The Ontario Provincial Police say one of their officers shot himself in the leg, and when confronted about it, invented a number of stories for his injuries—his own clumsiness, an unwieldy knife, and a group of would-be car thieves.
The officer also allegedly provided descriptions of those would-be car thieves, saying two out of the three were black men.
OPP Const. Darko Darkov was at home on Feb. 13, 2016, when he “shot [himself] in the leg with a legally owned firearm,” according to an OPP document released to VICE.
Darkov went to a Scarborough hospital with an injured hand, stomach and thigh. The OPP alleges Darkov then told a doctor and police investigators a series of lies about how he was injured. The police force has laid two charges of professional misconduct against Darkov; none of the allegations have been proven.
The OPP say Darkov first told a doctor he’d accidentally cut himself while repairing his truck’s mirror with a knife. The doctor believed the injury was a gunshot wound, and contacted the Toronto police. After police interviewed Darkov at his home, they apprehended him under the Mental Health Act and brought him back to the hospital.
Darkov allegedly told police investigators three stories: that he’d injured himself with a knife, that he’d shot himself cleaning his gun, and that he had fled from a violent confrontation.
Darkov allegedly told police he was investigating a possible mechanical issue on his truck when three males—”two black and one white,” according to a summary of the officer’s alleged story—approached. “Yo nice truck,” the white male said. “I wanna ride you gonna give me a ride.”
Darkov claimed he refused, then heard a pop. After he drove away and realized that he’d been shot, he applied a tourniquet and went to the hospital.
Fortunately for any groups of men who fit the description Darkov allegedly gave the cops, police saw their way through the conflicting stories. The OPP says 21 officers investigated after the shooting, “canvassing [Darkov’s] apartment building for witnesses, seizing video surveillance and executing a search warrant.”
A mischief and a firearm charge against Darkov were withdrawn last month after a Crown prosecutor said the officer had fulfilled the requirements of a diversion agreement, meaning he complied with a set of court-mandated conditions.
Harry Black, a lawyer for Darkov, did not respond to requests for comment.
Ontario’s police disciplinary tribunals adjudicate infractions like driving drunk, snooping in databases, and using excessive force. Penalties for officers found guilty of misconduct include rank reductions, docked pay, and dismissal.
The administrative charges were on hold pending resolution of Darkov’s criminal case, according to an officer with the OPP’s Professional Standards Bureau. The
service has not set a date to resume the proceedings.
For now, Darkov is suspended with pay.
A Linkedin profile under the name “Darko Darkov” claims he has been an Ontario Provincial Police officer for seven years.
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