G-20: Now it starts to come out

“The officers involved in the incidents it investigated wore dark helmets and indistinguishable uniforms. The protesters couldn’t see their faces. Their fellow officers chose not to reveal their identities. Investigators were thwarted.”

I don’t like this idea that police officers should be required to have their badge numbers stencilled on their helmets.  That means we can’t trust them.  And that means they shouldn’t be police officers.

Maybe it’s more a matter of the instilling of proper norms of ethical and moral behaviour into them; and if they don’t have those already, maybe we need to consider that they possibly never will.

Jeff Goodall

Justice denied in G20 police brutality cases

Toronto Star

Nov. 28th, 2010

The first of six inquiries into allegations of police brutality at last June’s G20 summit has ended in disappointment.

The province’s Special Investigations Unit (SIU) found evidence that police used excessive force on two protesters, but could not identify the officers involved. It concluded no charges could be laid.

The Toronto Police Services Board is still examining what went wrong; Police Chief Bill Blair is conducting his own internal probe; provincial ombudsman André Marin is investigating protesters’ complaints; a parliamentary committee is holding hearings; and the Ontario Civilian Police Commission is looking into the behaviour of officers from outside Toronto. But it is now highly unlikely any officer will be disciplined for beating, kicking and injuring demonstrators.

(About 100 Toronto officers caught on camera without their identification tags will face a day’s suspension without pay — hardly an onerous penalty.)

The SIU can’t be blamed for failing to collect enough evidence to lay charges. The officers involved in the incidents it investigated wore dark helmets and indistinguishable uniforms. The protesters couldn’t see their faces. Their fellow officers chose not to reveal their identities. Investigators were thwarted.

To prevent this from happening again, it would be useful to emblazon officers’ badge numbers on their helmets.

But that is a poor answer to demonstrators who sought to hold police officers accountable for their injuries and Torontonians who watched the ugly spectacle on their streets in shocked dismay.

See original here.

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