“Last week the Supreme Court of Canada ruled in a 6-3 decision that police officers under investigation by the SIU cannot vet their notes with a lawyer before submitting them to the SIU (Special Investigations Unit -JG)… Supreme Court Justice Michael Moldaver, writing for the majority, said allowing police to consult with legal counsel before submitting their notes to the SIU reduces the transparency of police actions and public confidence in SIU investigations.” – Toronto Sun editorial.
Well, this is welcome news in the difficult, uphill fight to make the police accountable for their actions, particularly in cases where civilians are injured or killed by police “in the line of duty”.
To quote from my post “The Toronto Police are totally out of control” (March 13th, 2013), “The Toronto Police in particular are notorious for not co-operating with the Province’s Special Investigations Unit, that looks into cases of death and injury caused by the police, to the extent that they don’t always report such incidents despite the requirement to do so” (link below).
And as I also said in that article, “I sometimes wonder why I bother to write about this issue, it seems that anybody trying to draw attention to police abuses and get some improvements made is just bashing their head against a brick wall.”
As was said in a Toronto Star article in February of 2011, “Through a freedom of information request, the Star obtained 300 letters Scott sent to police forces over a 14-month period beginning in January 2009. When asked Tuesday if his letters get a response, Scott said in an interview: “Overall, the answer is no. Typically I don’t get responses…”
Well, according to yesterday’s Toronto Sun editorial “The police aren’t like everyone else”, the families of two persons killed by the Toronto Police argued in court that the police should hand over their notes to the SIU without first having them vetted – and possibly altered – by Police Association lawyers.
And after fighting all the way to the Supreme Court, they won!
This ruling, together with recordings made using hand-held cameras, has begun the long, slow process of making the police responsible for their actions by disallowing the presentation of what can best be described as “suspect” notes, and by enabling the creation of an iron-clad record of the actual events.
Hopefully, as the more brazen acts of police violence are made known – and the public expresses its disapproval – the police themselves will come to realize the importance of following the law by actually changing those aspects of the “police culture” that encourage and enable abuse.
As far as examples are concerned, I have amassed enough material on my website that I hardly know where to begin, but there are some links below for those who are interested.
And right now, it is important to not lose sight of three issues that I consider to be essential in stopping this giant blue juggernaut of arrogance, violence, lies and deceit: We must have a thorough review of possible police use of steroids, and the same with “selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors” which are often prescribed for depression. According to Wikipedia, “Mania or hypomania is a possible side effect.”
Such drugs have been involved or suspected in a number of multiple-shootings in America.
And finally, Apple is creating an app. that will allow the police to turn off all cell-phones in their vicinity in order to hide their activities – “The new technology will allow police officials to disable your smartphone if they don’t want you to record something as it’s taking place.”
Without evidence such as the Grupp film of the Sammy Yatim shooting, the police are never going to be properly held to account; it is imperative that our police be forbidden to use such apps. to prevent any “unwanted” recording of their activities.
And the battle for police accountability continues…
Read “The police aren’t like everyone else” here.
Information on the Apple development can be viewed here.
Read “The Toronto Police are totally out of control” here.
Visit my “Police Killings, Violence, Intimidation, Abuse” category here.