Michael Bryant’s complaints of harsh treatment by Toronto Police proven false

Bryant’s Lawyer praised Police investigation

Bryant Watch August 27, 2012

Michael Bryant in custody

Michael Bryant’s memoir about the night he killed Darcy Allan Sheppard is to be released tomorrow. The book is entitled “28 Seconds” and gives his self-serving account of the events that evening.

Bryant has been on a media tour of soft-ball interviews allowing him to promote the book while avoiding questions regarding the parts of his version that directly conflict with the evidence and or prior statements contained in court transcripts. Bryant revealed that he was an alcoholic until 2006. It’s not known if and when he had any relapses because no one in the media had asked him the question.

One of the new charges Bryant raised is police rushed to judgment when they charged him in Sheppard’s death.

“He is wrong,” police spokesman Mark Pugash protested.

“He had a team of very aggressive, very good lawyers whose job it is to jump on anything that will help their client, and we haven’t heard anything about this (until now),” Pugash said. “If he had all these concerns, why has he been quiet for the last three years? Why have his lawyers not raised a single one of these concerns?”

In fact in the court transcripts Bryant’s lawyer Marie Henein praised the treatment Bryant received from police:

“I want to take a moment to also express our thanks to Detective Britton, Detective Lane, Detective Lalla, for a thorough and evenhanded investigation.

I was confident throughout this case that we would be treated the same as, not better and not worse, than any other accused, that Mr. Peck would do no more and no less than is demanded in the prosecution of any case.”

At the time of Sheppard’s death much was written about Bryant’s special treatment. He was charged and released at 2:30pm the day following the death.

“Anyone else would have been taken to bail court and forced to stand in the box, unshaven and dishevelled,” said veteran defence lawyer Edward Sapiano.

Instead Bryant emerged from the police station clean shaven and dressed in a freshly pressed suit and tie.

According to a report in the Toronto Star,

The black suit, baby blue dress shirt and striped lime green tie had already been dropped off at the station before Staff Sgt. Brian Bowman began his shift at 4:30 a.m.

“I’ve never seen anybody bring a suit – personally – in my 28 years,” Bowman said yesterday, when asked if that was unusual.

Defence lawyer David Midanik said bringing fresh clothes to a police station for an accused is a little unusual. “I think your average street criminal would not be given that indulgence.

“He was definitely treated less harshly than most people charged with that offence,” Midanik added.

The Star also reported that

Nikki Holland, a longtime Bryant friend who’d worked for him for years (“she kind of ran his life,” says one source) arrived at the police station with a pressed dark grey suit, blue shirt and tie for Bryant’s impromptu statement on the station steps.

The court transcripts reveal that the decision to release Bryant without bail was made by Richard Peck.

I’m going to pause for a minute and note that there was some public commentary in the media about Mr. Bryant’s form of release. I was involved at that stage. In determining whether Mr. Bryant should be released by the officer in charge at the police station, or instead, come here for an appearance before a JP or a judge, I inquired of the senior investigating officer whether they had released persons on such charges by an undertaking to the officer in charge in the past. I was advised that individuals similarly situated had been so released where they had no record and were not a flight risk. I was of the view that Mr. Bryant should be treated in the same fashion as any other similarly situated accused. In the result, we agreed that he could be released from the police station. That’s how that happened.

2 Responses to Michael Bryant’s complaints of harsh treatment by Toronto Police proven false

  1. Lela Gary says:

    Bryant’s lawyer did not praise police investigation; he praised police cowardice and dishonesty in dropping the charges prematurely at the request of political honchos, and camouflaged it as investigation!

  2. Jane Crawford says:

    Interesting that Bryant has come out about his alcoholism. I assume that’s a preemptive move – he’s got all the best spin money can buy.

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