Constable Tash Baiati, a military veteran, was found guilty of misconduct by a police disciplinary tribunal following a September 16, 2015 incident, in which he fired at a car in a busy populated section of the city, placing bystanders, other officers, and himself at risk.
The car attacked by Baiati was pinned between three police vehicles after a car chase following a tip that the vehicle had been stolen.
The action of firing a weapon at a vehicle for the sole purpose of disabling it is prohibited under Toronto police regulations, according to the Toronto Star.
Observing that the high-profile incident had drawn widespread negative publicity for the department, Inspector Richard Hegedus wrote Monday,
"The actions of Constable Baiati in a densely populated area at a time of day when there were many members of the public nearby, created a significant risk to public safety."
"[Constable Baiati] selected an unauthorized and unsafe means," Hegedus wrote, adding, "There were other actions Constable Baiati could have taken that did not involve the discharge of his firearm. The firearm discharges in the circumstances were prohibited."
Baiati was docked seven days' pay, and sent to a one-day remedial training program. In his defense, the convicted officer said, "Tunnel vision had kicked in…. I'm like, ‘this has got to stop now.'"
During the incident, Baiati, after firing 14 shots, had completely unloaded his weapon's magazine into the engine of the automobile. He nonetheless quickly reloaded and resumed firing, according to testimony, shooting nine more bullets into the vehicle because he believed that the car was not yet disabled.
In the course of the disciplinary hearing, the prosecution described Baiati's actions as "serious misconduct that placed the public at risk."
"Each shot had the potential to ricochet and kill or injure the suspect, fellow officers, members of the public, or Constable Baiati himself," prosecutors wrote.