Christopher Hutchings

Dramatic new video shows alleged assault of Black TTC rider by Toronto police

Disturbing new video has been released in a case against a Toronto police officer on trial for the assault of a resident on a TTC bus in Scarborough a year and half ago.

Tenured detective Christopher Hutchings appears in plain clothes in the footage as he holds Chase Richards — who was being disorderly and refusing to leave the vehicle, the bus driver had called in — by the neck for more than half a minute after repeatedly shoving him down into an empty seat.

Later in the video, he wrestles Richards to the floor and places his knee firmly on the man's back for another minute plus, and later still can be seen sitting casually while resting the bottom of his shoe on the passenger.

The incident, which took place in December of 2019, is particularly incendiary due to the fact that Richards is Black — just one in a long line of stories, including that of George Floyd, in which police are accused of using excessive and unnecessary force up to and including death when apprehending BIPOC citizens.

A Crown attorney told the courts on Tuesday (per the Star) that Hutchings' actions, which included a chokehold within seconds of encountering Richards, amount to excessive use of force. Such holds are not standard practice for Toronto Police Service and are known to be extremely dangerous.

The officer is currently suspended with pay and is pleading not guilty to the assault, which he was formally charged with over a year ago. His partner on the scene, Detective Jason Tanouye, is facing the same charge.

After an interal investigation by a police watchdog unit, both have also been charged with attempting to obstruct justice.

The original charges for mischief and causing a disturbance pressed against Richards, who received physiotherapy for bodily pain as a result of the alleged assault, were dropped the month after the altercation.

Lead photo by

Ontario Court of Justice Exhibits, obtained by the Toronto Star

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