Hamilton Cops — Suspended with pay! (UPDATED)

The Hamilton Spectator – By Susan Clairmont;

A pair of Hamilton cops — one a rookie, the other a veteran detective — are charged with framing a man for a crime he didn’t commit.


First, let’s meet the two cops.

Constable Jessica Prazeres has only been wearing a badge for 10 months. She donned a uniform in July and hit the streets with a training officer. She just got off her probation as a new recruit in November when she was allowed for the first time to work on her own.

Her name might not mean much to you. But try Googling Jessica Amaro.


Then there’s Detective Helena Russell. A 16-year veteran. Most recently working out of the Mountain criminal investigation division. Before that she had worked in the sexual assault unit. Russell has had a high community profile in the past few months as president of the Hamilton chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving. Jessica was the chapter’s vice-president.


They will continue to be paid while they are suspended.


Only in Canada, eh? 😉

UPDATE (02/03/07) – The Hamilton Spectator, letters to the editor — Hiring process should weed out bad cops

16 comments on “Hamilton Cops — Suspended with pay! (UPDATED)

  1. I wouldn’t put it as John did, but I do agree that she isn’t very good at singing and she does come across as a fake, I didn’t think she could be this bad but I guess none of us did.


  2. In a world of katy perry’s and gagas, she has no chance at a ‘real’ career. Digital music alterations and enhancements make it possible for anyone to sing and have a career. With this kind of competition, all that’s left is singing poorly to ethnic communities in their language of choice.

    Regarding the actual story of this page, I can say she deserves whatever she gets. Some people are born trouble makers, regardless of how their parents raised them. She hasn’t and won’t learn her lesson, lies will persist out of her mouth since that is the world she prefers to live in. I honestly do feel sorry for the family though. Euro families are usually very tight knit, so you can only imagine what stress this has put on them.

    Russell is equally bad news, how she is still involved with policing baffles my imagination.

  3. This girl Jessica Amaro is bad news, thats the word here in Hamilton, and from what goes around, her mom could be the cause of it all, this isn’t just a case of bad judgement, she is bad, and to think at some point she was protecting us, thats very scary.


  4. There is a facebook page saying we should fight to get the accusation dropped, claiming that the police framed Prazares.

    What does this mean exactly? Well, I guess they have made it 100% undeniable that the police frame people. If Prazares is guilty, then she framed someone. If not, the police force framed somebody. Not exactly a good way for the police to come clean from the whole “framing” thing.

    Still, it raises the old cliche, “where there’s smoke there’s fire.” I don’t think the police would be in any huge hurry to put down one of their own without serious cause, especially at the cost of losing face to the public.

    If Prazares was in fact herself framed, this doesn’t make things any better for the public, because it suggests a corporate culture in which framing people is considered appropriate given the right internal politics, which really would make any guilt on Prazares part a symptom of a greater illness.

  5. Dear john, You are a fake and a liar, Jessica was Set up big time, By Drew grennan who is a even bigger liar, He made all that shit up cause Jessica would not date him!

  6. Thank you to my guest who emailed me to inform me that the charges against Det. Russell were dropped.

    Charges against Const. Prazeres are still pending.

    I would like to make comment regarding my guests “feedback” though…

    Charges withdrawn – No Evidence – Innocent- good thing they continued to pay her I guess…

    Guest, please go back through any of the articles that have been posted and point me to where the word “innocent” was used. The articles are quite vague and only state that the charges were “withdrawn” against Russell. In fact, the only reference to “innocent” is when the victim was referenced. I find it quite odd that the word “innocent” was not plastered on the front page. Even Chief Mullen refused to comment (and was quite vague when he did).

    From The Spec;

    All criminal charges have been withdrawn against a veteran Hamilton detective accused of framing an innocent civilian in a bizarre and highly public scandal.[…]

    Heck, if I was found “innocent”, I’d make sure everyone knew it! I would also be suing the *ss off of anyone who was involved… including “her own police force”.

    Detective Sergeant Helena Russell — backed by a large group of applauding supporters — stood in a Hamilton courtroom yesterday as a Crown attorney formally dropped charges of public mischief, conspiracy to prosecute a person for an alleged offence, fabrication of evidence and breach of trust. They were laid against her in January after what appears to be a shoddy investigation by her own police service.

    The final quote that I am happy to see…

    Being on the other side of an arrest has given the detective a new understanding of the effect on the accused.

    “Definitely an eye-opener,” she said. “I have an appreciation of the ripple effect it caused on my son, my family, my friends … “

    Good — more cops should go through this just to see what they put others through. They should know, first hand, the potential damage they can in their “job”.

    As for the comment “good thing they continued to pay her I guess…”. What a load of crap. That’s what got me posting this in the first place. Show me another profession where that would be an “acceptable” form of discipline. So, if she was found guilty, would she be expected to return any funds she had received during the time she was suspended? The point was not whether she was innocent or guilty — she was formally charged, suspended and continued to receive my tax dollars for her time at home. If I was charged with something and was suspended from my job because of it, would I be given the same? I think not. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander — think about that the next time you are laying charges against someone…

  7. The officer Jessica Prazeres (Amaro) is bad news, she has been singing in the portuguese community in Toronto for a while, and not only does she suck, everyone knows she is a fake as well and most portuguese artists in the Toronto area also know she is a backstabber, so this is no surprise, she is capable of alot worst.


    Kyle’s reply: Hi John;

    I don’t know Jessica, so I can’t really comment on your comments. I do find it odd that one would want to be a cross between a “pop singer” and a “cop” though.

    Thanks for your comments.


  8. Kyle, kindly remove this story or remove the names included in them. For We would like to speak with you directly regarding this matter, but have no contact information provided on this site. Please communicate with us ASAP as this is an urgent matter.

    Kyle’s reply;

    There is a contact link at the top of the page, every page, right beside the my comment policy.

    Why would I want to remove this post, or the names included within them? I have posted nothing that has not already been reported on by various news media. If there have been any updates, then post it here or send me a link and I will update this post.

    But thanks for bringing this post back up as I didn’t notice that a few of the posts were missing from it… must have been a glitch in the last site upgrade. They have since been restored.


  9. She is a very good officer and has helped me and my family out a lot. I think maybe before posting slanderous things about her you should maybe know her ? Mistakes happen and it is not her fault that the policy allows her to be paid on suspension. You do not know the full circumstances of what happened and there for should not have a say.

    Kyle’s reply:

    I’ve posted nothing that wasn’t already in the newspaper. I have no personal interest in slandering her. She did it to herself, without my assistance. I simply blogged about it. You have to love free speech. Anything I’ve said can be verified. You think I make this shit up?


  10. This message is directed at “John” It’s people like you that give us Portuguese artists the bad luck syndrom. If you don’t like someone’s singing; go listen to someone else. Your opinion is as valid as anyone else’s but to actually put someone down because you jumped on a band wagon that was doing it is cowardly! At least don’t hide behind a first name! I at least have my Full stage name on this post. I happen to know Jessica and I think she is an incredible human being! and as many humans do; she made a mistake..now unless all of you are free of making mistakes; don’t be posting finger pointing garbage! Jessica I think your great! Keep Fighting!

  11. The following was sent to me via the feedback form on this site — permission to post it has been received from the commenter because I thought that it was a comment that should be seen by everyone, not just me.


    As a representative of Jessica Amaro (Prazeres), I have been solidly
    involved in her professional career, also having given her authorization
    to join the police force, I feel it is my obligation to comment on the
    messages posted on your site.

    First off, may I bring to your attention that Jessica is not suspended
    with pay, but without pay. May I also point out that Mr. “John” has no
    corroborating evidence that Jessica Amaro has ever been “disliked” by any
    of the Portuguese community except himself. He also is invited to share
    information and proof that Jessica Amaro has ever ‘stabbed’ anyone in the
    back. His style of writing and also point of view also indicated he is
    most likely a wannabe “artist” of the community. Fortunately, Jessica, an
    international performing artist, has received nothing but support from over
    500,000 members of the portuguese community in the GTA alone, that have
    sent out their support throughout this difficult time. This is not
    including all of the extreme support she has received from her thousands
    of fans across the globe.

    Canada prides itself in being able to be a fair and just country where one
    is “found innocent until proven guilty”. I cannot get into the details of
    the circumstances, however, I can disclose and support the Hamilton
    Spectator when they stated the investigation was based on msn messages the
    Police looked at as gospel. Unfortunately, being a cop and a popstar is a
    mix which attracts not only fans, media, but also obssessive parties that
    go through to extreme lengths to seek attention. Please keep all of this
    in mind.
    Also in responce to “John’s” comment about Jessica “sucking”. Everyone is
    entitled to their own opinion. We take pride in saying Jessica has studied
    with the world’s top professionals, has excelled in supporting the
    community (which is why she became a cop- to give back to the community
    she so loved). Jessica was chosen from all Hamilton Police Service
    recruits to be the star in a documentary about Police Officers and the
    community because she was exceptional and excelled at home, professionaly
    and as a person in her community. Jessica has also been nominated in
    Hollywood, Los Angeles, California under various categories. We are proud
    to say Jessica’s musical career has excelled and will continue to do so,
    due to her humbleness, down to earth, kind hearted spirit that she
    continues to have through this nonsence.

    We thank all the support shown to her, and appreciate the opportunity to
    share our thoughts with the individuals reading this.
    Thank you Kyle.

    The team at JAM Entertainment

    Kyle’s reply;


    I have nothing against Jessica, of course I don’t know her. I blog about things that I find interesting, upsetting, enlightening — well, you get the point. However, I am particularly hard on law enforcement due to the nature of their jobs, what they are supposed to represent. And yeah, the pop star / cop combination was irresistible. :)

    I understand the “innocent until proven guilty premise”, and fully support it — on the other hand, I see it as a good experience to go through for those that routinely put others through the same experience — because it’s not really like that in the real world, is it?. People are wrongly accused on a daily basis, but unless you’re a cop, no one seems to care about the effect that it has on a persons life, it’s like “Ooops, we’re sorry, let’s be friends and move on.”. Well, it’s not like that, as both Jessica and Helena can attest to, is it?

    Anyway, that’s the kind of reasoning behind a blog post like this — not something directly against Jessica, or against “a cop”. And if either, or both, are truly innocent, I feel extremely sorry for them — I feel for anyone wrongly accused.

    Oh, and as for being paid while suspended — that was a direct quote from the Spec — the link is in the original post on my site (here)

    That was really what got me started in the first place — it pissed me off to think that the taxpayers of Hamilton would continue to pay someone while they are suspended. It’s simply the principle of it that doesn’t sit well with me — if there is enough reason/evidence to charge someone, there is enough reason to cut the paycheck, IMO. What do others do in the event they are found not guilty? They sue the police, province, or whomever they can — that’s just life. One set of rules for everyone.

    As for John’s comments — well, John is a commenter on my website — I don’t know him. He could be a whack-job, but he could also have inside information — again, I don’t know, and I’m not about to try and figure it out. He’s welcome to comment on my site, as are you. Which brings me to this — you really should have posted this as a reply so that everyone can see it — these are the kind of comments we need. Obviously, you have put a great deal more time and energy, as well as thought, into your reply — much more than John (no disrespect to John either), and it would be a shame for me to be the only one who gets to see it. With your permission, I will post your comments for you, if that was your intention — just let me know via reply if you wish me to do so.

    Thank you for your comments, they are appreciated.


    UPDATE – 03/14/08

    I’d like to ask this poster if they still believe in the premise of “innocent until proven guilty”? If so, I’d like to hear your comments regarding giving cops the ability to seize cars on-the-spot, for an offense that has not yet been proven in a court of law. Seized, based on one cops word — and we all know what a cops word is worth today.

  12. How in the world could this happen. Our Hamilton Police officers are a bunch of jokers. Every two months they are involved in something scandalous. Our police recruits are no better. Even with guidance, babying, mentoring they still manage to get arrested within only 3 months of being on the force.

    What does that say for Russell?? Can someone say bad judgement? If this so called “Veteran” of the police force can’t weed out bad apples like Prazeres imagine what she does on the streets of hamilton???? No wonder crime is at an all time high in hamilton!! It’s unfortunate that Russell will use her clout to put her friend back on the force, but in reality Prazeres should be discharged. ZERO TOLERENCE FOR INCOMPETANCE should resonate throughout the Police Force.

    Russell if you have any sort of dignity will you call for your friend’s resignation. When a rookie cop manages to be arrested within 3 months thats a symptom of not only a bad cop, but a bad person.

    Kyle’s reply

    Hello Guest;

    Thank you for your comments.

    Hamilton Police staffing shortage – ya wanna be a cop?


  13. I would hope this experience would show the officer what its like to be the accused. I agree with your point that in any other profession if you are flagged for misconduct you do not get paid leave while they investigate. Now, I understand cops are put on administrative leave for numerous reasons, but if it involves the officer being accused of framing an innocent citizen…they should not be paid during the case. That’s my opinion.


    Kyle’s reply;

    Hello Frank;

    I quite agree. Thanks for your comments.


  14. I gotta disagree with the above comment… well partial …

    Russell has got to have bad judgement for having gotten into this mess, but if this rookie was the star recruit, ever think maybe this veteran got this rookie into this mess in the first place? With the corruption in policing these days, Russell would have more knowledge on how to get off, and could have slept with the chief, or even placed all blame on the rookie which is how she got off. The poor kid who just started sounds more like the scapegoat to me… Im curious to know the real deal there
    And how come we never actually hear their side of the story? I mean, that sounds like a pretty immature reason for laying charges… aren’t there murders goin on in Hamilton? And yet they’re spending our tax money on this crap? Drop it, grow up, and go after real criminals.

    Kyle’s reply;

    Hello Guest; I do have to agree with your comments — that’s why they’re called “mentors”.

    However, I think in this case, it’s more “monkey see, monkey do”.

    The problem all boils down to cops who feel they are above the law. Cops that think they can do whatever they please and not have to pay the consequences for it. Believe me, those times are changing.

    As for spending our tax dollars and going after real criminals — that isn’t going to happen any time soon. Cops don’t want to have to do the dangerous stuff like catching criminals! Why, when they can be paid the same to direct traffic, or watch a construction crew work, or sit and talk to other cops behind malls — you know, it’s called “screwing the dog” (still trying to keep it G rated!). Hey, if you were paid the same for screwing the dog, or chasing down real criminals, which would YOU choose?

    As an example, I stopped and talked to a female cop who was pointing a radar gun at a well known trap. I showed her the video of at least 6 cars ahead of me speeding at 80KM per hour (via the speed on my GPS) in a 50KM zone. I then showed her the same cars breaking hard as they came around the bend where she (the cop) was setup. “Everyone knows you’re here, why do you keep setting up here?”, I asked. “It’s about results.”, was her answer — “I’ve given out 4 tickets in an hour.”. What she doesn’t understand (even when pointed out) is that she is NOT catching the dangerous drivers, she’s catching people 10KM over who are still waking up, drinking their morning coffee. Can you say MONEY GRAB? I then proceeded to tell her to setup about 1KM from where she was and she WOULD get the dangerous drivers. You know what her response was? “I’m not stepping out in front of vehicles traveling at 80KM per hour!” When I asked her why not, she stated it “was too dangerous”. I kid you not.

    So, basically, cops want the danger pay, but not the part of the job that warrants that pay.

    Thanks for your comments!


  15. I agree, let it go and start chasing real criminals. And I have to say I’m totally ok with some cop framing a bad guy if he’s got nothing else on him. I know last year I was in a california drug treatment center doing community work and I met a former drug dealer doing rehab. He kept saying he was framed, and I smiled at him. He shouldn’t have started using in the first place, let alone selling. Serves him right.

    Kyle’s reply;

    That is a very slippery slope you’re walking. Where does it end when cops start framing people? I bet you’d have a different outlook if it were you being framed.

    Depends on what this alleged drug dealer was in for. 65% of the people in jail in the US are in for drug related crimes. 80% of those are non-violent drug related crimes. It’s a huge waste of our tax dollars, not to mention our law enforcement resources. Cops are out chasing down kids with a joint, when they should be chasing real criminals.

    Think about that the next time you’re sitting in a bar having a shot of Tequila and a cigarette — both of which are mind altering substances, both of which will kill you, and both of which are legal.

    This is way too complicated of a subject to discuss in this thread though.

  16. Regarding the hiring process wedding out bad cops, how is it supposed to do that? Short of something obvious like a criminal record, the only way to do serious vetting of police would be to do what the FBI does– polygraph all applicants, and ding anyone who has used an illegal drug or committed an illegal act. It’s harsh, but the odds that someone will go corrupt after having done nothing wrong her whole life is pretty slim. Of course, this would never happen in local police forces because it would kill recruitment.

    Amelia Y.

    Kyle’s reply;

    Hello Amelia;

    I’m sure we can start off by agreeing that *something* has to be done, right?

    In my opinion, you either do something to the effect that you state and “kill recruitment”, or you keep letting it slide and you “kill respect for our police forces”. Police abusing their power is getting worse everyday. The loss of respect for police is getting worse everyday.

    As kids, we used to cross the street when we saw a cop — because we feared them. Today, kids tell the cops to f**k off and flip them the bird. Why do you think that is?

    There are a lot of cops today who choose to abuse their power and give the rest of the force a bad name. Until the rest of the force decides to stand up against these thugs with a badge, things will not get better. People used to become cops because they truly wanted to make our communities a better place. Today, they become cops because they get a badge and a gun. Some respect the badge, but everyone respects the gun.

    We may not be able to weed out the bad cops before recruitment, but we sure as hell can weed them out after. I understand that cops are human and make mistakes, but they also need to be held to a higher standard due to the power that is given to them. If they decide to abuse this power, they should be fired, immediately.

    And I’m not talking specifically about corrupt cops. I’m talking about cops that generally abuse their power because they can. Driving at excessive speeds, not following the laws of the road, parking where ever they please — general things like these are what the public sees everyday, which makes all cops look bad. Remember the old saying that you can do a hundred things right, but do one thing wrong and everyone remembers it. Cops expect to get “rewarded” when they do something right, but expect people to overlook the things they do wrong. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. Cops are expected to do things right… that’s their job. Why should there be a reward for doing your job?

    Anyway, I’m sure you can see I have a passion for the subject, so I’m going to leave it at that. I don’t hate cops, I just wish they would either stop breaking the law, or stand up and take responsibility for their own actions.

    I’ll leave you with a couple of recent examples.

    First, my hat’s off to the OPP officer who charged one of their own with “street-racing” — we need more cops like this to restore respect to the profession.

    Lead-foot cop charged with street racing

    And for a few examples of how cops should not be acting. These took all of two seconds to find with Google. Unfortunately, articles like this are too easy to find and too frequent. These kinds of cops should be let go immediately. You either set the example, or be made an example of.

    Off-duty Niagara cop charged with assault

    Halton cop charged in altercation

    Leamington cop charged with impaired driving

    The sad reality is, for every one story we see like this in the newspaper, you have to wonder how many go untold?


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