Justice for victims of disgraced Hamilton cop

TORONTO SUN   Craig Ruthowsky was a disgrace as a cop.

Published: December 14, 2019


And there are few things crawling this planet worse than a dirty cop.

A bully and a thief packing a .9 mm, with a badge being the only thing differentiating him from a low-rent gangbanger.

The former Hamilton Police detective is now doing a long stretch in the slammer for a mountain of offences, including taking $20,000 a month from dope dealers.

He is as filthy as they come.

Pamela Markland was one of the victims of Ruthowsky’s vile handiwork. The slimy cop fingered her family home as a drug den. It wasn’t true.

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It was likely for no other reason than the family is black. Patsies of convenience.

On Dec. 13, 2011, cops crashed down the door of the Roxborough Ave. home at 5 a.m. Dressed in black, armed with semi-automatic rifles and tossing flash grenades.

Inside? A mom and her five sleeping children.

Markland and her family have finally settled a lawsuit with the Hamilton and Toronto Police Services, announced eight years to the day of the infamous raid.

“I can still hear the sounds … like elephants, a stampede. I thought, ‘this couldn’t be for me’,” she told reporters Friday.

“Seeing the door blown off … everything happened so fast … something dropped at my foot, there was smoke and coughing. I could hear my kids screaming. It was just a total nightmare. A total, total nightmare.”

Craig Ruthowsky leaves the courthouse at 361 University Ave in Toronto, Ont. on Monday, March 12, 2018. (Ernest Doroszuk/Toronto Sun/Postmedia Network)

Lawyer Davin Charney has represented the family for seven years.

For the Marklands, the nightmare began when Ruthowsky told a Toronto Police colleague he had witnessed a suspected drug dealer coming in and out of the family home.

That led to a no-knock warrant to raid the home.

“After years of litigation and an extensive review of all the police records, it’s safe to say that no police officer ever observed any suspect enter the Markland family home,” Charney said.

“Information put in front of a court to obtain a search warrant for the Markland family home was a lie … the source of the lie was now disgraced and jailed Hamilton Police officer Craig Ruthowsky.”

The terms of the settlement remain confidential.

“One of the larger messages is that police don’t always get it right,” the lawyer said, adding the Markland family is also owed an apology from Hamilton and Toronto Police Services.

“Hamilton Police Service, despite having a criminal in their midst, litigated this case for seven years,” Charney said. “They fought this case bitterly.”

Toronto cops dropped the ball on performing due diligence on Ruthowsky’s claims.

“Fortunately, the person we think is the main source of the misconduct is in jail. In that sense, justice has already been done,” Charney said.

But Pamela Markland and her children will not recover any time soon.

“Sometimes when I’m in my house I’ll hear heavy banging on the door, and I’m like, ‘Oh God!’ I’m in constant fear of not feeling safe in my home,” she said. “It’s an awful feeling especially since I’m not a criminal.”

Markland reluctantly agrees her family was targeted by the rogue cop because they are black.

“Yeah, living in (public) housing they think everyone’s the same,” she said. “We’re black, we’re poor, we didn’t matter to them.”

And still no apology.

“It’s unfortunate we haven’t got that,” Markland said. “Nothing can pay for (what happened) — the pain, the nightmares, the uncertainty. No number can pay for that.”

All down to dirty cop Craig Ruthowsky.

Maybe some day he will find some decency and simply tell proud, brave and determined Pamela Markland: “I’m sorry.”

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