The Greater Toronto Area came so close to seeing a third police funeral in a month.
On Sept. 12, it was Toronto Police Const. Andrew Hong, 48, who was savagely targeted and shot to death at close range in a Mississauga Tim Hortons by a man who went on to shoot four others — two of those victims also died.
Two days later, York Regional Police Const. Travis Gillespie, 38, was killed on his way to work around 6 a.m. in a head-on collision with a fast-moving car driven by a man who was charged with impaired driving causing death.
On Tuesday night, a Toronto Police officer was allegedly targeted by a driver. Investigators say they believe the motorist “deliberately” drove at officers in a Scarborough parking lot, striking one and forcing an emergency run to a nearby hospital.
Thankfully, while banged up, the officer did not sustain life-threatening injuries.
“An officer was deliberately struck by a vehicle and the driver fled the scene,” said Toronto Police Association President Jon Reid on social media. “Officers are increasingly subjected to violence, and yet they continue to go to work every day to protect the public.”
Chief James Ramer said while relieved “the officer did not sustain severe injuries, this is yet another example of the risks officers face everyday keeping communities safe.”
They are not safe. There are too many violent offenders out on bail or parole, and they have easy access to guns, knives and cars.
Police officers are being singled out far too often.
None of us will soon forget how a York police officer in March 2020 was ambushed by a man just released on bail and still in his prison suit. The officer was suckered punched and beaten with his own baton.
Police officers, in uniform or in plain clothes, are vulnerable in today’s nasty world where criminals are given every consideration while police are held to account for every decision.
It’s pretty uneven out there. The rules don’t apply to the criminal element. It’s frightening.
In the most recent case, Const. Victor Kwong said “plain clothes officers” were making an arrest at Kennedy Rd. and Ellesmere Ave. when all hell broke loose. Witnesses say at 6:14 p.m., a white car with four doors, and donning Quebec plates, drove toward officers.
While only one was hit, others could have been, as well.
The car sped off and police found it abandoned later. But whoever was driving it was long gone.
For now. Police are asking for assistance in helping them arrest the driver.
This is not the first officers in plain clothes to be struck in recent times.
On July 1, 2021 Const. Jeffrey Northrup was run over and killed in the parking garage under Toronto City Hall. A man was charged with murder in that case, which is still before the courts.
Police are on the hunt for a driver who they say tried to kill another one of their own. The only thing positive is, thankfully, there was no police funeral this time.