The Toronto Star – “Police Who Lie”

The Toronto Star is monitoring judges’ rulings that find police officers lied on a witness stand since the paper published “Police Who Lie” in 2012. As a result of that series, then Ontario Attorney General John Gerretsen ordered Crown Attorneys to report these decisions to their superiors, who would then refer them to the police force involved. Just what kind of impact this policy has had is subject to disheartening speculation.

Nonetheless, the Star continues to report incidents of probable police dishonesty, and two examples were featured in their GTA Section on succeeding days in April. “Cops deceit leads to case dismissal” on April 23 referenced two officers of the Toronto Police Service. “Cop ‘lied’ to get warrant, judge rules” ran on April 24 and spotlighted an officer with the Peel Regional Police.

turnoverarocktoday sent a brief comment to both Toronto and Peel police. They’re reprinted here. There’s nothing in particular that distinguishes the Star stories of April 23 and 24 from similar examples coming to our attention, either from the media or anecdotal, but the volume needs to be turned up occasionally.

What you’ll read here more than once over time is: You need to stand up, you need to speak up, you need to act up……..otherwise, you need to pack up!

April 25, 2015

Mark Pugash, Director,
Unit Commander, Corporate Communications,
Toronto Police Service,
40 College Street,
Toronto, ON M5G 2J3

Re: Cop’s deceit leads to case dismissal
Toronto Star, April 23, 2015

Director Pugash:

I’m going to stick out my neck, and make an assumption. Constables Juin Pinto and Kimberley Sabadics are still active employees of the TPS, aren’t they?

So, what does that say about the integrity of the force, and its perspective on discreditable conduct by some of its members?

Tell us again Director Pugash why we should see our police officers in a positive light.

Yours truly,

Charles H. Klassen

April 25, 2015

Jennifer Evans, Chief,
Peel Regional Police,
7750 Hurontario Street,
Brampton, ON L6V 3W6

Re: Cop ‘lied’ to get warrant, judge rules
Toronto Star, Friday, April 24, 2015

Chief Evans:

I’m going to make a prediction that Constable Aamer Merchant will still be employed by the Peel Regional Police a year from now.

I’m hoping you’re asked in the spring of 2016 exactly why the public should feel confident in the integrity of their police officers.

Yours truly,

Charles H. Klassen


Stop Harper!

Remember Brigette DePape? She was the University of Ottawa graduate and Senate page who walked into the chamber during Governor-General David Johnston’s reading of the speech from the throne on Friday, June 3, 2011, in uniform, and holding a handmade red stop sign with the message “Stop Harper!”. She stood in the middle of the Senate chamber holding the sign in front of her for a few seconds before the sergeant-at-arms escorted her out of the room.

A few days later on June 9, the Toronto Star published an op-ed piece she wrote explaining her action. “As a page, I witnessed one irresponsible bill after another pass through the Senate.” And, this was in 2011! She started a fund to support peaceful direct action and civil disobedience against the Harper agenda. Brigette’s site, will still take a reader to a plethora of anti-Harper results.

Turnoverarocktoday wrote to her family in Winnipeg a few days later on June 10 to congratulate her parents for their daughter’s idealism and courage.

So, what has changed?

Stephen Harper and his party’s blatant disregard for the best interests of every citizen in favour of policies marked by partisan politics, founded on medieval sensibilities appealing to sophists, a servile minority, and the mean-spirited is supported by a marginally and unfortunately justifiable belief that enough voters can be persuaded that  the emperor really is resplendent in new robes to tip the electoral scale in a preference for the status quo.

For all of us whose heads are not stuck in the sand, or lodged in a dark crevice at the rear of our body, it’s important to appreciate that a public servant is not above severe criticism, no matter how lofty the position. Canada may be ripe for both an Arab Spring and an Edward Snowden, but we have neither the equatorial climate conducive to the former, nor the world standing to attract the latter.

Let us therefore throw those little jabs which become increasingly uncomfortable with repetition, bruise before long, and wound in the end. Begin today!

Toronto Police “carding”……what is it?

There’s been considerable exposure in Toronto’s media over the last few years, and in particular at the Toronto Star, covering the practice of police stops and the carding of citizens. After yesterday’s posting, “Carding – Everything old is new again”, there may still be some readers who are not familiar with the subject. To fill in much of that gap, please refer to…/toronto-carding-_b_5031324.html

Carding – Everything old is new again.

The Globe and Mail ran articles on a Toronto Police Services revised carding policy….what are now being called “community engagement reports”…on March 28 and April 3. The Toronto Star published its stories on March 28 and April 2. At no point do our police question the practice; it’s a matter of how the stops are conducted. Both newspapers see the new rules as little more than a rehash of what’s gone on before.
What has always been true is a citizen’s responsibility to know what rights people have, and a willingness to stand up both individually and collectively to blunt the State’s intrusion. It’s unfortunate how difficult a lesson that is to learn on the one hand, while a general reluctance to question authority leaves open the option for abuse on the other.

April 6, 2015

Alok Mukherjee, Chair,
Toronto Police Services Board,
40 College Street,
Toronto, ON M5B 2J3

Re: Carding

Chairman Mukherjee:

Chief Bill Blair is correct that “community engagement reports” are an invaluable investigative tool. Chief Blair’s assessment is also irrelevant.

Over a period of time after I moved to Toronto in 1959 from a small rural community, I became puzzled by a general lack of understanding among people of an individual’s rights. Police officers were assumed to know the law, were assumed to hold those rights sacrosanct, and would of course ensure they were protected. How was it possible then, for instance, that so many believed we were all required by law to carry identification on our persons? Such a quaint concept in a democracy! Unfortunately, fifty-six years later, not much has changed. How can that be?

I’ve written to Chief Blair previously to say that “carding” is an abhorrent infringement by the public service on the sovereignty of the citizenry. Now, that’s relevant!

Yours truly,

Charles H. Klassen
cc Bill Blair, Chief, Toronto Police Service
John Tory, Mayor, City of Toronto

Cardboard is a threat!

Edward Snowshoe, a 24 year-old aboriginal man from Fort McPherson in the NWT, hanged himself with a bedsheet on August 13, 2010 in Edmonton Institution. He’d spent 162 days in segregation, after having his security classification bumped up from medium to maximum for fashioning a makeshift weapon from a cardboard juice carton and holding it menacingly toward prison staff.
An Alberta judge issued what the Globe and Mail described as a scathing five-page report on this death last year. It took Mr. Head ten months to write a dismissive response. Refer to the Globe and Mail web site for more details on Edward Snowshoe.

April 6, 2015

Don Head, Commissioner,
Correctional Service of Canada,
340 Laurier Avenue West,
Ottawa, ON K1A 0P9

Re: Prison head concedes few mistakes on treatment of Snowshoe
Globe and Mail, Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Commissioner Head:

The primary job of every person employed by Correctional Service of Canada is to put themselves out of work.

I think you’re more concerned about your next public service assignment than you are with the direction CSC takes in doing the right thing.

You might be interested in It could fit into your mindset.
Yours truly,

Charles H. Klassen