Toronto Police investigating disturbing Twitter account linked to parking enforcement officer
WARNING: This story contains some disturbing language.
Kyle Ashley says when he was considering coming out as a gay man a few years ago, he cautiously told a colleague of his at the time that was making racist and homophobic remarks, that he should reassess his comments.
A couple of days later, Ashley was eating a protein bar.
"'Do you know what the gays call that? They just call that c**,'" Ashley recalls Murphy saying to him. "I lost my mind, he outed me, I outed myself by me screaming at him in the middle of a police station in 2015."
Now Toronto Police confirm they're investigating a Twitter account believed to be that of Murphy's - named @scottmurphy002 - which has since been deleted.
Murphy works as a parking enforcement officer and the tweets, saved by Ashley, include anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant messages, among others.
"Muslims need to be stopped from immigrating to any democratic country," read part of one tweet, while another said, "Immigrants don't belong here...they are welcome to come here. Big difference!!!"
Murphy has not responded to requests for comment.
Ashley says he worked with Murphy for several years and said his biggest concern is Murphy's work including patrolling areas like the gay village and mosques.
"His judgement and his bias could affect somebody else's life," he said. "If he has to keep his employment, he should be behind a desk stapling papers, not out in the public dealing with marginalized people on a daily basis."
His tweets have also included comments on municipal policy issues, such as the use of consumption sites, saying "the rest of us shouldn't be responsbile because you're an idiot."
Toronto Police Cst. Scott Mills, said the force appreciates the account being brought to attention and is being handled by the Professional Standards section.
"Generally speaking, the Police Services Act and our own procedures and standards of conduct guide what is acceptable use of social media even in a member’s private capacity, namely we cannot bring the Service into disrepute," Mills said in a statement.
Ashley worked in parking enforcement from November 2013 to July 2018, ironically leaving the force after getting lots of attention himself for his own Twitter posts about people blocking bike lanes.
He said he decided not to report Murphy for the homophobic remark made to him several years ago, because he feared retribution as someone struggling with his own sexuality at the time.
"My supervisor called me into the office and people check in on me to make sure I was okay," he said. "Standing up to him, I thought, would course-correct his behaviour."
"That's clearly not the case."