2004, Manning interviewed for jobs in Hamilton and Toronto, and accepted an offer from Hamilton police.

The couple moved to Canada in early April 2005. Manning went to Ontario Police College, where he won an award for highest grades, and then, after a half-day use-of-force training, stepped right into the role of undercover officer.

Almost immediately, according to his lawsuit, he was buying drugs from the likes of brothers Thomas and Shane Riordan, who in 2006 would kill a man over a drug deal.

Manning was quickly assigned to infiltrate the Hamilton Mob and investigate illegal gambling. Using the alias Paul Wright, Manning says he gained the trust of crime family members as well as members of the Hamilton Hells Angels chapter.

In a November 2005 memo to Hamilton police human resources, the suit states, a supervisor called Manning “one of the best” undercover officers.

In one incident, he was put to the test. In an interview, Manning said one of his targets made it known he had a “job” for him and asked him to come to a house. Manning feared that might mean the Mob was preparing to kill him, and warned his police team.

When Manning entered, the door was bolted behind him. Two large men he had never seen before were there.

He was told to head to the darkened basement, followed by three men, and that he’d find a light switch.

“My knees are going, legs are going,” Manning said. “I think I’m going to get done in the back of the head.”

He switched on the light to reveal a freshly renovated basement apartment.

“We want you to live here. Come and live with us,” he recalls being told.

When he left, he spotted his cover team in a nearby parking lot, ready to storm the house, fearing he was going to be killed.

Instead, Manning told his police handler: “We’re in.”

While Manning, for safety reasons, never did move in, he had passed the Mob’s test with flying colours.

According to the suit, on March 24, 2006, while undercover, Manning was standing outside a bar on James St. N. when he was approached by four men, including the Riordan brothers, Thomas and Shane.

“Hey cop,” Thomas said to Manning, the suit states, and then “without warning” the four men started hitting Manning.

Manning, according to the suit, ran to his undercover apartment, called his police handler and was told to “wait there for extraction.” The handler called back to say the men were gone and that a marked cruiser was on scene.

When Manning emerged, there was no police car, the suit states. The four men were there, armed with knives, one of them “purporting to have a gun in his pocket.” The suit states he fought them for about 10 minutes before getting back inside. One attempt to stab him cut through his T-shirt. Manning alleges a member of his cover team drove by during the second attack and did not stop to help.

The suit alleges an OPP officer kept the ripped T-shirt as evidence of an attempted murder, but no charges were ever laid.

Manning remained undercover. “I stayed because I wanted to. I knew the risks,” he said in an email. He said he was very cautious, but “I also know this was the undercover job of the decade.”

According to the suit, he “immediately began to have night terrors.” Manning, in an email, said he felt he’d been sold out but was told “I was being a little paranoid.” He told no one of the night terrors, he said. At one point, he claims his cover team “lost” him and phoned his wife to see if he had returned home.

In fall 2006, Manning, according to his claim, learned an OPP officer had lost a laptop and notebook containing details of the police operation looking into illegal gambling, including Manning’s involvement and his personal details.

With that, the operation was over. Manning and his wife fled their home and received spotty “armed protection” from police. For his own protection, police provided Manning with his service pistol to carry at all times, his lawsuit states.

It was also around this time that Manning, “on at least three separate occasions … put his service firearm in his mouth with intent” to kill himself, the suit states.

Manning, the suit states, shared his thoughts of self-harm with both the service and the Hamilton Police Association. The service, according to the suit, ordered Manning to see a Toronto psychologist, but Manning alleges the sessions made his condition worse because it appeared the service had been briefing the psychologist.

No one, the suit claims, “relieved him of his firearm.”

Manning took to sleeping at the front door, with his service pistol in his hand and his feet planted against the bottom of the door, his suit claims.

At the end of October 2006, Manning says in his suit, he learned the Riordan brothers were suspected of killing Michael Walsh.

Walsh, 22, had been clubbed with a candlestick, stabbed and shot on Oct. 11, 2006. In 2009, the Riordan brothers admitted their involvement in what the judge called the “assassination” of a helpless man. Thomas Riordan received a life sentence for second-degree murder, while Shane received seven years for manslaughter.

Manning alleges Hamilton police are “indirectly responsible” for Walsh’s death, since they never charged the Riordans with attempted murder in the attack on him six months earlier.

In April 2007, Manning started as a uniformed patrol officer in Stoney Creek. His depression and nightmares worsened and twice he placed his gun in his mouth, he says in his suit.

Not long after, Manning claims he met a high-ranking police officer and a police association representative.

Near the end of the meeting, Manning says in his suit, he raised Walsh’s murder because he felt guilt over it and “how he wanted to tell the Walsh family the same.”

The suit claims the senior officer told him to be “careful what you say, because one day you might call 10-78 and nobody comes” — a reference to the radio code for an officer in need of assistance.

Manning wanted to find out how the Riordans knew he was a cop. He alleges he met one of his informants, Lou Malone, a former Hells Angels enforcer who would be gunned down on a Hamilton street in 2013.

In his lawsuit, Manning alleges Malone told him that Insp. Rick Wills, the disgraced former head of Hamilton’s vice and drugs unit, had “sold him out” to a Hamilton crime family, which led to the attack by the Riordans. “Wills was worried about Mr. Manning’s infiltration turning up aspects of his years of criminal wrongdoing,” Manning alleges in his suit.

Wills pleaded guilty in 2010 to fraud for stealing $60,000 of drug-bust money and ultimately served time in jail. Wills, the suit alleges, wanted the crime family to “scare off” Manning so he wouldn’t delve into Wills’s activities.
Wills declined to comment about Manning’s allegations.

By 2010, Manning’s mental health continued to deteriorate.

On Aug. 9, 2010, Manning was alone on patrol in a marked cruiser, at a time, according to his suit, when he was “constantly” thinking of killing himself, and of harming others.

“I turned left on to King St., I took my seatbelt off and I just accelerated,” he said.

The speedometer rose past 70 km/h when the cruiser mounted a curb and, according to the suit, drove directly “into a large hydro pole,” shearing it in two. His head struck the windshield.
Manning was charged with careless driving — and remained on the job.

In October 2013, Manning was diagnosed with “severe post-traumatic stress disorder directly linked” to the 2006 attempt on his life.

On March 2, 2014, Manning alleges he had a lawyer serve a “notice of intent” to sue on then-chief Glenn De Caire.

About three weeks later, Manning claims, 21 uniformed officers came to his house with a warrant for a “grow op.”

Police searched the house but left without searching outbuildings and much of his large property, the suit states. No grow op was found.

In May 2014, the suit states, the police association asked for any paperwork relating to his workplace woes to ensure the union had done its “due diligence.” He later received a letter from an association lawyer “full of intentional factual errors.”

In February 2015, Manning sent an email demanding an apology. The email said if no retraction was received, “I will attend” the lawyer’s Toronto home and “obtain one under duress.”

Manning was arrested and charged with threatening bodily harm to the lawyer and unsafe storage of a firearm.

In June 2015, the criminal charges against him were withdrawn. In exchange, Manning signed a peace bond and was banned from owning a firearm for five years.

On Sept. 30, 2015, Manning’s suit says he was officially “informed by WSIB that he would never be returning to policing.”

“He is — well, he was — a good cop,” said Sabina. “He knew his job, he knew exactly what he was doing, he was confident.”

She has a name for the part of him that feels compelled to speak up: “Stupid Paul.”

With that, Paul Manning shares a regret. In speaking up to superiors, he broke the police code.

“All of these years,” he says, “I should have kept my mouth shut.”

http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2016 ... force.html
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Once undercover, Hamilton cop alleges police didn't have his

Postby Thomas » Thu May 12, 2016 3:33 am

Once undercover, Hamilton cop alleges police didn't have his back

Paul Manning and Sabina Manning are suing for damages after they say Hamilton police failed to protect them

He was working undercover as a Hamilton Police officer, standing on the patio of a James Street North bar one day 10 years ago.

Four men walked up.

He recognized two: notorious brothers who'd later kill a man in a wayward drug deal.

"Hey cop," one of the brothers said.

The sudden dread he felt – had he been found out? – spun to basic survival.

The men began assaulting him and later that day tried to kill him, according to a lawsuit the officer, Paul Manning, has filed from his time working as a police officer in Hamilton.

Evocative and wide-ranging allegations

He and his wife, Sabina, seek $6.75 million in damages in an evocative and wide-ranging lawsuit that names the Hamilton Police Service and its board, the Ontario Provincial Police, former chief Glenn De Caire and OPP Commissioner Vince Hawkes.

He now believes that patio attack happened because he had been sold out by a member of his own force.

They say he's suffered irreversible damage to his mental health because of his undercover work and how he was mishandled by the force. It means he likely won't be returning to police work, which is all he's ever known.

And in addition to that bleak assessment of a mid-career cop contemplating an uncertain future, the suit presents allegations of corruption and shady connections within the force, including where policing intelligence was leaked to Hells Angels members and organized crime.

The suit alleges the police force betrayed the Mannings, including:

- Failing to train and protect Manning when he was undercover and after he'd transitioned to patrol.
- Not providing an "exit strategy" for the couple in case Manning's undercover work was compromised, as they allege it was.
- Ignoring their calls for help as Manning's mental health deteriorated.

Their allegations have not been proven in court, and the court filings don't include documentary evidence of Manning's corruption claims.

CBC Hamilton has not included names of the officers, suspected crime operatives and others Manning fingered as corrupt in the suit.

The Mannings filed their suit originally planning to represent themselves. But they now have a lawyer who'll represent them Tuesday, when the matter is next expected in court for a procedural motion.

"Changed completely"

Once, when their first daughter was 1, Sabina Manning says she got worried after a big argument with Paul, and went to the police to file a report, and to ask for help.

"'He has changed completely since he finished working undercover,'" she recalls telling them that day in 2010.

"And they did nothing. They didn't take his gun away from him, nothing. Even though I said, mentally, he's not capable of having any gun whatsoever," she said, reflecting on the whole saga in an interview with CBC Hamilton.

"I said, you know, 'I gave you my husband and you gave me someone completely different.' He's getting worse and worse and worse.

"They still let him go and drive his cruiser and wear the uniform and wear the gun."

Manning remains on leave due to post-traumatic stress disorder and won't likely be able to work as a police officer again.

'Scandalous, frivolous, vexatious'

Attorneys for the Hamilton Police Services Board and De Caire say in a court filing that the suit is an "attempt to dress up a defamation claim" and that the details Manning included in his original filing are "scandalous, frivolous or vexatious or are otherwise an abuse of the process of the court."

Its statement of defence argues Manning goes beyond what is appropriate for such a filing and that much of the content of his filing is irrelevant to the claim.

They argue that Manning should be pursuing his complaint via a union grievance process rather than a lawsuit, and that De Caire is not "vicariously liable" for actions of officers.

The Ministry of the Attorney General, on behalf of the OPP, has notified Manning it believes it and the commissioner should not be named in the suit, since it actually makes no allegations against the OPP and seeks no damages from it. It also advises it will defend itself if not removed.

Coun. Lloyd Ferguson, chair of the board, said attorneys have been directed to "aggressively fight this." He declined to comment further.

A spokesman for the Attorney General declined to comment while the matter is before the courts. Hamilton Police Service also declined comment for the same reason.

A chain reaction

Manning says the fight outside the bar plays a central role in the trajectory of his tumultuous career in Hamilton.

After arriving in Canada from a career in policing in England, Manning was assigned to infiltrate the Hells Angels and traditional organized crime networks in the city, but says he wasn't given special undercover training by Hamilton Police Service for such a weighty mission.

The event on the patio would give him night terrors, he says. He'd feel vulnerable, alleging his cover team didn't have his back.

And, he says, he'd be sent out again undercover in just a week's time.

The suit alleges a high-ranking officer was worried Manning would reveal the officer's "years of criminal wrongdoing," and so he told a Hamilton crime family that Manning was working undercover and to "scare off" Manning – leading to that day on the patio.

'An anonymous phone call'

In the ensuing months and years, Manning alleges he found out about crooked relationships and cronyism. One example: He alleges two officers have been skimming reward money from Crime Stoppers since the 1980s.

When he spoke up, he was told to butt out and act more like a brother, he says in the lawsuit, which he said exacerbated his paranoia and post-traumatic stress disorder.

He alleges that soon after he notified then-Chief Glenn De Caire he'd be suing in 2014, 21 officers stormed his house – paying him a visit with a search warrant in hand to search his property for marijuana.

They cited "an anonymous phone call to the drug office and a high hydro bill," the lawsuit alleges.

All they found and seized were his notebooks in a safe, he alleges – notes he kept from his time undercover he'd planned to use as evidence.

And the Mannings say their detention in the house during the search amounts to false imprisonment.

"They bully him at work, he goes off sick and then he comes home and then they come and harass him and bully his wife and his kids," Sabina Manning said.

Fighting for his life

That day on the patio, Manning said he escaped the four men and got to his undercover apartment.

He says he got word from his supervising detective that the men had left and there was a car to pick him up outside.

But when Manning went outside, the four men were back and armed with knives.

One said he had a gun in his pocket.

He says in the lawsuit that he was fighting for his life for 10 minutes. The brothers said they wanted to kill him, he says.

He looked up and saw a colleague from his cover team driving by without stopping to help, he alleges.

In the struggle, one of the knives got so close to stabbing Manning that it cut his t-shirt, he says in the lawsuit.

'Significant distrust and paranoia'

He says his mental health worsened. He had nightmares of the day on James North.

He told higher-ups he was having thoughts of self-harm. "My mind is starting to wander to thoughts of violence against myself and others," according to a letter he quotes in his statement of claim.

All the while, he said, he was still working 24/7 – returning to uniform patrol in 2007 – and "no one relieved him of his firearm."

It's all been enough for one of the psychologists that Manning has seen to conclude that his career as a policeman is over, and his prospects for finding another gig is "somewhat bleak," too, according to assessments quoted in the lawsuit.

"Mr. Manning would pose a risk to himself, the public and the department if he attempts to go back to policing," according to a 2013 report from a psychologist, quoted in the lawsuit.

"This is because of the nature of the experience he had while working undercover, as well as the significant distrust and paranoia that had developed following how the department handled his case."

In 2015, Manning was arrested and charged for sending a e-mail while off-duty to a Hamilton Police Association lawyer demanding an apology for "intentional factual errors" that Manning alleges the lawyer had included in a letter related to Manning's issues with the service.

The charges came because Manning said in the letter that if he wasn't offered an apology, he would obtain one "under duress" from the lawyer at home, according to the suit.

When he was arrested on charges of threatening bodily harm, police found a firearm not stored safely, which led to additional charges.

The threat charge was dropped in June when Manning agreed to a peace bond and a ban on possessing a firearm for five years.

'The system is absolutely disgusting'

Now, Sabina hopes her three children are too young to understand all that's going on, but she fears the oldest knows some of it. One of their daughters found out at school her dad had been arrested from other students, the suit says.

Manning said he doesn't have a problem with the majority of the officers in Hamilton, those who are "hardworking and risk their lives for the members of that community," he said. "It's how the service treats people with PTSD and it's how the service treats whistleblowers."

Sabina said it's hard not to conflate all that's happened with her family's move to Canada for Paul's job.

"As an immigrant, I think we've been through the worst times you could possibly have," she said. "Moving to a new country, he goes undercover and you find out that the system in Canada is absolutely disgusting.

"I'm just saying, we are very replaceable."


http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/hamilton/ ... -1.3570458
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