Jeremy Cohn, a Global TV videographer, is suing Hamilton police after he was arrested last year and released without charges. The arresting officer, Const. Jeff Todoruck, is facing five charges in connection with the incident in May 2017. (Andrew Collins/CBC)

Hamilton officer facing five arrest charges appears at hearing

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A Hamilton police officer facing multiple charges for arresting two photojournalists in 2017 has made his first appearance at a Police Act hearing in the Ontario city.

Const. Jeff Todoruck is alleged to have committed five acts of misconduct, including two counts of discreditable conduct, two counts of neglect of duty, and unlawful or unnecessary exercise of authority.

The charges stem from an incident at the scene of a fatal car crash in Hamilton’s Waterdown area.

Todoruck arrested then-Global News camera operator Jeremy Cohn and freelancer Dave Ritchie.

A video from the scene showed Todoruck pinning Cohn to the ground and cuffing him with zip ties before pulling him into a police vehicle.

Dave Ritchie was charged last year and negotiated a deal with prosecutors to have the charges dropped in exchange for community service and a $250 donation. (Andrew Collins/CBC)

Cohn has since sued the Hamilton Police Service for $900,000.

Ritchie reportedly said that when he arrived at the scene, Todoruck called the media “scumbags.”

The characterization led to a confrontation with Ritchie being tackled and arrested.

Charges against Ritchie for obstruction and resisting arrest were eventually dropped after Ritchie agreed to perform 10 hours of community service and donate $250.

Following the arrests, Canadian Journalists for Free Expression called on the Ontario Civilian Police Commission to investigate the incident.

Hamilton police have had at least three confrontations with journalists over the past two years, resulting in fines and arrests.

With files from CBC, CTV, Global, CHCH

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