Politics and its Discontents: The Insular World Of The Police Mentality

I have written several posts in this blog about institutions and their many shortcomings, shortcomings that seem directly proportional to their age. The longer one exists, the more prone an organization seems to becoming increasingly insular, self-referential, and self-reverential. One of the institutions most frequently targeted here is law enforcement. Whether examining local or national ...

Politics and its Discontents: From The Police Beat: More Police Brutality

Not given to monomania, I really hope that at some point in the (perhaps distant) future, I will be able to completely move on from commenting about police misdeeds. It’s just that I have a real thing against the abuse of authority, and every time they come to my attention, I feel compelled to offer ...

Politics and its Discontents: Another Police Embarrassment

I really take no pleasure in reading about police who are charged with crimes. Sadly, that kind of misbehavior, which seems to be alarmingly on the increase, reflects badly on all officers, which is patently unfair. Nonetheless, it is crucial that we hold to a very high standard these guardians of our security, as any ...

Politics and its Discontents: The Toronto Police Board and Bill Blair

It is somewhat heartening that the Toronto police board, which has traditionally enjoyed harmonious relations with the Toronto Police, is showing a bit of spine. As reported in today’s Star, the board is refusing to accept Chief Bill Blair’s recommendation for the promotion of nine officers who brought discredit to themselves and the force, not ...

Politics and its Discontents: ‘Contempt of cop’ no crime

So read the headline in today’s Hamilton Spectator in a story by Ken Peters. In yet another blow to the patina of respect that used to envelop the police, Ontario Court Justice Lesley Baldwin offered a scathing rebuke of Burlington OPP Constable Ryan Cox and Halton Regional Police Officer Erich Paroshy in connection with a ...

Politics and its Discontents: More Police Misconduct – So What Else Is New?

In what is getting to be a far too routine occurrence, more police misconduct has come to light, this time in the Niagara region. A story in The Hamilton Spectator entitled Judge blasts Niagara police officers, chief of police details how Ontario Supreme Court Justice Peter Hambly dismissed all charges in a $16 million pot ...

Politics and its Discontents: The Star: Police Strip Searches On The Rise

As reported in today’s Toronto Star, “Toronto police strip searched roughly 60 per cent of the people they arrested in 2010, compared to 32 per cent 10 years ago, according to police statistics.” Given recent high profile incidents of this practice, some have suggested that the authorities are using the searches as a tool of ...