Christopher Hutchings

Toronto cops who allegedly assaulted Black TTC rider say he was the one being racist

A Toronto police officer currently on trial for assaulting a Black TTC rider has claimed in court that the victim was actually the one being racist toward him and his white colleague.

Detectives Christopher Hutchings and Jason Tanouye were called one evening back in December 2019 by a bus driver in Scarborough who claimed that a customer, Black resident Chase Richards, was being disorderly and refusing to leave the vehicle.

In plain clothes, the authorities boarded the bus and confronted Richards near the front doors. As seen in a security video of the incident that was just released this summer, Hutchings grabbed Richards by the throat, pushed him into a bus seat and held him firmly by the neck for more than 30 seconds.

He is later seen wrestling the commuter to the floor and placing his knee on the passenger's back for another minute plus, then sitting casually while resting the bottom of his shoe on the man, who lay facedown and handcuffed.

Unfortunately, footage from both the bus and the police station afterwards is soundless, meaning that we have to rely on those present for accounts of what was said.

And, Hutchings' legal representation says (per the Star) that despite the surface optics, it was Richards who was "behaving like a racist" and being hostile throughout the altercation.

The officers allege that Richards was smiling, laughing, and making statements such as "I'm going to make this like Trayvon Martin" and "This is perfect, now I'm going to get paid, you motherf***ers."

He also is alleged to have asked Hutchings if he was Italian, and when the officer replied yes, he said "then you don't deserve to be an officer."

Richards has denied these claims.

The legal proceedings continues for the assault charge pressed against Hutchings in January 2020 after an internal investigation (the same charge was also launched against Tanouye in July 2020), while both detectives also face charges of attempting to obstruct justice, for which they will go to court again next year.

Lead photo by

Ontario Court of Justice Exhibits, obtained by the Toronto Star

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