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Politics and its Discontents: The Toronto Police Are At It Again

This is what happens when you have a ‘blue wall’ culture, facilitated by a police chief who often seems more politician than top cop. Sure, it is unfair and inaccurate to portray all police as abusers of their authority, but when it happens again and again, with little consequence, people can be forgiven for being wary of those who are supposed to protect and serve the public.

Here is one such victim:

The above is Curtis Young, arrested in January of 2012 for alleged public intoxication obstructing justice and later assaulting and threatening police officers.

As reported in The Star (Read more…)

Melissa Fong: Black boys deserve our tears: On White privilege & police brutality

Sometimes I cry when reading the news. I cry because so many horrendous things happen to people and I can’t possibly understand why this world is SUCH a horrible place.

There are countless stories about the negative stereotypes and police brutality that Black men must endure… but this really broke my heart: “I blame myself, I taught my son to respect cops, not to fear them…

THE CAREGIVERS' LIVING ROOM - A Blog by Donna Thomson: Could Gilberto Powell Have Been Your Son, Mister President?

Nearly every day I see stories in the media of people with disabilities being abused. (For example, the case of Ethan Saylor, the young man with Down Syndrome who was killed by police when he went to the cinema).   But I normally don’t blog about them because I am not a rights activist – I’m more of solution-based peacenik, albeit a very determined one. But today is different.  This morning, I received a message from a respected colleague, Eva Kittay.  Eva is a distinguished professor of moral philosophy at SUNY and she’s also the mother of a young woman (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: The Virtues Of Restraint

I suspect if teachers were to be completely completely honest, almost all would admit that at some point in their careers they felt like lashing out, either verbally or physically, at a student or two. That was certainly my experience a few times during my 30 years in the classroom, but two things stopped me from ever being physically aggressive: the likelihood that I would lose my job, and, more importantly, the knowledge that I occupied a position of authority that carried with it profound responsibilities; to abuse that authority would have been a violation of the trust placed in (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: Do Police Have The ‘Right Stuff’?

Given the killing of people like Sammy Yatim and Steve Mesic and the taser takedown of Iole Pasquale, it would seem a legitimate question to ask, as Star readers offer their views:

SIU ruling on Tasered senior yet another shock, Oct. 11

Maybe Toronto Police Service just needs to hire tougher cops or send them for martial arts training.

I’m having a hard time imagining a confused, feeble 80-year-old woman rushing three physically fit officers with the speed and fury of a Ninja while flashing and twirling a bread knife and doing flying drop kicks. Maybe these guys should (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: I Guess This Is What Resisting Police Looks Like

No doubt, the SIU would have given this one another pass had it happened in Canada.

Recommend this Post

Politics and its Discontents: For Those Who Don’t Know Their Place

What do you do when citizens believe that democratic rights should be more than an illusion? Call in the authorities to remind them of their true place in the foodchain.

On a related topic, The Star’s Rosie DiManno has an excoriating assessment of yet another free pass given by the SIU to the officers involved in the ‘high-risk’ takedown of 80-year-old Iole Pasquale, the dementia sufferer who was tasered, not once but twice, while meandering down the street in the middle of the night in late August holding a bread knife.

Says DiManno:

… as SIU head Ian Scott noted (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: Police Surveillance

For those interested in the best way of ensuring police behave themselves, the following is a timely reminder of what our rights are when filming them:

For more information, check out Canadian Privacy Law Blog. Recommend this Post

Politics and its Discontents: The Power Of Pictures

‘Nuff said. Recommend this Post

Politics and its Discontents: Your Morning Jolt

Most people get their morning jolt from their breakfast cup(s) of coffee. As I wrote earlier this week, an 80-year-old woman, now identified as Iole Pasquale and suffering from dementia, got her jolts at 3:30 a.m. from two police taserings while walking along a road in Mississauga with a bread knife.

Described in the original report as frail, police sources say Pasquale was out of control and refused to follow police orders to put down the weapon before she was Tasered.

As a consequence of the tasering, she fell down and broke her hip. Any degree of independent living (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: So Many Stories, So Little Time

Most days that I post a blog entry, I choose my topic based on my reaction to news stories. Today, two disparate pieces seem particularly noteworthy, one that confirms what all but the profoundly naive know about government, the other about yet again another police incident that, thanks to the blanket of secrecy that encases our security forces, seems incomprehensible.

First, the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario, under the troubled ‘leadership’ of young Tim Hudak, confirms that that they are the party of business interests. As reported in The Toronto Star, Conservative MPP Randy Hillier, admittedly no fan of (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Police Brutality in Canada! Is This Democracy?

Richard Hughes Political Blogger

Make no mistake folks the genie is out of the bottle and fascism is staring us right in the face. Many people do not want to hear that or deal with that unwelcome reality but it is undeniably the reality of Canada today.

This video is brought to us from ‘Operation Maple‘ whose clearly stated goal is to take Canada back.

Do your best to take care of yourselves and your families. There is not much if any help available from any of our political party’s as they are all singing of the same (Read more…)

The Ranting Canadian: "Ah yeah, sure I know. It’s a free country. You know you…

“Ah yeah, sure I know. It’s a free country. You know you got the right. But I got a badge, what do you got?”

That line from West Side Story sums up the attitude of many – if not most – cops, especially in Toronto. They are confident that their police badge is essentially a licence to break the law, up to and including murder (at least while on duty).

Toronto cops have a long, dark history of killing and brutally beating people who didn’t deserve it. They almost always get away with it, and nothing really changes within (Read more…)

drive-by planet: A nation of laws

drive-by planet: As Turkey explodes Erdogan claims he is not ‘a dictator’ – rather a ‘servant of the people’

Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan claims he is not a dictator… not even a master… but rather “a servant of the people.” Not many Turkish citizens are convinced because following the Gezi Park protest, the treatment meted out to demonstrators by Turkish police has been a total horror show. It quickly became evident that the government was feeling threatened by way more than protesters in Gezi Park with concerns about green space.

Photos bear witness to the brutal nature of the crackdown. One shows a young woman in a summer dress, standing her ground courageously as tear gas is (Read more…)

The Ranting Canadian: With all the stories across Canada of police brutality…

With all the stories across Canada of police brutality (including killings), harassment, rights violations, discrimination, perjury, political bias, corruption (e.g. bribes, smuggling, extortion, drug-dealing) – and seeing almost no consequences for the crimes committed by police officers – it’s extremely difficult to resist the A.C.A.B. (All Cops Are Bastards) attitude.

How are we supposed to keep falling for the line that “there are just a few bad apples” when the supposed good apples consistently rally around the bad apples and even promote them to higher positions? It’s very hard to tell the difference between the (Read more…)

The Ranting Canadian: Young woman arrested for posting photo of graffitti online

Young woman arrested for posting photo of graffitti online:

According to CBC News:

A 20-year-old woman has been accused of criminal harassment and intimidation against a high-ranking Montreal police officer after she posted a photo of anti-police graffiti online.

Pawluck insists that she’s done nothing wrong and the actions of the Montreal police amount to harassment.

Montreal criminal defence attorney Eric Sutton says the Crown will have to prove that Lafrenière reasonably feared for his safety because of the photo posted by Pawluck.

“I think this may be somewhat of a political statement by the police

. . . → Read More: The Ranting Canadian: Young woman arrested for posting photo of graffitti online

Politics and its Discontents: Police Workout Video

No need to join a gym, I guess, when police have so many on-the-job-workout opportunities.

Raymond Costain, afterwards.

H/t trapdinawrpool Recommend this Post

The Ranting Canadian: Inspired by news stories of the last week or so: What do the…

Inspired by news stories of the last week or so:

What do the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), the Vatican, the Canadian senate, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and the Conservative Party of Canada have in common?

They are antiquated, dysfunctional, corrupt, racist, sexist, homophobic, elitist, perverted, deceitful, abusive, secretive, right-wing, hierarchical, criminal-like organizations that are mostly controlled by bigoted, old, rich, white, authoritarian men, yet are mostly funded by lowly, non-wealthy working people – many, or most, of whom naively hold faith that those institutions are designed to serve the general public.

Those state-sanctioned gangs have directly and

. . . → Read More: The Ranting Canadian: Inspired by news stories of the last week or so:
What do the…

The Canadian Progressive: Freedom of Press Under Attack in Montreal (VIDEO)

During the Quebec student protests against the tuition hikes, members of the press came under attack by the SPVM (Montreal Police). This video aims to raise the issue of press freedom in face of suppressive and brutal tactics by the SPVM to deny access of coverage to members of the media. The Canadian Progressive recommends: READ MORE

Politics and its Discontents: SIU Versus Toronto Police: An Update

As noted the other day, there has been an ongoing jurisdictional battle in the case of alleged police brutality victim Tyrone Phillips. The complaint, filed by Phillips to the Office of the Independent Police Review Director, could not be investigated by the SIU because Toronto Police, citing provincial regulations, refused to hand it over to SIU head Ian Scott, despite the fact that Phillips had given his permission to do so.

Resolution appears to be at hand. As reported in today’s Star, the complainant was able to obtain his original report from the Office of the Independent Police

Politics and its Discontents: Toronto Police: Again and Again and Again ….

Albert Einstein famously defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. By that standard, perhaps both the Toronto Police force and I are insane; I seem to periodically write essentially the same blog post about their misbehaviour, and they seem to keep practising a disturbing pattern of conduct that cries out for remediation.

The latest case of alleged police brutality was reported yesterday in The Toronto Star:

Ian Scott, director of the Special Investigations Unit, (the body that probes incidents of serious injury and death in which police officers are involved) said Wednesday

. . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: Toronto Police: Again and Again and Again ….

knitnut.net: Justice vs. Verdict

I’ve been following the sex assault trial of Steve Desjourdy, the Ottawa police officer who cut off the t-shirt and bra of a young woman while she was pinned to the cell block floor by several other officers. This case made headlines a few years ago, and I blogged about it more than once.

The young woman was charged with assaulting a police officer, but the original judge dismissed the charges because of the conduct of the officers, calling their behaviour malicious and the charges a travesty. He made the cell block video publicly available, and we all saw what

. . . → Read More: knitnut.net: Justice vs. Verdict

Art Threat: Montreal-North stand up: part two – An interview with MC Emrical on the fourth anniversary of the death of Fredy Villanueva

While Chuck D’s famous phrase “Rap is CNN for black people,” has been quoted by countless ‘reality’ rappers, there are few artists who have embraced the concept as throughly as Emrical. The only difference is that in this case the Montreal-based emcee reports from the racially diverse low-income community of Montreal-North.

Emrical’s latest video Combien de Morts focuses on the tragic death of Fredy Villanueva, a teen who was shot by police in Henri-Bourassa Park on August 9, 2008. It is an incident that spawned a riot and was followed by a flood of newspaper headlines, local

. . . → Read More: Art Threat: Montreal-North stand up: part two – An interview with MC Emrical on the fourth anniversary of the death of Fredy Villanueva

Canadian Progressive World: NYPD brutalized Occupy Wall Street protesters and violated their rights: REPORT

I spend the last five hours digesting the contents of the report on the first systematic look the NYPD’s response to Occupy Wall Street protests. The report is the product of an eight-month investigation undertaken by law clinics at Fordham, Harvard, NYU and Stanford.

Titled “Suppressing Protest: Human Rights Violations in the U.S. Response to Occupy Wall Street” (PDF), the report ins’t the easiest document to study for someone who was brutalized by the Ottawa Police as a member of the Occupied Ottawa movement. It paints a “damning picture of an out-of-control and aggressive organization that routinely acted beyond

. . . → Read More: Canadian Progressive World: NYPD brutalized Occupy Wall Street protesters and violated their rights: REPORT