NEWS

Sasa Sljivo, Toronto Police Officer, Admits To Stripping 'Hundreds' Of People

01/17/2014 09:26 EST | Updated 01/25/2014 04:01 EST
Bernard Weil via Getty Images
TORONTO - DECEMBER 11: Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair appeared at City Hall today to present the police budget. In attendance was City Councillor Doug Ford. December 11, 2013. (Bernard Weil/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

Toronto police chief Bill Blair is taking heat after one of his officers admitted to detaining 'hundreds' of people on routine searches and stripping them completely naked, the Toronto Star reports.

The startling admission emerged at the trial for alleged drug trafficker Lerondo Smith last month, the Star reports.

And now, the city's police services board is demanding a report from Blair into how Const. Sasa Sljivo's actions went unchecked for so long.

Some of the blame for the officer's apparent zeal for denuding civilians has been levied at the feet of leadership.

In his blog, Politics and its Discontents Lorne Warwick notes a 2001 Supreme Court ruling that found strip-searching a person completely naked to be a violation of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

The writer points out that Sljivo told court that he was unaware of the ruling -- and, indeed, he was trained to strip-search people naked.

"If the rules have been clearly set out by the Toronto police, how is it that Const. Sljivo has carried out hundreds of improper searches, apparently endorsed by his training officer?" Warwick asks.

"What kind of environment has the 'leadership' of Chief Blair fostered that this could happen not once, not twice, but hundreds of times?"

According to Toronto Police Services, Sljivo is a beat cop, patrolling the Long Branch area in the city's southeast.

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