By Alan Parker - Wednesday, March 20, 2013 - 0 Comments
Cards replicate ‘sickly sweet’ grow-op smell
The smell of cultivated marijuana is spreading across England this week, courtesy of Crimestoppers U.K.
The crime-fighting charity is mass mailing scratch-and-sniff cards which replicate the smell of growing cannabis plants to help homeowners identify possible marijuana grow ops in their neighbourhoods. Police will also hand out the cards.
A total of 210,000 scratch-and-sniff cards will be distributed this week in areas of England which Crimestoppers says police have identified as “hot spots” of marijuana cultivation. The cards are more than a publicity gimmick. Crimestoppers U.K. says it hopes citizens will scratch, sniff and possibly call Crimestoppers to pass along an anonymous tip.
By Aaron Wherry - Friday, January 25, 2013 at 1:03 PM - 0 Comments
Last Wednesday, Native Protestors blocked the QE II near Gateway Boulevard fully and then partially for a little less than 2 hours. Then during the afternoon commute, the same protestors set up a blockade on St. Albert Trail at Sturgeon Road. As St. Albert is a bedroom community of Edmonton, I represent many commuters. My office has been inundated with e-mails and phone calls asking why the RCMP allowed this admittedly peaceful protest to proceed. According to the St. Albert “Gazette”, the demonstration happened with the cooperation of the RCMP, who had met in advance with the protestors and were on scene to manage traffic. Apparently, the RCMP share Edmonton Police Service’s theory that managing a protest is a better tactic than stopping it.
I am not so sure. In the first place, acquiescing to an illegal activity does nothing to prevent further illegal activities. And make no mistake; the police were enabling an illegal activity. Section 430 of the Criminal Code clearly defines the offence of “Mischief” when one willfully “obstructs, interrupts or interferes with the lawful use, enjoyment or operation of property”. Moreover, you can be charged with “Intimidation” when you compel “another person to abstain from doing anything that he or she has a lawful right to do” including one who “blocks or obstructs a highway”, which is “a road to which the public has the right of access” (Section 2).
A hallmark of a free society is our Charter protected rights of expression and assembly. Accordingly, I defend the rights of peaceful assembly without equivocation. However, one’s freedom to demonstrate cannot break the criminal law; one’s freedom to protest cannot trump another’s right to the lawful use of public property to get home after work. As enlightenment philosopher John Locke so famously declared: “my liberty to swing my fist is limited by the proximity of your chin.”
Blake Richards is similarly concerned.
That being said, some of the militant activists hiding behind the Idle No More banner are doing all they can to threaten the progress being made between our government and First Nations leaders. Canadians are growing increasingly frustrated and disappointed with the actions of those who blockade highways and railways. The blockades must stop. They are counterproductive, and an impediment to progress.
From a philosophical standpoint, violating the law is fairly central to the idea of civil disobedience.
Such protests are, of course, not unique to aboriginal causes. Farmers in British Columbia conducted a blockade of a private property on an entirely unrelated matter this month (the blockade ended Thursday at the RCMP’s behest). Farmers have used convoys in the past that have tied up or otherwise impeded traffic in the process of protesting government policy. (Farmers also protested the coalition in 2008.) And at least one such protest has occurred with support from some of Mr. Richards and Mr. Rathgeber’s colleagues (see story below).
Ultimately, we’re talking about tolerance: what should a democratic society be willing to tolerate and what should law enforcement be willing to tolerate before intervening? (From a policing standpoint, for the sake of maintaining peace and order, where is the line between letting a protest run its course and needing to enforce the law? At what point is it more troublesome to intervene than it would be to work around the situation?) Protesters who break the law probably have to accept the possibility of being arrested, charged or fined—though, with something like a highway blockade, working with law enforcement in advance might allow for reasonable compromises to be found. But protesters also have to keep in mind how the general public will view their actions: a protest might be meant to raise awareness, but it might hurt the larger cause if the action greatly angers and frustrates those directly impacted and is viewed unfavourable by the majority of those who read and hear the news. In that regard, Idle No More protesters might be smart to consider the complaints of Mr. Rathgeber and Mr. Richards, even if they disagree with their conclusions. Continue…
By Justin Ling - Friday, January 18, 2013 at 1:54 PM - 0 Comments
‘They’re in favour of law and order, but they won’t fund it’
When the Conservative government unveiled a $400-million five-year fund to help provinces recruit police officers in 2008, it was billed as a key part of Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s law-and-order agenda. Former public safety minister Peter Van Loan told the House the following year the new officers were necessary after more than a decade of Liberal failure to take crime seriously. And in Quebec, at least, the money went to fund anti-gang and cybercrime squads—with the latter playing a key role in hunting down Luka Magnotta, the man accused of killing and dismembering a Chinese student in Montreal and posting a video of the alleged crime online.
Now, with the agenda in Ottawa focused squarely on austerity, and the funding for the program due to run out soon, the future of the police officer recruitment fund is becoming just the latest point of tension between the Harper Tories and Quebec.
Funding for the recruitment program is set to expire at the end of March. Several municipal and provincial leaders, including Quebec Premier Pauline Marois, have called on the federal government to renew it. But the federal government has repeatedly said that if the provinces want to keep the 2,500 officers nationwide that the fund covered, they’ll have to pony up the cash themselves. Continue…
By Aaron Wherry - Thursday, January 17, 2013 at 8:56 AM - 0 Comments
“I’ll be blunt,” Mr. Toews said. “Police services face two options: They can do nothing and eventually be forced to cut drastically, as we have seen in some countries. Or they can be proactive, get ahead of the curve and have greater flexibility in designing and implementing both incremental and meaningful structural reforms.”
The crime rate has required the Conservatives to perform an awkward dance over the years: from dismissing the relevancy of such statistics to dismissing less rigorous forms of analysis to pointing to statistics as proof that their policies are working. As of last July, Mr. Toews had fashioned a new position: the drop in the crime rate demonstrated the success of the Conservatives approach, but the fact that the crime rate was lower in 1962 meant that more had to be done. Conservative MP Guy Lauzon expanded on that idea a week later.
By Michael Petrou - Wednesday, May 9, 2012 at 3:41 PM - 0 Comments
I hope readers will forgive a post that is definitely narcissistic and possibly an overreaction. Here it goes:
Israeli President Shimon Peres was in town last night. There was a reception at the National Gallery of Canada. I was invited.
While approaching the gallery, I took a call on my cell phone. There was a light rain, so I stopped and stood beneath a statue about 50 metres from the gallery’s front doors. There were several police in the area but no visible security perimeter. Other pedestrians walked by. It’s a moderately busy corner.
After a few minutes, a police officer approached and asked when I would be ending my call. I put my phone away. He asked what I was doing and why I was there. I replied —politely, I think — that I was on public land didn’t have to explain myself to him. Continue…
By Jesse Brown - Friday, April 13, 2012 at 12:51 PM - 0 Comments
The American Civil Liberties Union recently shocked Americans with news that dozens of police departments across the country were tracking suspects through the GPS chips in their phones without any court oversight. American cell providers such as AT&T and Sprint were routinely handing over real-time location data of their own customers to police, without requiring warrants. Sprint even created an easy-to-use web portal to automate the process, and provided police with a private data price-list. For example, $30 buys police a month of realtime location tracking data on a suspect. The ACLU’s findings also uncovered indiscriminate GPS dragnets–the police could buy info from cell carriers that allowed them to identify every individual found nearby a certain cell tower. There seems to be no consensus and few precedents in American law on the legality of such methods, and police are making the most of this murkiness.
So is it happening in Canada, too?
By Jesse Brown - Thursday, April 5, 2012 at 2:45 PM - 0 Comments
“You guys sure as hell didn’t find any combined explosives, ’cause I didn’t make any.”
-Byron Sonne, under interrogation by Detective Tam Bui, June 26, 2010
It’s called “security theatre,” the bombastic display of body scanners and bomb squads paraded out in airports and at mega-events like the G-20 to deter terrorists and make us all feel safe. Does it stop terrorists who aren’t scared by the costumes and gadgets? Or does it miss them entirely while ensnaring hapless goofs who stick out from the crowd?
Those are the real questions yet to be answered in the curious case of Byron Sonne. They likely won’t be addressed until his criminal trial is over (the judge is deliberating now, verdict expected on April 23rd). That’s when, if he is cleared, Sonne has vowed to take legal action against the police for incarcerating him for 11 months and ruining his marriage and reputation.
But we may have to wait even longer for answers to the big questions, as the spectacular security show is back on. Yesterday, police bomb-squads returned to Sonne’s former residence in Forest Hill, two years after their first raid, and dug up his backyard.
By Jesse Brown - Tuesday, February 14, 2012 at 12:33 PM - 0 Comments
Vic Toews wants to make one thing clear: He does not want to read my email. His office reached out to me after I wrote this post, which detailed the inability of our police to find one good example of why they need new Lawful Access laws, to be tabled today. Toews’ flack was eager to set me straight: “No legislation proposed by our Conservative Government will allow police to unlawfully read emails without a warrant.” Thanks, got it. Of course, I never said that it would.
By Jesse Brown - Wednesday, January 18, 2012 at 10:28 AM - 0 Comments
For the past 12 years, Canada’s cops have been pushing for new laws that would allow them to skip the pesky formality of having to get a warrant before spying on us on the Internet. (For some background on these Lawful Access laws, check out these posts.)
Critics of Lawful Access, such as our federal Privacy Commissioner and every provincial Privacy Commissioner, argue that police have yet to provide sufficient evidence that court oversight has actually slowed them down or stopped them from fighting crime. And now, Canadian police themselves are saying the same thing.
The online rights group OpenMedia.ca has obtained and released a message it says was recently sent by the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police (CACP) to law enforcement colleagues urgently requesting that they provide “actual examples” of cases where the need to get warrants before accessing private information from Internet Service Providers “hindered an investigation or threatened public safety.” The message goes on to admit that though a similar request had been made two years ago, it failed to produce “a sufficient quantity of good examples.”
By Erica Alini - Wednesday, November 30, 2011 at 1:05 PM - 1 Comment
The five-foot-tall chief cuts a striking a figure in a region rocked by drug violence and gang fighting
Cops like Marge Gunderson, the petite but very pregnant police chief who resolves gruesome crimes in the Coen brothers’ landmark movie Fargo, really exist. Meet Aminta Granera, Nicaragua’s police chief. At 60, she’s not expecting, but as a fragile-looking grandmother who once trained to be a nun, the five-foot-tall chief cuts just as striking a figure in a region rocked by drug violence and gang fighting. Unlike its neighbors in Central America, though, Nicaragua has a strong record on fighting organized crime, for which some credit Granera.
President Daniel Ortega, who won re-election in a landslide earlier this month, recently reappointed her to the post. Ironically, Granera’s greatest accomplishment may be that she is, according to some accounts, even more beloved than the president. Survey after survey, in fact, puts her as the country’s most popular public figure. It has caused friction with Ortega in the past, and U.S. diplomats suggested, in a leaked cable, that he may want to keep her in the police force to ensure she doesn’t enter politics. As Granera recently told a journalist from McClatchy Newspapers: “The greatest danger for the bullfighter isn’t the bull. It’s the applause.”
By Jesse Brown - Wednesday, November 16, 2011 at 2:23 PM - 28 Comments
“A shlemiel is somebody who often spills his soup; a shlemazl is the person the soup lands on.”
Byron Sonne is a shlemiel and a shlemazl. He is clumsy and unlucky. But he is not a terrorist.
Driven by curiosity, hubris, and a genuine desire for social justice, Sonne poked and prodded the $1.2 billion “security apparatus” of the 2010 G20 summit in Toronto. He wanted to know if it was in fact just “security theater”–an expensive display of pomp and barbed wire that would never thwart an actual terrorist. Simultaneously, he wanted to know if it was too effective, if the heightened atmosphere around the summit meant that police were forgetting people’s rights. And he wanted us to know too, so he documented everything he did. Continue…
By macleans.ca - Friday, September 2, 2011 at 11:51 AM - 5 Comments
Officers who removed name tags denied routine raises
Toronto police officers who removed their name tags during last year’s G20 protests have been denied promotions by the city’s police board. A total of 90 officers were found to have stripped off their IDs during the event, which was plagued by widespread allegations of police brutality. The officers in question each received a one-day suspension without pay. Nine of those officers were recently put forward for promotion by Police Chief Bill Blair. But in a break from regular practice, the civilian police board refused to rubber stamp the upgrades. The police association has filed a grievance.
By Ken MacQueen and Patricia Treble - Thursday, August 25, 2011 at 10:10 AM - 108 Comments
The crime rate is down but police forces are growing. We’re poorer as a result, but not necessarily any safer.
This spring, Tamara Cartwright dropped off an envelope at her local post office outside Lethbridge, Alta. A friend had sent her a jar of hemp-based ointment, so she replied with a thank you card, wrote her name and return address on the envelope and, in a decision certain to haunt her for years to come, enclosed four grams of her homegrown marijuana, enough for perhaps four cigarettes. On an April morning some days later she returned to the post office to pick up another package. Moments later, police pulled her over, handcuffed her, put her in a cruiser and hauled her off to the police station.
It made quite a spectacle, says the 41-year-old mother of four, who suffers from colitis and is one of more than 10,000 medical marijuana patients registered with Health Canada. “It was embarrassing,” she says. “I was still in my pyjamas.” She emerged four hours later with a trafficking charge for giving away those four grams.
Her charge is part of a recent marked increase in arrests for cannabis offences. Cannabis arrests jumped 13 per cent in 2010 to 75,126. Of those, almost 57,000 were for simple possession, a 14 per cent jump from the year before. (The statistics reflect cases where the arrest was the most serious charge a person faced, not the thousands more where a pot charge was tacked onto a string of more serious crimes.) The cannabis arrest rate is an anomaly at a time when the overall crime rate in 2010 fell to its lowest level since the mid-1970s.
By Colby Cosh - Tuesday, August 16, 2011 at 12:27 PM - 3 Comments
It’s been a banner year for homicides, especially in the northern fringe of downtown
The 2011 homicide counter started clicking early in Edmonton, and it has not stopped. Just three hours past midnight on New Year’s, police were called to an Ethiopian restaurant on Edmonton’s 107th Avenue—the “Avenue of Nations,” where East African immigrants are following the earlier footsteps of the Vietnamese boat people. On reaching the scene, investigators found 23-year-old Somali man Mohamud Mohamed Jama dead from a gunshot to the head.
A wounded witness refused to co-operate, and other patrons clammed up too. Fellow Somalis declared the victim a “typical Canadian young man” who “wasn’t involved with gangs or drugs.” But Jama died nine days shy of his sentencing for a 2007 aggravated assault; he had pleaded guilty of stabbing another Somali man eight times.
Jama’s unsolved murder struck a wearisome chord for Edmontonians, from the north-central crime scene to the frustrations of the cops trying to pry loose information from clannish Somali-Canadians reluctant to trust police. Yet the bloody big picture of Edmonton in 2011 defies neat categories or models. For reasons that remain obscure, a working-class city has exploded this year into unrelenting, record-breaking levels of violence.
By macleans.ca - Friday, July 29, 2011 at 11:04 AM - 13 Comments
Jail video shoes Roxanne Carr handcuffed and dragged to cellblock
Ottawa woman Roxanne Carr is suing the Ottawa police department for their alleged mistreatment of her when she was arrested and charged with assaulting police, obstructing justice, and damaging property in 2008. Carr claims her arm was broken in the process of detainment. Media outlets, including The Canadian Press, prompted an Ontario judge to release a video of Carr’s arrest, in which she can be seen being dragged through a jail hallway handcuffed. Ottawa police say they probed the incident and determined that no misconduct took place.
By Alex Ballingall - Thursday, July 14, 2011 at 12:00 PM - 0 Comments
British Columbia:… Nearly half (49 per cent) of the province’s drivers think their fellow
British Columbia: Nearly half (49 per cent) of the province’s drivers think their fellow road warriors are ruder behind the wheel today than they were five years ago. The most common complaint—something 82 per cent of those surveyed have experienced in the last three months—was a fellow driver’s late signal, or no signal at all. Seventy-three per cent have been tailgated. And yet, when asked to rate their own performance on the road, 82 per cent of those surveyed gave themselves an A or B.
Alberta: With 74 per cent support, Albertans are the most likely in Canada to say they have a good quality of life. That’s probably due, say researchers, to the province’s strong economic standing. Quebec, on the other hand, has the lowest degree of satisfaction. Only 61 per cent of Quebecers say they have a good quality of life.
Ontario: It’s been over a year since the G8 and G20 meetings in Ontario, and the support for police actions that weekend has dropped significantly among residents of Toronto, where over 1,100 people were arrested. Just after the summits, 73 per cent of Torontonians said the police actions were justified. Now, only 41 per cent feel that’s the case.
By Jesse Brown - Tuesday, June 28, 2011 at 1:36 PM - 32 Comments
When I caution people about the coming Lawful Access spying laws, there’s often some confusion. Many assume that spying on the Internet is like putting a wiretap on a phone. So the police will be able to listen to my Skype calls and read my emails?
Sure. But it’s much worse than that.
Lawful Access does make traditional web surveillance easier, but it will also give the police access to your “basic information” without them having to get a warrant. “Basic information” covers your real name, your online identities, your email addresses, your I.P. address, your home address and your home phone number. If the police have one of these ingredients, they can use it to get the rest.
If you’re still not concerned, wait a bit…
Under Lawful Access, ISPs will have to build surveillance technology that stores this info and makes it available to the police. Right now, if cops go to your ISP and ask for your info (this happens all the time anyhow, often without a warrant) some human at your ISP will have to dig through your digital footprints to find it. Under Lawful Access, a police web portal will be built to automate the process.
This is hugely problematic.
First of all, what happens if (when) this portal gets hacked? It won’t need to be a sophisticated hack, either. If thousands of cops are assigned logins, how much do you want to bet that one of them will use “abc123″ as a password?
But let’s assume this somehow never happens. Warrantless data-tracking is still very scary, for reasons the police themselves likely haven’t considered. As anyone who compulsively checks their email knows, once you automate information requests, remove every obstacle, remove human communication from the process and throw it all online with a big shiny “search” button, usage skyrockets.
When Sprint built a similar portal for cops to track cell phone users’ GPS coordinates, usage shot up to 8 million pings in just over a year. In their idle time, police can just fish around, see where folks are at, see which avatar belongs to which human, and play the portal like a video game, hoping to stumble upon a lawbreaker.
The next step, of course, is for the police to get automated as well. With unfettered access to a massive dataset of “basic information”, why manually run hunt and peck searches when you could just write an algorithm that’ll mash it all up and spit out the names of those statistically likely to be up to no good?
Does that sound like paranoid sci-fi? Maybe, but it’s all possible with existing technology, and is really just an extension of current trends in data analysis into law enforcement. If data is accessible, machine-readable and has predictive value, someone will build an app for that. Everyone else is using “bots”, so why shouldn’t the police?
When RoboCop comes, he will look like a line of code.
By Colin Campbell - Friday, April 29, 2011 at 8:01 AM - 0 Comments
Police in Texas hoard a stock of Crown Victorias
News last year that Ford will soon discontinue its Crown Victoria sedan sent police forces across North America reeling. The big, rear-wheel-drive Crown Vic has long been the go-to police cruiser. It’s relatively cheap (at under $30,000), built like a tank, and is easy to fix. So before the car disappears for good, the police in Austin, Texas, are asking the city government for US$4.5 million to buy a final supply of 176 Crown Victorias—enough to last them at least five years.
This hoarding of cop cars should end up saving the city a lot of money, say the police. Carmakers are rushing to market replacement cruisers, mostly based on today’s smaller sedans. But police in Austin argue they don’t yet know how much those cars will cost (likely a lot more than the old Fords), and switching would mean replacing their entire stock of replacement parts for the decades-old car. Most importantly, the police point out the newer cars just aren’t “tried and true” like their beloved Crown Vics.
By Aaron Wherry - Thursday, April 7, 2011 at 5:17 PM - 39 Comments
Jack Layton promises funding for crime prevention and police officers.
If elected, the NDP would boost federal support for the National Crime Prevention Centre to $100 million per year. The party would also increase and make permanent the youth gang prevention fund, which supports programs aimed at keeping kids away from crime. Funding for the program would go from $7.5 million to $16.5 million. The NDP would also invest $75 million a year in federal support for a shelter system and women fleeing violence … the NDP would double and make permanent the police officer recruitment fund. The party said there would be annual increases over the following three years with a goal of adding 2,500 new police officers.
By Jesse Brown - Friday, February 18, 2011 at 12:59 PM - 12 Comments
Beware of moral absolutes. For example: there’s not much room for debate in the war on child porn; we all agree that the stuff is atrocious and must be snuffed out. So we hand over extraordinary powers to those who would fight it. But righteousness and competence are two different things.
Case in point:
Last week the U.S. Department of Homeland Security proudly announced that they had “seized” thousands of child porn websites. Visitors to the sites now found stern government message screens reading “SEIZED” and warning that “Advertisement, distribution, transportation, receipt, and possession of child pornography constitute federal crimes that carry penalties for first time offenders of up to 30 years in federal prison, a $250,000 fine, forfeiture and restitution” (link).
It was later revealed that the DHS had goofed—84,000 of these sites were seized by accident, and had nothing whatsoever to do with child porn. Given the special place in hell we reserve for child pornographers, one wonders what the innocent owners of those websites thought about being publicly associated with kiddie porn on their own homepages.
It’s not the first blunder (or questionable outcome) in the global crusade against child porn. Here are a few others:
- Parents charged with child porn for taking bathtub pics of their own kids. Walmart turned them in when they went to have the shots developed, and their kids were taken from them by Child Protective Services. The parents have since sued (link).
- Minors charged with child porn for texting nude pictures of themselves. It’s happened a bunch of times. (link) (link) (link).
- Australia’s national Internet filter was sold to citizens as a safeguard against child porn. But the “blacklist” of censored sites got leaked, and was shown to include many errors, including a dog kennel and a dentist. Also on the list were political enemies of the government, and Wikileaks. Not to mention the problem that a leaked index of child porn sites is a handy resource for none other than child pornographers. (link)
While many innocents can have their lives and reputations ruined by over-zealous law enforcement, actual for-profit child pornographers have had plenty of success evading authorities and Internet filters. The FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin reports that savvy criminals use a combination of proxy servers, encryption, and foreign computer servers to place themselves out of the reach of the law. Facing a tangle of technological and bureaucratic hurdles (extradition, etc.) police often skip the big bad guys and focus on low-hanging fruit (link).
By macleans.ca - Thursday, December 16, 2010 at 2:28 PM - 10 Comments
Solved crime stats up too
The ranks of Canada’s police forces have grown by 69,000 people since 1981, according to Statistics Canada. Since then, the number of crimes solved is up too. In the first quarter of 2010, Canada added 2,000 police officers. Charles Momy of the Canadian Police Association told Postmedia News that officers have also been taking on new work outside their traditional roles–and that is not necissarily a good thing. “Unfortunately, police [have] become a social support mechanism when everything else is failing,” Momy said
By Julia Belluz - Thursday, December 2, 2010 at 8:20 AM - 2 Comments
The world’s smallest breed of dog recently passed the entrance exam to become part of a police search-and-rescue team
The latest addition to a Japanese police force has proven that size isn’t all that important. A chihuahua—the world’s smallest breed of dog—named Momo (meaning “peach” in Japanese) recently passed the entrance exam to become part of a police search-and-rescue team in the Nara prefecture. The 6.6-lb. long-haired dog impressed judges by finding a “trapped” victim of a simulated natural disaster in less than five minutes, after sniffing his scent on a hat.
The seven-year-old chihuahua is one of 32 new police dogs to join the force. In January, Momo will begin her one-year contract in a search-and-rescue role focused on locating people buried under the rubble after disasters, including earthquakes. The dog’s tiny stature is thought to be an asset to the team because she is able to fit in places too small for traditional rescue dogs, such as retrievers and German shepherds.
Keiko Matsuyoshi, Momo’s owner, was overjoyed about her pet’s accomplishments, and said she’d cook Momo’s favourite dish as a reward for earning the new job: tomato-stewed chicken breasts.
By macleans.ca - Tuesday, November 23, 2010 at 10:49 AM - 0 Comments
Shocking strip search sparks plea from Ottawa’s top cop
Ottawa’s police chief wants more power to suspend officers without pay in the wake of revelations that three male officers on his force strip searched a 27-year-old woman, kneed her violently in the back, and left her topless in a cell for three hours. And they did this despite the fact that, according to a judge who watched video of the incident, the woman displayed “no hint of violence or aggression.” Ontario Court Justice Richard Lajoie condemned the “unlawful” treatment of Stacy Bonds, a 27-year-old theatrical make-up artist with no criminal record. Now, the incident is under review by Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit, a civilian agency that typically investigates cases of serious injury or death involving police. But Ottawa Police Chief Vern White now says the province’s Police Services Act should be changed so he and other chiefs have more power to impose discipline. “Every police chief I know,” White said, “has asked for a review of the act to allow us more latitude.”
By macleans.ca - Thursday, November 18, 2010 at 1:00 PM - 0 Comments
New Brunswick: A drunk high school student was chased down and arrested after allegedly stealing a CPR kit from a police car that was parked at the RCMP headquarters in Moncton. The 19-year-old, already under an order not to drink, was charged with stealing as well as breaching an undertaking to the court.
Ontario: A driver flipped his truck, which was carrying 18,000 kg of tomatoes, on a ramp linking two major Toronto-area highways. It took hours to remove the produce from the pavement and the truck, ruining rush hour for commuters. The driver was charged with careless driving.
Manitoba: A Winnipeg man was caught at a Royal Canadian Legion allegedly pretending to be the commander of the local RCMP detachment in East St. Paul. A search of his home reportedly turned up a police uniform. The RCMP says he has never been associated with the force. He’s facing charges for impersonating a peace officer.
Alberta: On a routine patrol of a Calgary mall in the early morning of Nov. 2, police came across what they described as a makeshift “demolition derby” using stolen vehicles. Three men were allegedly racing around the mall parking lot, smashing into each others’ vehicles. Police say that one suspect almost ran down one of the officers, who was chasing the two other youths who’d abandoned their vehicles. All three were arrested.
British Columbia: A woman is facing what authorities call the first immigration-related bigamy charge. She allegedly married two men in the Greater Vancouver Area even though she was already married to a third man. Then she reportedly tried to sponsor those two foreign nationals for permanent residency in Canada. She has been charged with two counts of bigamy and two more counts of knowingly misrepresenting or withholding material facts under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.
By Patricia Treble - Monday, October 18, 2010 at 11:40 AM - 0 Comments
A video of police tasering an Aboriginal man 13 times has led to outrage, and demands for an inquiry
The video is chilling. Police in Western Australia surround a man writhing and screaming on the floor of a police station after being repeatedly tasered for refusing to comply with a strip search. “Do you want to go again?” one asks. Moments later the Aboriginal man, Kevin Spratt, is tasered again. And again. In total, two officers tasered him 13 times, while nine cops watched. The 2008 incident is only coming to attention after video of it was released last week by the state’s Corruption and Crime Commission (CCC) as part of a report into the use of Tasers by police. The reaction was horror. “That particular incident was wrong,” said Western Australia’s acting police commissioner, Chris Dawson. “Clearly, in my view, the officers overreacted.” Premier Colin Barnett echoed the sentiment: “It was excessive use of a Taser that could not be justified.”