A former Toronto police officer says McMaster University's special constables and its head of security, Glenn De Caire, harassed and racially profiled him two and a half years ago — and now, they are embroiled in a human rights complaint.
According to documents obtained by CBC News, around 8:30 p.m. on Nov. 30, 2017, Kevin Daley, who is Black, was driving westbound in Hamilton on Stearn Drive. He was heading toward David Braley Athletic Centre to pick up his son from track and field practice. They live just 10 minutes away from campus where the centre is located.
Daley passed a special constable who was on duty. According to the Ontario Special Constable Association, a special constable is a peace officer, not a police officer. They are normally used to enforce rules on transit and at universities and colleges.
In that fleeting moment, the special constable said he saw Daley "speed" through a stop sign, according to an incident report obtained by CBC News.
The report notes the constable turned on his flashing lights to try to pull Daley over, but he instead "blew" through another stop sign.
Daley disputes this and says he moved to the side of the road to allow the security to drive past.
Daley then made a U-turn and says he approached his usual parking spot — but then he noticed security was following him.
"I thought, what's happening here? This is private property and you're not a police officer. Why do you have red and blue flashing lights?" he told CBC News as he recalled that day.
According to the incident report, the McMaster constable asked Daley if it was his first time on campus, to which Daley allegedly said, "I have been coming to this campus for the past 30 years. You were not even born."
The conversation was strange, Daley says. He did not corroborate those specific quotes from the report, but says he did question the constable's authority.
"He didn't ask for any identification, which is weird, and then he just walked away," Daley recalls.
"And that was the end of it, so I thought 'OK' and my son says, 'What's he doing here?' And I said 'Nothing, don't worry about it,' because it wasn't a big deal."
Daley notes he paid for his parking and left the campus. But the situation was only beginning.
'I've lost some sleep over this'
The incident report reveals the special constable noted Daley's licence plate and described him as a Black male in his early 40s.
Daley says despite never identifying himself, about a month later in early January, his supervisor at Toronto Police Service asked about the incident.
Documents obtained by CBC News reveal the McMaster University constable ran the plates through Hamilton police after the incident. Security services at the school then used Daley's address to determine he worked for Toronto police and notified them of the incident.
"I've lost some sleep over this," says Daley, who retired from Toronto Police Service in September.
Shortly after speaking to his supervisor, Daley adds he received a letter on McMaster letterhead dated December 2017 with De Caire's signature (viewed by CBC News) that banned him from campus "in perpetuity."
Another similar letter, dated Jan. 11, appears to come from De Caire to Daley's supervisor saying Daley trespassed and mentions "concern with the behaviour of a member of the Toronto Police Service while on McMaster property."
Daley was also issued a notice for outstanding parking tickets, despite not receiving any reprimand from the original incident in November, and faced allegations of endangering students' lives by driving past stop signs.
He says the fact McMaster got his personal information and complained to his employer — over a stop sign — was concerning.
"How many other people suffered what I suffered? What's happening behind the scenes?" he wonders.
Found not guilty of misconduct
Emails obtained by CBC News appear to reveal that Daley's workplace carried out an investigation and found Daley was not guilty of any misconduct.
Daley filed a complaint about the McMaster ordeal to the Ontario Civilian Police Commission (OCPC) in March 2018.
The report ruled in favour of Daley a week ago. It did not find him guilty of any wrongdoing and provided a list of recommendations to McMaster's special constable program and the Hamilton Police Services board, which oversees the program.
It also had McMaster waive Daley of any parking fines he was supposed to pay.
"This is profiling … this is wrong six different ways to Sunday," he told CBC News.
"Not just for me as a person of colour, but maybe for students or other people coming to campus that are going to face this issue here with campus police. If you want to say it's profiling, it's bullying, it's a lot of things that are wrong."
McMaster admits 'errors were made'
Some of the OCPC recommendations include more training and clarifying that constables "ought not to follow vehicles." Another reminds the university it can "suspend and terminate special constables" and should monitor complaints against them.
Roger Couldrey, McMaster's vice-president of administration, told CBC News the school is committed to following the recommendations.
"The details of the incident and the need for actions are outlined in the report and it is clear that errors were made in how the incident was handled," reads his statement.
"McMaster accepts all of the recommendations in the report from the Ontario Civilian Police Commission and took steps before the report was issued to ensure greater clarity and training in its Persona Non-Grata Policy (the campus ban) which create far more safeguards."
De Caire declined an interview with CBC News. In addition to being the head of McMaster's security department and Hamilton's former chief of police, De Caire was a superintendent at Toronto Police Services when Daley worked there. Daley says they didn't know each other.
Local Black Lives Matter activists have called for the school to fire De Caire due to his past support of carding.
While he declined an interview, he did offer one short comment.
"I will tell you that on behalf of the special constables, we will defend ourselves vigorously against anything that has been said."
Case highlights systemic racism, Daley says
Daley says the recommendations are a start but don't go far enough.
"This case brings the whole issue of systemic racism to light," he said. "You've got three different organizations here and I believe all three worked together to cause one problem."
"Give the OCPC some teeth and make them do the investigation properly … It's not going to change by keep saying 'it's a training issue' … This was the (former) chief of police (of Hamilton) for crying out loud. What could he possibly need training for? If you need more training, the province is in serious trouble."
Now, Daley waits until August, where he'll have his hearing with the Human Rights Tribunal and enter mediation.