An internal Kingston Police investigation into an officer’s controversial actions did not keep him from taking a higher-than-average increase in pay in 2020. Kingston Police Constable Brad Hughes, who caused controversy in June 2020 for a Facebook post that claimed that those “resisting arrest” were partly to blame for their deaths at the hands of police officers and was subsequently the subject of an internal Kingston Police investigation, had a salary increase of 4.4 per cent in 2020.
The information comes with the release of the Ontario Sunshine List on Mar. 19, 2021, a public sector salary disclosure for employees earning over $100,000.
According to the Sunshine List, Hughes’ salary reportedly increased from $114,301 in 2019, to $119,353 in 2020.
In addition, the Sunshine list reported that the average raise for Hughes’ position as Constable at the City of Kingston Police Services Board was 1.03 per cent, meaning Hughes’ raise was 3.37 per cent more than the average raise a constable received.
In a statement from the Kingston Police, Constable Ashley Gutheinz told the Kingstonist, “In terms of the 2020 salary disclosure report, the difference in pay between 2019 and 2020 is unrelated to any investigation and could be as a result of overtime and/or paid duty assignments, as well as 2020 being a year with one extra pay period.”
According to the 2017-2019 agreement between the Kingston Police Services Board and the Kingston Police Association Inc, a salary schedule for a Constable 4th class as of September 1st, 2019 is $100,395, at a rate of 48.27 an hour, not including overtime. Though it is unclear what class of Constable Hughes is, the Ontario Sunshine list reported Hughes’ salary for 2019 being $114,301. A current agreement between the Police Services Board and the Police Association has not yet been ratified.
Hughes sparked controversy last June when he made a Facebook post that stated, among other things, “The main component which is 100% present in ALL incidents where someone was injured or died while in police custody regardless of what race is involved is that the accused was resisting their arrest.”
The Jun. 1, 2020 post was made following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25, 2020, after police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes, an act that set off international protests. It was taken down four days after posting, and Kingston Police Sergeant Steve Koopman announced at the time that there was an internal investigation into the matter.
Despite the announcement of an investigation quickly after the controversial post was taken down, and the public outcry against Hughes, there has been no subsequent report to the public regarding the incident. “The matter involving Cst. Bradley Hughes was investigated internally and has been addressed from a performance management perspective,” continued Gutheinz. “In accordance with employment law and as confirmed by our legal counsel, it is a confidential employment matter.”
At the time, Hughes also reportedly said he had a statement prepared for when the investigation concluded. However, to date no such statement has been made publicly, nor on his personal social media. Kingston Police have also not made any statement repudiating any of Hughes’ comments.