Toronto cop facing charges for allegedly watching porn while on duty, slapping an officer's behind

Toronto Police Const. James Bragg appeared before the tribunal Tuesday after he was charged with four counts of discreditable conduct and one count of insubordination.  (Evan Mitsui/CBC - image credit)
Toronto Police Const. James Bragg appeared before the tribunal Tuesday after he was charged with four counts of discreditable conduct and one count of insubordination. (Evan Mitsui/CBC - image credit)

A Toronto police officer is facing disciplinary action after he allegedly watched pornography with a colleague while on duty, chased and slapped a female colleague's behind and made "sexually charged" comments toward another officer, disciplinary tribunal documents show.

According to documents, Const. James Bragg is facing a total of five charges including four counts of discreditable conduct and one of insubordination. Bragg, who is currently suspended with pay, appeared before the tribunal Tuesday and is scheduled to appear before the tribunal again on March 26.

In incidents dating back to 2022-2023, Bragg allegedly committed misconduct both on and off duty. That winter, Bragg was a senior on duty with another officer when he allegedly watched pornography on his personal cell phone while in the passenger seat of a "scout" car.

"PC Y was able to clearly see the image of a female having intercourse in the reflection on the passenger side window," documents said. "This conduct made PC Y feel uncomfortable because of the conduct itself, and because you were the senior officer."

On another occasion, Bragg allegedly displayed pornography to a different officer while on duty.

Bragg allegedly slapped female colleague's behind

On March 29, 2023, Bragg went out for after work drinks with other officers in his platoon. As the off-duty officers were walking to a karaoke bar, Bragg allegedly kicked a female officer in the behind while she was "getting a piggyback" by another officer.

"At this time, you kicked PC X in her buttocks and then slapped her buttocks with your hand," documents say.

"PC X jumped down from the piggy back and began to run, and you chased after her using grabbing motions with your hands. It was only when another member of your platoon yelled at you to stop that you finally stopped."

David Butt, a Toronto-based criminal lawyer representing Bragg, declined to comment on the charges Tuesday.

"As the matter is before the Tribunal, the only comments I will be making will be made in the Tribunal hearing room," said Butt said in an email to CBC Toronto.

Myron Demkiw has served with the force for 32 years, and will be taking over from James Ramer.
Myron Demkiw has served with the force for 32 years, and will be taking over from James Ramer.

Jon Reid, president of the Toronto Police Association, said there has been a 'positive shift' in organizational culture when it comes to workplace harassment. (Richard Agecoutay/CBC)

In another incident, Bragg was on duty and conducting a vehicle stop with another officer near Dundas Street W. when he showed an inappropriate photo to that officer.

"You opened your cell phone and showed PC Z a picture of a female who was bent over and naked. You asked him if he liked your home screen," documents say.

"PC Z asked you to stop and to act professionally, and reminded you that the body worn cameras were recording and would have captured the image."

Documents said Bragg also allegedly made "inappropriate and sexually charged comments" toward the same officer on other occasions despite being asked to stop.

"On one occasion you referred to a woman's breasts by saying "look at the mamms on her,"" the tribunal documents say.

"PC Z asked you to never speak like that again, but you continued to talk in this manner. These comments made PC Z feel very uncomfortable."

Less tolerance, greater inclination to speak up: TPA

In a statement Tuesday, Toronto Police Association (TPA) president Jon Reid said while the association cannot comment on the case while its before the tribunal, Reid said there has been a "positive shift" in organizational culture when it comes to workplace harassment.

"As newer members join the organization, we are seeing less tolerance and a greater inclination to speak up when people act inappropriately," Reid said. "We will continue to support our members through these processes."

The Toronto Police Service is currently addressing recommendations to include frontline supervisor anti-harassment training, a review of its workplace harassment and discrimination complaints and investigations process along with a "continued overhaul" of its human resources processes, said spokesperson Devika Deonarine in an email on Tuesday.

"Although we cannot speak to matters that are before the Disciplinary Tribunal, we can say that harassment and discrimination have no place in our organization," Deonarine said.

"The Service respects the rights of our members to pursue their complaints, and where our members experience harassment in any form, we encourage them to come forward so that it may be addressed immediately."

Bragg has previously been convicted of a total of seven charges under the Police Services Act, according to public documents from Toronto police.

In 2012, Bragg was convicted of three counts for failing to file charges with the courts after issuing court appearance notices to members of the public for a number of criminal and Provincial Offences Act charges.

He was previously also convicted of four charges in 2009, including two counts of neglect of duty and two counts of insubordination.

"Should Constable Bragg fail to improve his work ethic and commit further acts of misconduct and return to the Tribunal, it is difficult to surmise how he could remain as a member of the Service," says the adjudicator's decision for the 2012 case.

"In fact, he must now consider this to be a final warning that he will face almost certain dismissal from the Service should he appear before the Tribunal in the future."