A Toronto police officer who allegedly ate marijuana-laced edibles on duty is maintaining her innocence and intends to fight her charges in court, according to her lawyer.
Const. Jamie Young, who has two years of service with Toronto police, is charged with attempting to obstruct justice and breach of trust in connection to a Jan. 27 incident in which she and her partner allegedly consumed cannabis edibles that had just been seized from a pot dispensary raid while on-duty and armed.
In a brief court appearance Tuesday, her lawyer Domenic Basile said Young wants to take the charges to trial to be heard before a judge and jury. A preliminary hearing date has been set for October, with a trial likely in 2020 if the inquiry finds there’s sufficient evidence.
“I am very happy we have an excellent justice system in Canada where you’re presumed innocent and the Crown has to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt, and my client maintains her innocence,” Basile told reporters outside court.
Last week Young’s co-accused, former police officer Vittorio Dominelli, was handed a nine-month conditional sentence after pleading guilty to attempting to obstruct justice. He has also resigned from the Toronto police and told the court last month he was “truly remorseful” for his actions, saying the incident changed his life.
According to an agreed statement of facts in Domenelli’s case, he and Young obtained cannabis-laced chocolate following a raid of the Community Cannabis Clinic on St. Clair Ave. W., and decided to try it later in their shift while working surveillance.
Court heard that the cannabis hit Dominelli like a “ton of bricks’ and that he issued an officer-in-distress call over the police radio, believing he was going to die. Police and paramedics then rushed to the scene and one officer en route slipped and fell on the ice, sustaining a serious concussion that still has her off work recovering.
Young, who is suspended with pay, also faces six charges of professional misconduct under Ontario’s the Police Service Act. The charges include discreditable conduct, being unfit for duty through consumption of drugs, neglecting to carry out a lawful order and knowingly making a false statement.
The charges have not been proven at the tribunal and the disciplinary hearing will not begin until the criminal proceedings are over.
According to police documents outlining the misconduct allegations, Young was in charge of seizing the evidence following the pot dispensary raid. She is alleged to have “failed to account for some of this chocolate seized,” as the documents state the “quantity listed on the property tag and submitted did not match the true amount seized.”
“In so doing, you committed misconduct in that you knowingly made or signed a false statement in a record,” the police document said.
Criminal charges were withdrawn against seven people arrested during the raid due to the officers’ alleged actions.
Young’s preliminary hearing is scheduled to begin Oct. 28, 2017.
Wendy Gillis is a Toronto-based reporter covering crime and policing. Reach her by email at email@example.com or follow her on Twitter: @wendygillis