Officer drunk at time of assault, which happened after-hours on a training exercise
A police officer in Edmonton has been fired for urinating on one of his colleagues.
Const. Robert Furlong was turfed from the force after he relieved himself, while intoxicated, on another officer while attending a training exercise on Sept. 30, 2011.
The victim was in bed, wrapped in a sleeping bag, at the time of the assault.
On the night of Sept. 30, a number of officers from the Edmonton Police Service (EPS) on the training exercise decided to go out drinking. Furlong didn’t go with them, but elected to stay behind with some other officers and drink in the shared accommodation. When the officers who left returned, the drinking continued.
Furlong, according to an Alberta Law Enforcement Review Board ruling, consumed a “substantial quality of alcohol.”
At 2:30 a.m., Furlong suggested they should try and rouse sleeping colleagues to join them to drink in the hallway. He went into a room where three officers were sleeping and shouted, “Get the f--- up.”
One of the sleeping officers, not amused, said: “Come on, man. We’re sleeping.” But Furlong persisted, saying, “I said get the f--- up and get out in the hall.”
The sleeping officer said, again, he wasn’t getting up and Furlong said, “You get out of your bed or I’m going to piss on you.”
The officer responded by telling Furlong off.
That’s when things went from bad to worse. From the board’s ruling:
“Not content with this answer, (Furlong) undid his trousers’ zipper and urinated on the officer, who was in his sleeping bag, at approximately waist level. The officer jumped up and pushed (Furlong) backwards. Some urine, either directly from (Furlong’s) urine stream or from the urine that had already been on deposited on the sleeping bag, splashed onto the officer’s leg. The officer got up and left the room and headed in the direction of the washroom.”
Furlong delivered a one-arm push to the officer as he left the room. Then, Furlong proceeded to loudly tell other officers in the hallway about another incident involving his victim. Furlong said the officer was not a team player and had performed poorly during an operation.
The board determined Furlong had used, “abusive and insulting language” that was damaging to the officer’s reputation among his peers.
When the officer returned after cleaning himself, Furlong came into the room. The officer, not wanting to engage Furlong, opened the door and tried to leave — but Furlong wouldn’t let him. He closed the door and prevented the officer from leaving the room against his wishes.
On March 6, 2012, Furlong was charged with four counts of “conduct prejudicial to discipline or likely to bring the reputation of the EPS into disrepute, amounting to discreditable conduct. The four counts were:
• urinating on the officer while he was lying in bed
• pushing the officer into a wall as he attempted to walk past Furlong
• making derogatory speech about the officer to other unit members standing in the hallway
• confining the officer within his assigned room and refusing to let him leave.
The original board decision noted that Furlong never “made any good-faith attempts to apologize” and in fact continued to drink and socialize with others outside the room.
Furlong was fired, effective immediately, from the EPS.
Furlong appealed the ruling and was successful. The board substituted a penalty of a two-year reduction in seniority within rank.
But Edmonton’s police chief appealed this decision to the Court of Appeal, which sent the case back to the board for reconsideration.
The board found the original order, which terminated Furlong’s employment with the Edmonton Police Service, was appropriate.