Police State

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Calgary teen shaken up after harsh words from police officer during traffic stop

Ahmed Ghanem will never forget the words uttered to him by a Calgary police officer as he was dropping off bags of bottles at a northeast Calgary bottle depot on the morning of August 25th.

“As I was pulling the bottles out of my car, he said directly to me, that is one way to get shot,” said Ghanem.

The 18-year-old initially saw the police officer at a four-way stop near the Happy Can Bottle Depot around 9 in the morning. Ghanem says he stopped and turned into the parking lot of the depot, parked his car and started to take the bags of bottles out. It was then he alleges the police officer pulled into the lot and started yelling at him to get back in his car.

Ghanem says the officer was ticketing him for not wearing seatbelt, something the teen says is untrue.

Ghanem says he got back into his vehicle but wanted to make sure the bottles in his bag weren’t leaking so he went back outside the vehicle to double check.

“I told him I don’t want the milk to leak into my car because it stinks,” said Ghanem.

“And he said that is not my problem and that’s one way to get shot. I looked at him like ... shot with a gun? It honestly blew my mind that he said that to me.”

Ghanem says he is especially upset the officer used that kind of language because of police brutality incidents that have happened in the United States, using shooting of Jacob Blake and the killing of George Floyd as examples.

The teen says he called Calgary Police Services after the incident and alerted them to what happened.

CPS confirms, through the officer’s body camera, that an unfortunate comment was made by the officer towards the driver during a traffic stop at a parking lot.....

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

Really, "an unfortunate comment ", that is the response? Unbelievable and yet so many seem surprised by the calls to defund if not dismantle the police as they currently exist.

 

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..to read this i had to get a free 30-day digital subscription. there is much important info in this piece. i only post a small portion as it is lengthy.   

Enforcing injustice, keeping the colonial peace

One of Canadiana’s most recognizable images is that of the Mountie: sitting tall on horseback in a bold red coat, high leather boots and pristine beige Stetson, a long-revered symbol of Canadian tolerance, civility and peacekeeping.

The history of Canada’s policing, however, has not been as civil as the imagery would suggest.

quote:

The histories of Canada’s policing have often been written by the victor, says University of Winnipeg instructor Fadi Ennab.

Studying parliamentary archives in Ottawa, Ennab, whose graduate research centred on the history of Canada’s policing, found the official records of Canadian policing were "not necessarily overtly violent."

"That’s why some historians have argued that the Canadian frontier is quite peaceful, but the absence of those physical encounters doesn’t mean that it was a peaceful arrangement," says Ennab.

When confronted with conversations about discriminatory policing, Canada is quick to distinguish itself from the violence seen in the United States, where police are responsible for civilian deaths on a near-daily basis. Protests have reached a peak in recent months, as names like Breonna Taylor, Jacob Blake, and George Floyd have become ubiquitous — providing rallying cry after rallying cry against a culture of violent policing.

Like police across the United States, however, Canada’s national and municipal police agencies were originally designed to aid in the settlement of Indigenous land and make room for white settlers to accrue wealth — often at the expense of marginalized people.

The commonly understood history of Canada’s frontier, Ennab says, presents "the myth of the police officer" as a peaceful, law-keeping force.

"Sometimes they didn’t necessarily use overt physical violence, but they’ve had other ways of controlling movements," he adds.

It is these histories at the foundation of the mistrustful and often tumultuous relationships between police and marginalized communities today. It is these histories that ignite the cries for abolition, defunding and other dismantling of police forces across Canada and the United States.

quote:

A pattern quickly emerged: when the government needed to secure land, build railways or quell the voices of Indigenous people asserting their treaty rights, the Mounties would arrive. Tactics of intimidation, harassment and cultural erosion became commonplace as the government expanded its lands and forced Indigenous peoples onto smaller and smaller reserves.

"The government knew exactly what they were trying to do and were determined to do the usual divide-and-rule thing," says Brownlie.

"The police were used to forcibly drive people out of those areas, to deny them the reserves that they had asked for, to which they had a right under the treaties."

Mounties threatened to cut Indigenous women’s hair, pointed cannons at communities, disrupted cultural ceremonies, killed off bison supplies and controlled access to food and land as they cleared the way for settlers.

Physical violence wasn’t necessary, Ennab says, when NWMP could use tactics such as starvation, ration systems and denial of cultural ceremonies to gain control.

"You don’t always have to draw blood to be bloody."

quote:

As the NWMP and RCMP rose as a force to silence Canada’s Indigenous peoples, Canada’s Black population, too, faced over-policing and surveillance.

"The first criminalization of Black people in public space was this assumption that any Black person moving through public space could be what was called a ‘runaway slave,’ a ‘fugitive slave,’" says Robyn Maynard, activist, scholar and author of Policing Black Lives: State Violence in Canada from Slavery to the Present.

"This is something that was considered criminal by police and also by broader white society that led to highly public notices describing Black people who were considered criminal for the crime of having stolen themselves."

Canada, long viewed as the gate of freedom for Black people freeing themselves from enslavement in the United States, has its own storied history of slavery.

Enslavement was legal and common throughout Eastern Canada in the 17th century, Maynard explains, and only became less than legal with Britain’s abolition of slavery across all its colonies in 1834.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..more from the above piece

quote:

PART II: Policing in the present

The death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police on May 25 re-ignited a long-burning flame of protest against police violence in the United States and across the world.

In the months since his death, calls for the defunding and abolition of police departments across North America have become an overwhelming demand accompanying the Black Lives Matter movement.

Critics have pointed to inflated police budgets and seemingly unrestricted police powers against the backdrop of continued violence towards Black and Indigenous peoples.

According to the most recent Statistics Canada data, national police expenditures reached $15.1 billion in 2017-18, a two per cent increase from the previous year on a trend that has been notching upwards since 1996. At the same time, the nation recorded a two per cent drop in "police strength," a term used to indicate the number of officers per 100,000 population.

The lion’s share of police operating expenditures goes into salaries, which average $99,298 annually across Canada.

"If people are sometimes confused about what it means to really insist that we could live in a world free of policing, it’s an understanding that policing has always been a kind of racialized control mechanism over Black communities, over Indigenous communities," says Maynard.

"If we understand that history, it’s a very logical extension to say that this kind of violence actually needs to be reduced, needs to be eliminated entirely, and that’s what the call to defund, to abolish the police is getting at."

quote:

According to retired Vancouver police officer Lorimer Shenher, a denial of systemic issues and systemic racism is embedded deeply in policing, and particularly RCMP culture.

Attending police academy on the West Coast in the 1990s, Shenher says he was surprised at the lack of history taught to the bands of "freshly-scrubbed, well-meaning recruits."

Instead, young officers were trained in the community policing principles of Sir Robert Peel — the father of British policing who touted the ideal that "the police are the public and the public are the police."

With that training, Shenher says, officers across the country find themselves "baffled" by encounters with distrustful members of the public.

"They have no concept of why every person that they meet who has any knowledge of this history is then mistrustful, and doesn’t see them as a helper, doesn’t see them as somebody who’s going to make them safe, but quite the opposite," he says.

"There’s just a fundamental lack of understanding of history and understanding of police’s role in that history."

Winnipeg Police Service Chief Danny Smyth declined two separate requests for comment when the Free Press would not first disclose the identities of other sources for this story.

Often pitted against the United States, the culture of Canadian policing is one of exceptionalism, Shenher says. The revered vision of the Mountie takes root not only in broader Canadian narratives, but within the ranks, too.

"Police culture is they don’t like criticism because so many of them really see themselves as helpers," Shenher says.

"The culture is so powerful in policing and the culture really survives through people denying their history and denying things like systemic racism — it’s that inability to look outside their own experience. They drink the Kool-Aid; they have to, I think it’s a survival mechanism, and it’s baked right into their whole DNA."

Despite the pristine narrative, Canadian policing is marked by a dark score of racialized brutality and violence.

In 2017, the CBC released Deadly Force, the first comprehensive analysis of police violence in the country. Between 2000 and 2017 there were 460 fatal interactions between police and civilians, averaging 27 deaths per year.

Most victims — nearly 70 per cent — were suffering from mental-health and substance-abuse issues at the time of their deaths.

Nearly 700 officers were involved in the fatal interactions, the largest proportion of which stemmed from the RCMP.

The vast majority of officers were never charged, an issue Shenher believes sits at the heart of policing’s ongoing culture of violence.

"What’s been lacking in policing right through history is not policy but accountability for those people that don’t follow the policy. Right up to the minister of public safety, there are very few mechanisms to hold police accountable for anything," he says, adding more robust tools are needed to fire or discipline officers when necessary.

While the majority of victims were white, Indigenous and Black people were significantly overrepresented in the data. Indigenous people make up 16 per cent of deaths at the hands of police, but only four per cent of the population, annualized over the last 20 years. Similarly, Black people make up nearly nine per cent of deaths, but just shy of three per cent of the nation’s population over 20 years.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..final post from the above piece

PART III: Reimagining policing

quote:

Calls for defunding and abolition of police have been accompanied, in recent months, by more moderate calls for reformation — small, structural and policy changes such as officer-worn body cameras and independent investigation units that could punish "bad apples" in the system and create more accountability for officers.

Ennab, who has also provided anti-racist cultural competency training to police and other organizations, doesn’t believe systemic racism can be trained out of the institutions.

"Until the institutions are changed we’re going to continue to see racialized lives missing and murdered, and it’s more than just training or converting few bad apples," he says.

"That’s where we need to go back to the history, look at the dispossession and talk about the history openly, not with myths, to be able to listen to Indigenous communities when they’re mourning, instead of stigmatizing them."

Shenher agrees, noting that the existing structures for accountability haven’t worked for many years, and independent police investigators units, such as Manitoba’s Independent Investigation Unit or Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit, are often staffed by former officers still entrenched in old policing mindsets.

Those calling for defunding and abolition have maintained that the structures of policing are not broken, but instead are working exactly as historically intended, and that in order to achieve justice the systems of public safety need a fundamental restructuring.

"Moving into the kind of safety that Black people would need, that Indigenous people would need actually relies on us to think about public safety differently," Maynard says. "Without police."

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Private Facebook groups loaded with racist comments by RCMP members still thriving

Multiple private Facebook groups featuring racist comments by former and current members of the RCMP – and first exposed by APTN News two years ago – are still thriving despite a promise from the commissioner to deal with them.

Three groups have hundreds of comments about Indigenous Peoples similar to ones exposed two years prior.

Some of the comments reviewed by APTN are general in nature.

“The buffalo are not coming back. We may even exterminate them a second time,” reads one post.

Others seem to be in response to news stories or current events including funding Indigenous languages or education.

“Why? Get them to work for a living like the rest of Canada,” said one post.

Several members had comments during the rail blockades in support of the Wet’suwet’en Nation which was at odds with the RCMP in British Columbia over a pipeline that is scheduled to be built on their unceded territory.

“They’re out there procreating faster than smarter people,” said one post.

In 2018, APTN exposed a private Facebook group used by police officers across Canada that showed shocking messages in support of Gerald Stanley, the Saskatchewan farmer who stood trial for killing Colten Boushie, a member of Red Pheasant First Nation. Stanley was acquitted.

At the time, APTN learned that some of the comments were posted by an officer who was an active member of the RCMP on the Prairies.

“This should never have been allowed to be about race…crimes were committed and a jury found the man not guilty in protecting his home and family,” the post said of the second-degree murder trial into Boushie’s death in Saskatchewan.

“Too bad the kid died but he got what he deserved.”

These Facebook groups are still thriving with thousands of members and hundreds of comments.

Some of them bigoted, others outright racist.

One poster wrote, “It’s all about money, reconciliation is the native word for money.”

Pam Palmater, a Mi’kmaw lawyer and professor, says the amount of people in these groups is further proof the force needs a complete overhaul.

“These hundreds of posts are incontrovertible evidence of widespread systemic racism on an individual and institutional levels specifically against Indigenous peoples and not just generalized and it shows that the RCMP has a very huge problem with racism,” Palmater said.

Tension between First Nation and Inuit and RCMP officers is almost always present in communities.

The role of the force in taking children away to residential schools or relocating Inuit in the north are issues that are always just under the surface.....

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

How absolutely disgusting to read some of those comments. It doesn't surprise me.

Even more understanding and open-hearted people I encounter on a regular basis have so many misconceptions about Indigenous people. They include: all people on reserve live rent free, all Indigenous people live tax free, all Indigenous people get free post-secondary schooling.

Unless there is a commitment to change the culture and calibre of policing, I firmly side with the defund police movement.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

epaulo13 wrote:

POLICING BLACK AND INDIGENOUS LIVES IN CANADA: A DIGITAL TEACH-IN

September 02 | 12:00 PM - 02:00 PM​

Join us for a digital teach-in bringing together organizers and lawyers from across the country to engage in a discussion around policing Black and Indigenous people in Canada.

Relying on their on-the-ground experience and legal expertise, speakers will address the role of policing in expanding the colonial state, the evidence of police violence and discrimination, current strategies for transformative change, and how people can get involved in the movement.

Speakers:

El Jones is a recipient of the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission Burnley “Rocky” Jones award and co-founder of the Black Power Hour, a radio show developed with prisoners.

Dr. Pam Palmater is a Mi’kmaw lawyer, professor, author, and social justice activist from Eel River Bar First Nation. Her extensive writing focuses on Indigenous law, politics, and governance.

Reakash Walters is a writer, community advocate, and articling student who is dreaming alternatives to policing and punishment.

Meenakshi Mannoe is the Criminalization and Policing Campaigner at PIVOT Legal Society.

Moderated by Latoya Farrell, BC Civil Liberties Association Policy Staff Counsel

This event is brought to you by the working group: Latoya Farrell of BCCLA, lawyer Avnish Nanda, and professor Asad Kiyani.

The event will be live streamed on YouTube. Register below to receive the link!

..reminder just started. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uo1JC04wHFQ

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..they above is an essential listen in understanding what defunding means. i will post the recorded version rather than try and interpret what is being said.

..my personal understanding..the short version..is defunding = abolition. defunding = taking on capitalism.

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epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

SCHOLAR STRIKE CANADA

Scholars across Canadian universities are outraged at the relentless anti-Black police killings of Black people in the U.S. and in Canada. As athletes have done, so, too, must academics.   We will be joining thousands of academics in higher education in a labour action known as Scholar Strike to protest anti-Black, racist and colonial police brutality in the U.S., Canada and elsewhere. Scholar Strike for Black Lives in Canada will take place on Sept 9th & 10th, 2020.  For these two days, we will pause our teaching and all administrative duties.  We will use this time to organize public digital teach-ins on police brutality and violence in our communities from both historical and contemporary perspectives.

We recognize the precarious labour status of many of our colleagues in academia, and we invite university workers to participate in this labour action as much as you are able to engage.  Some will not be able to participate fully, but there are many ways to engage with this protest, from amplifying the message on social media to using the digital public teach-ins during class time.

In the midst of the current pandemic we have seen and read of police shootings, maimings and murders in the U.S.:  Jacob Blake, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Tony McDade.  In Canada, D’Andre Campbell, Rodney Levi, Ejaz Choudry, Chantel Moore and the lack of transparency and police accountability in the death of Regis Korchinski Paquet.

Scholar Strike originated in the U.S from a tweet by Dr. Anthea Butler who, inspired by the striking WNBA and NBA players, put out a call for a similar labour action from academics.   The Canadian action is aligned with the one in the U.S., in its call for racial justice, an end to anti-Black police violence and it adds a specific focus on anti-Indigenous, colonial violence.  

Scholar Strike is a labour action/teach-in/social justice advocacy happening on September 9-10, 2020. September 9 & 10 were chosen as the dates of the Scholar Strike in Canada because, for many of us, the academic year begins on these dates. These days were also chosen because of their proximity to Labour Day.....

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..more from above

quote:

Statements of solidarity, while important, are not enough. We must commit ourselves as scholars, artists, writers, poets, designers and researchers to actively ending all forms of racist, carceral, institutional and systemic forms of violence.

  • We must support the demands for defunding the police and redistributing those resources to Black, Indigenous, racialized, queer and trans communities for the creation of sustainable and healthy communities. 
  • We must support demands to remove campus police.  All agreements between policing institutions and universities must be rescinded.
  • We must address the historic and current underrepresentation of Black and Indigenous faculty (full and part-time) in all Canadian institutions and press University Administrations to prioritize the urgency of these faculty hires.
  • We commit to supporting meaningful efforts to recruit, admit, retain and mentor Black, Indigenous and racialized undergraduate and graduate students.
  • We must support the campaign by CUPE 3261 to stop the University of Toronto from contracting out caretaking services thereby relinquishing its responsibility to safeguard secure and suitable paying jobs and health and safety of workers
  • We must advocate for the creation, expansion, and maintenance of mental health and health care resources for students at our universities.
  • We must support the demand for affordable education, sustainable jobs and housing for students and cultural professionals across all the universities. 

Acknowledging that Canada’s university campuses stand on the ancestral and traditional territories of Indigenous peoples, we make these calls in the spirit of our collective commitment to work towards liberating Black, Indigenous and transnational frameworks and knowledges, whilst actively working for a liberated global future.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Abolitionism against pandemic policing in the Philippines

The COVID-19 pandemic has truly brought out the worst in the Philippine government. Instead of treating the pandemic as a public health crisis, the state is treating it as a security issue and has responded by deploying its extremely violent security apparatus.

Demands for mass testing remain unfulfilled, while more and more police and soldiers flood the streets, arresting thousands of people and subjecting them to arbitrary punishments. The police killed several people, including an unarmed veteran suffering from PTSD, an unidentified man at a checkpoint and even four soldiers. Did these people need to die in order to stem the tide of the pandemic? Did the incarceration of thousands of people make our communities more resilient to disease? No, it did not. COVID-19 testing kits remain scarce, yet bullets are in full supply.

And how effective is it to treat the pandemic as a security, rather than a public health issue? The quarantine in the Philippines is the longest and harshest in Asia, yet the Philippine government has categorically failed to contain the pandemic; the country currently counts over 226,000 infections with nearly 4,000 deaths and no sign of the curve being flattened.

The Philippine government refuses to implement mass testing and competent contact tracing, two policies that have proven to be effective in other countries. Instead, the government prioritized increasing policing powers, surveillance and warrantless arrests with an “anti-terror” law that critics quickly labeled the “Terror Law.” The militarized nature of the quarantine in the Philippines is already a martial law in fact, which has only been further entrenched with the passing of the Terror Law.

Against the state treating the pandemic as a security issue, the popular demands thunder:

Ayuda, hindi bala! — Aid, not bullets!

Tulong, hindi kulong — Help, not incarceration!

Medikal solusyon, hindi militar! — Medical solutions, not military intervention!

It is in response to the militarization and securitization of the quarantine that the demands for abolishing the police and prisons are being voiced. Now, more than ever, we need medical solutions rather than more militarized police violence and incarceration....

NDPP

'Fourth Generation Klansman' With History of Racist Violence To Hold Anti-Antifa 'Back the Blue' Fundraiser in Georgia

https://itsgoingdown.org/georgia-white-supremacist-back-the-blue/

"Report from Anti-Racist Alliance of North Georgia on how a white supremacist organizer tied to the local GOP is holding a 'Back the Blue' fundraiser to build connections with local law enforcement..."

NDPP

"Ottawa police officer Const. Nemin Mesic threatened to kill his former tenant, sell the man's child to pay his rent and 'spill blood.' As a result Mesic will be demoted from a first-class constable to a second-class constable for a period of 12 months."

https://twitter.com/davidpugliese/status/1303478586418933760

Defund now.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Toronto police officer ordered to remove ‘Punisher’ patch from uniform

Toronto police say an officer faces internal discipline after he was seen wearing a patch on his uniform with the message: “Make no mistake, I am the sheepdog” and a black skull in the middle of the emblem.

The skull appears to resemble the logo of the Punisher, a vigilante crime fighting character from Marvel Comics that has been adopted as a pro-police symbol in recent years.

The officer was seen at a news conference outside Keelesdale Public School on Tuesday morning intended to draw attention to road safety issues as students go back to school.

“The officer wearing the patch has been identified and he has been directed to remove it immediately,” Toronto police spokesperson Meaghan Gray told the Star in an email.....

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John Clarke

Rather predictably, we are seeing a great number of articles on how to change the nature of the police by adjusting the ways in which they are trained. What is lost in these liberal solutions is that the fundamental issue is the function police carry out and not how they are taught their trade. Let's try and make that proposition concrete with some examples. In each case consider how much difference it is going to make if the police have taken sensitivity training and studied social work textbooks.

1. The agent of a rich speculator, who has bought up a home and left it empty, discovers that a couple of homeless people have taken shelter from the winter weather in it. He calls the police to enforce the law.

2. A family has had it's income slashed by the pandemic lockdown and they are behind in their rent. The landlord gets an eviction order and those enforcing it call for police backup to enforce the law.

3. A group of low wage precarious workers have gone on strike against their abusive employer who has hired scabs to break their effort to obtain a decent contract. The workers try to stop the employer from getting away with this and the police are called to enforce the law.

4. A police station sits in a poor and racialized neighbourhood that is in the process of being gentrified. The upscale homeowners and business interests have the ear of the politicians and media and are demanding their quality of life and property values be enhanced by cracking down on the poor residents and reducing their visibility. The police are called upon to deal with 'unlawful' and 'anti-social' behaviour.

5. A worker is robbed by her boss who refuses to pay her for several weeks of work. She walks into a police station and asks them to enforce the law but wage theft is not a criminal matter and the new social justice lens of the differently trained cop at the front desk is worthless.

The police are shaped by their function of enforcing class based exploitation and a legal framework that is designed to further this. They must be abolished and the system they serve and protect must be overthrown.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Great event last night by #justice4blackliveswinnipeg @WpgPoliceHarm @BarNoneWpg  #CommUNITY

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Continue to Say Her Name: Breonna Taylor’s Family Wants Cops Arrested After Historic $12M Settlement

The city of Louisville, Kentucky, will pay a historic $12 million settlement to the family of Breonna Taylor, more than six months after police shot and killed the 26-year-old Black emergency room technician in her own apartment and Taylor became a household name as part of the nationwide uprising in defense of Black lives. It is one of the largest payouts ever for a police killing of a Black person in the U.S. The city will also institute major reforms to the police department responsible for Taylor’s death. Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer announced the settlement at a press conference, where he was joined by members of Taylor’s family. We air excerpts from the remarkable press conference....

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

ICE Prepares to Deport Jailed Immigrant Who Says She Was Forcibly Sterilized

In immigration news, a Cameroonian mother who says she was involuntarily sterilized while held at the privately owned Irwin County Detention Center in Georgia might be deported today. Pauline Binam has lived in the United States since age 2 and has been detained at the Immigration and Customs Enforcement prison for nearly three years. Last fall, Binam was reportedly subjected to invasive surgery on her reproductive organs, without her knowledge. Binam’s looming deportation comes as whistleblower Dawn Wooten, who was a nurse at Irwin, has detailed how the jail performed hysterectomies on prisoners without their consent. Human rights advocates have condemned the disturbing practices, saying forced sterilization amounts to genocide.

In related news, a key witness in an ongoing investigation into sexual assault and harassment allegations at an El Paso, Texas, immigrant prison has been deported. The 35-year-old woman from Mexico had recently told her lawyers several guards “forcibly” kissed her, and at least one touched her intimate parts. She’s one of at least three people who have come forward about the systematic sexual violence at the ICE prison. The Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General launched a probe into the accusations after ProPublica and The Texas Tribune first reported them last month.

Aristotleded24

Who didn't see this coming?

Quote:

A community group in Winnipeg is calling on school divisions to remove police officers from public schools in the city. 

Police-Free Schools, which says it's made up of a dozen community members, students, parents, educators and teachers, recently launched a campaign calling on people to submit their stories and experiences with police officers in schools, known as school resource officers (SROs). 

"We believe that police in schools are actively criminalizing marginalized students and are part of the school to prison pipeline that grows the carceral system," said one of the organizers, Cam Scott. 

The group believes that having police officers in schools escalates incidents into the criminal justice system that would otherwise be classified as youthful misbehaviour.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..from an email

quote:

I’d like to personally thank you for attending Policing Black and Indigenous Communities in Canada: A Digital Teach-In on September 2, 2020! We hold so much gratitude and respect, as I’m sure you do too, for Dr. Pam Palmater, El Jones, Reakash Walters, Meenakshi Mannoe, and BCCLA’s Latoya Farrell for sharing their time and knowledge on how to transform and abolish the systemic harms of policing. If you want to watch the teach-in again, or share it with your friends and family, you can find it here.

Here in BC, we’re gearing up in our fight against the policing practice of street checks. Ending police street checks is only one of the many actions needed to end the foundational injustices of policing and all state violence, but it is necessary one.

Today, the Vancouver Police Board is meeting to discuss the call to end this racist and illegal practice. The Union of BC Indian Chiefs, Black Lives Matter - Vancouver, Hogan’s Alley Society, WISH Drop-In Centre Society, and the BCCLA will be presenting as a delegation at the meeting to drive home that the Board must immediately ban police street checks in Vancouver.

We need your help to pressure the Vancouver Police Board and the Province of BC to take immediate action to end street checks. Our petition calling for an end to street checks has over 8,200 signatories. Having 10,000 people backing us would show that public opinion is clear – street checks must go!

We’re only 1,800 signatures away. Will you join us by adding your name?

Street checks are racist, specifically anti-Indigenous and anti-Black, harmful for low-income people, and fundamentally illegal. There is no law that authorizes street checks for any police force in BC. You can read more on the illegality of street checks in our latest FAQ here.

Let’s be clear: street checks are a form of arbitrary detention.

We’ve been told that street checks are voluntary. But because of the power imbalance between police and the public, for many – especially Black, Indigenous, and homeless people – this interaction is far from voluntary. In fact, the Supreme Court of Canada found in one case that when people were street checked, they were under arbitrary psychological detention.

The civilian Vancouver Police Board has the power to immediately ban street checks in the city and end this practice once and for all.

Thank you for being part of the fight.

In solidarity,

Harsha Walia
Executive Director

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Edmonton police showcase new armoured vehicle and mobile action centre

Aside from high-tech drones, night-vision goggles and specially designed weapons, Edmonton’s newest armoured rescue vehicle — also called ARV2 — was on full display Wednesday.

The Edmonton Police Service currently has two armoured vehicles in operation: the ballistic armoured tactical transport vehicle and the grizzly armoured personal carrier.

Sgt. Rick Abbott said the grizzly will eventually be decommissioned after the new ARV2 is road ready.

“The safety that this vehicle will bring over its lifetime, for the cost of it — I don’t want to say it’s cheap but it certainly brings a lot of value to the citizens of Edmonton over that time — we can’t put a price on life,” Abbott said.

EPS was criticized last month for not publicly disclosing the purchase of the ARV2 and its roughly $500,000 price tag. This time, EPS has put it all on display, including its new mobile action centre, which acts as a mobile police station and was purchased for roughly $370,000.

With regards to these big-ticket purchases, Supt. Dean Hilton said this was EPS working within its current operating budget.

“The reality is we’ve bought armoured vehicles before in the same fashion, and we would hope that the public would support us in the fact that these specific types of equipment will help us maintain the safety of our citizens,” Hilton said.

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29 German police officers are suspended for sharing photos of Adolf Hitler and violent neo-Nazi propaganda showing refugees in gas chambers

Twenty-nine German police officers were suspended from duty today for sharing photos of Adolf Hitler and violent neo-Nazi propaganda showing refugees in gas chambers. 

More than 200 police were deployed in western Germany today to swoop on colleagues accused of spreading 'repulsive' far-right propaganda in online chatrooms, state interior minister Herbert Reul said.

In the latest political scandal to rock Germany's security services, Reul, interior minister of Germany's North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), said the raids targeted 34 police stations and private homes connected to 11 main suspects.

The police officers are believed to have shared more than 100 neo-Nazi images in WhatsApp groups including swastikas, pictures of Adolf Hitler and a digitally altered image of a refugee in the gas chamber of a concentration camp....

Aristotleded24

epaulo13 wrote:

..from an email

quote:

I’d like to personally thank you for attending Policing Black and Indigenous Communities in Canada: A Digital Teach-In on September 2, 2020! We hold so much gratitude and respect, as I’m sure you do too, for Dr. Pam Palmater, El Jones, Reakash Walters, Meenakshi Mannoe, and BCCLA’s Latoya Farrell for sharing their time and knowledge on how to transform and abolish the systemic harms of policing. If you want to watch the teach-in again, or share it with your friends and family, you can find it here.

Here in BC, we’re gearing up in our fight against the policing practice of street checks. Ending police street checks is only one of the many actions needed to end the foundational injustices of policing and all state violence, but it is necessary one.

Today, the Vancouver Police Board is meeting to discuss the call to end this racist and illegal practice. The Union of BC Indian Chiefs, Black Lives Matter - Vancouver, Hogan’s Alley Society, WISH Drop-In Centre Society, and the BCCLA will be presenting as a delegation at the meeting to drive home that the Board must immediately ban police street checks in Vancouver.

We need your help to pressure the Vancouver Police Board and the Province of BC to take immediate action to end street checks. Our petition calling for an end to street checks has over 8,200 signatories. Having 10,000 people backing us would show that public opinion is clear – street checks must go!

We’re only 1,800 signatures away. Will you join us by adding your name?

Street checks are racist, specifically anti-Indigenous and anti-Black, harmful for low-income people, and fundamentally illegal. There is no law that authorizes street checks for any police force in BC. You can read more on the illegality of street checks in our latest FAQ here.

Let’s be clear: street checks are a form of arbitrary detention.

We’ve been told that street checks are voluntary. But because of the power imbalance between police and the public, for many – especially Black, Indigenous, and homeless people – this interaction is far from voluntary. In fact, the Supreme Court of Canada found in one case that when people were street checked, they were under arbitrary psychological detention.

The civilian Vancouver Police Board has the power to immediately ban street checks in the city and end this practice once and for all.

Thank you for being part of the fight.

In solidarity,

Harsha Walia
Executive Director

The only valid and legal reason an officer should stop anyone on the street is if the officer has good reason to suspect that this person is a threat to public safety or is aware of one. Why are they randomly stopping people on the street? If crime is that pressing an issue, I would think that they had better and more important things to do.

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

Intimidation and control over certain segments of the population that the establishment don't like is my guess.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..assholes.

Vancouver Police Board Pushes Review of Street Checks to Next Year

Vancouver’s police board has punted a decision on whether to review the practice of street checks down the road, irking advocates who say the checks are illegal and discriminatory.

“In our delegation speech, we talked about no more reviews, no more delays, no more engaging conversation about this discriminatory and illegal practice,” said Latoya Farrell, a lawyer with the BC Civil Liberties Association. “No more reviews and statistics will justify this illegal practice.”

quote:

That data spurred the BC Civil Liberties Association and the Union of BC Indian Chiefs to launch a formal complaint against the Vancouver Police Department and the B.C. government put in place new policing standards stating that street checks must be a “voluntary interaction.”

Aristotleded24

What's to review? Just commit to only detaining people on the street who are a threat to public safety or who are aware of one, otherwise leave people alone. Problem solved, it doesn't take a long-winded meeting to accomplish, and the police board can move on to other more pressing problems.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..the city of vancouver has no control over the police board, the province does. the board also rejected the city's proposal for a financial cut..even though it was modest. 

quote:

In July, Vancouver's city council voted unanimously to end street checks. But the police board has voted to delay a review of the controversial practice to next year.

..also

Harsha Walia

Why did @kennedystewart recuse himself from Vancouver Police Board mtg? He sits on Board precisely coz he is Mayor & earlier Council motion is consistent, not conflict, with his role on Board. So much for earlier promise about using his "power & privilege." WEAK

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Harsha Walia

VPD consistently weaponizes street checks & wellness checks as "protective policing" measure to "help" solve #MMIWG cases & says its in best interests of Indigenous women & youth.

Women/DTES/Indigenous orgs have repeatedly challenged this patronizing & disgusting weaponization.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

BC Civil Liberties Association

BCCLA's Staff Counsel, Latoya Farrell, appearing on behalf of the delegation @UBCIC / @bccla / @hogans_alley / @BLM_Van / @WISHvancouver

 "Street checks are fundamentally illegal. There is no applicable statute or regulation authorizing street checks for any police force in BC."

..also from farrell

quote:

Latoya Farrell: "According to the Supreme Court of Canada, a reasonable person belonging to a racialized group would perceive a street check as coercive. This is particularly true given the current climate of heightened awareness of systemic racism in policing."

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

NYPD Arrests 86 Anti-ICE Protesters in Times Square

Here in New York City, police arrested 86 people in Times Square Saturday as they gathered for a nonviolent protest demanding the abolition of ICE. Video of the mass arrest shows officers pulling apart demonstrators who linked arms and sat in the street, while violently arresting bicyclists who had temporarily blocked traffic. The protesters were charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Federal Agents Tapped Cellphones of Portland Protesters

The Nation magazine is reporting federal officials with the Justice Department and Homeland Security have intercepted the phone communications of protesters in Portland. The Nation reports the surveillance involved cellphone cloning, where the government steals a phone’s unique identifiers and copies them to another device in order to intercept the communications received by the original device. Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley has called for a full investigation. He wrote on Twitter, “The Trump admin has treated the people of Portland like enemy combatants. These tactics—like cell phone cloning to spy on protestors—are unacceptable in America.”

...

For-Profit ICE Jail Will No Longer Send Women to Doctor Accused of Forced Sterilizations

In immigration news, women imprisoned at Irwin County Detention Center in Georgia are no longer being sent to the physician accused of administering hysterectomies and other gynecological procedures without consent. An attorney working on the investigation said Tuesday Dr. Mahendra Amin saw at least 60 women imprisoned at Irwin, which is privately run. Whistleblower Dawn Wooten, a former nurse at Irwin, labeled Amin “the uterus collector.”

NDPP

Police in riot-gear are blocking off Bardstone Rd. There have been several arrests (and vid)

https://twitter.com/kgosztola/status/1308867420178845700

"Louisville is inciting violence through the mass deployment of warrior cops..."

 

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

The little-known Ontario tribunal standing in the way of defunding the police

quote:

The institutional framework of policing in Ontario

Due to the nature of its federalist system, Canada has what is called a tripartite policing framework. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) operates at the federal level for issues under federal jurisdiction. All other policing is left, according to the Constitution, to the provinces.

Some provinces–Ontario among them—have a provincial police force. Most provinces, however, devolve the responsibility, if not the control, for policing to municipalities. Ontario does this as well, allowing for the creation of municipal police forces. The question of defunding the police at the federal and provincial level is fairly simple: the federal and provincial governments set the police budget as part of their broader budgets, and it is the legislature which has the power to approve or reject budgets. Yet, for municipal police, at least in Ontario, the question is a good deal more complicated.

In Ontario, municipal councils have virtually no control over municipal police forces. The arms-length relationship between the police and the municipalities they purport to serve has its origins in the institutional arrangements which existed pre-Confederation. Attempting to shape the police into a modern state institution, rather than one dominated by patronage appointments, the government of Upper Canada created the first Board of Commissioners of Police in 1858. These boards were responsible for the administration of urban policing and were supposed to be free from direct political interference of municipal officials. After Confederation, when policing powers were granted to the provinces, this arrangement was maintained. Today in Ontario, these bodies are known as police services boards, and are justified under the common law principle of police independence.

The composition of police services boards is set out in the Police Services Act, 1990. Depending on the size of the municipality in question, police services boards are to be composed of three, five, or seven members. Generally speaking, the head of a municipal council (the mayor) sits on the police services board, alongside other delegates from the municipal council, appointees from the Lieutenant Governor, and sometimes citizens who are neither councilors nor city employees. Police services boards are responsible for the administration of police forces, but are explicitly prohibited from intervening in the day-to-day operations of police forces. It is the police services boards which are responsible, in consultation with chiefs of police, for proposing the police budget.

While municipalities do not control police forces, they are still obligated to pay for them. Municipal councils have the power to approve or reject police budgets. However, if a municipality rejects a proposed police budget, the police services board has the ability, under Section 39 of the Police Services Act, to appeal to the Ontario Civilian Police Commission (OCPC). The OCPC then becomes the ultimate arbiter of the police budget, with both the city and the police services board presenting their respective cases before a tribunal.

What is the Ontario Civilian Police Commission?

The OCPC “is an independent, quasi-judicial agency” with a broad and somewhat strange mandate. It is one of Ontario’s three civilian police oversight bodies, the other two being the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), and the Office of the Independent Police Review Director. The OCPC is composed of both an Adjudicative Division and an Investigative Division. OCPC tribunals hear a wide range of issues including appeals of police disciplinary penalties; requests to abolish, create, reduce, or amalgamate police services; the associational status of police service members; issues relating to the adequacy and effectiveness of policing services; and disputes between municipalities and police services boards over budgets. The OCPC also has the power to investigate police chiefs, police services, and police services boards if they are believed to have engaged in improper conduct.

The origins of the OCPC can be traced back to 1962 when the Ontario Police Commission was created as a “general watch-dog role over law observance and enforcement in Ontario.” Shortly after, it was given the power to review municipal budgets. The demand for civilian oversight of policing was closely related to the struggles of the 1960s and 1970s, especially around civil rights and racial equality. In 1977, the Ontario Civilian Commission on Police Services was given the task of receiving public complaints about the police. In 1990 the SIU was created in response to increased backlash over police killings, and the SIU’s investigate powers were stripped from the Police Commission. The Police Services Act renamed the Commission to the Ontario Civilian Commission on Police Services and further stripped its ability to hear public complaints, which became the responsibility of a Police Complaints Commissioner.

quote:

The mode of practice of the OCPC

It is not just the social composition of the OCPC membership which limits the possibility of defunding or abolishing the police through official channels. Rather, the established modes of practice of the OCPC also prevent any meaningful reform.

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