Violent arrest of student at University of Western Ontario

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Michelle
Violent arrest of student at University of Western Ontario

But don't worry.  The London Police will investigate and make sure their fellow officers did nothing wrong.

Toronto Star story

YouTube video of the arrest

Quote:

 

The video shows the student being held down in a campus building on Wednesday and pummelled by at least five campus and city police officers.

Officers are seen kneeing the student aggressively in the torso, beating him on the back with batons and punching him hard up to a dozen times.

...

Elgin Austen, the head of campus police, told a news conference Thursday that by the time he arrived during the arrest, he didn't see "anything out of order" with the level of force being applied.

"It was being conducted consistent with the Ontario Police College and the training that officers have there."

He added that people seeing just the video alone "may not understand what the officers were actually doing."

"What the officers were doing was trying to apprehend a strong individual ... and not injure that person and keep other people around safe."

...

Charged with mischief under $5,000, assaulting a peace officer, resisting arrest and escaping lawful custody is Irnes Zeljkovic, of London.

...

Kulczycki said an automatic review is conducted in situations like these.

"We will certainly co-operate fully with London police as that occurs," she said.

Considering that there were apparently London police officers involved in the incident, I don't find that too terribly comforting!

Caissa

I just watched the videos on the Western Gazette site. From 1987-1992, I had an office on the fourth floor of that building. I await the results of the review. If that force isn't excessive, I would like to know what the guidelines for use of force are on campus and in general.

Michelle

Allegedly, the guy was really violent and people were fleeing the building to get away from him.

Now here's what I don't get.  I do get that you have to subdue a guy who is being violent.  I totally get that.

What I don't get is, if you have six big guys sitting on one guy who is freaking out, why the punching and kicking?  I have no problem with them using that many officers to subdue someone who is being violent.  But it seems unnecessarily violent to me to punch and kick the guy into submission when you could just hold the guy down until he gets tired of struggling, and then put handcuffs on him.

I mean, I know it takes longer, but isn't that their job?

Tommy_Paine

 

I'm guessing, but I'd suspect that the person arrested tagged one of the cops pretty good durring earlier attempts  to arrest him, and the cops just won't let that stand.

I'm sure that's inappropriate.... but then, I think it's probably the reality of policing.  You just can't have people walking around thinking they can land one on the jaw of an officer and not pay a price for it.

Just, like, don't do it in front of the kids.....

 

However, the part that we should be taking note of is the way police have obviously been trained to hide the suspect from ever present cameras, and keep yelling "stop resisting", to give the camera an impression that the person who can't be seen under the pile of blue uniforms is still resisting while he or she has the snot beaten out of them.

 

 

 

Snert Snert's picture

I would think that the sooner you can get him to stop thrashing, the less likely that either he's going to harm himself doing so, or the less likely that having burly fellows sitting on him patiently is going to cause compression or breathing issues for him. 

Michelle

I thought about that too after posting.  But it seems to me there has to be a way of subduing someone that doesn't involve kicking them repeatedly and punching them in the head.  I'd be more worried about someone being hurt by that, than being suffocated by people holding them down.  (I didn't mean they should literally sit on the guy - sorry if I was unclear.)

Snert Snert's picture

Perhaps some (maybe even all) of the blows that you see on the video are gratuitous "for fun" blows, but when he's being hit, for example, on the back of his leg, the cop is targeting his hamstring, in the hope that he'll be unable to keep propping himself up on that leg. 

Quote:
I didn't mean they should literally sit on the guy - sorry if I was unclear.)
 

Hopefully they're not sitting cross-legged, for laughs, or pretending he's furniture. But if he's adamant about getting up then really, nothing short of weight that he cannot lift is going to prevent that. And if I'm not mistaken, there have been deaths from chest compression and suffocation in instances where cops do that. 

Now if someone could invent some kind of device that would administer a high voltage, low amperage shock to the perp's CNS, sufficient to override their voluntary muscle control, then the "hitting & sitting" wouldn't be necessary.

kropotkin1951

In BC Ujah Dosange brought those high tech cattle prods to BC when he was an NDP Minister of Justice. About the same time he was advocating for three strike laws for drugs. Just before his base abandoned him and reduced the NDP to 2 seats.

Tigana Tigana's picture

Snert wrote, "if someone could invent some kind of device that would administer a high voltage, low amperage shock to the perp's CNS, sufficient to override their voluntary muscle control, then the "hitting & sitting" wouldn't be necessary."

 

 

Someone has, and a good friend of Harper's lobbied successfully to bring it to Canada.

One result has been seen around the world:

http://www.cbc.ca/canada/british-columbia/story/2007/11/14/bc-taservideo...

Tigana Tigana's picture

A step in the right direction from Nova Scotia, Canada:

"Police and jail guards will get more training to recognize mental illnesses and how to deal with people afflicted with them, Justice Minister Ross Landry said Friday.

The province commissioned an expert panel last year to look at the phenomenon called excited delirium and what role it could play in in-custody deaths, to examine the risks of using stun guns and other restraints on people in that state, and to recommend how law enforcement officials should deal with those people.

Mr. Landry said the most significant recommendation in the eight-member panel’s new report is ensuring that front-line justice workers are trained to recognize people with symptoms of excited delirium, or as the panel suggests calling it, autonomic hyperarousal state."

Link to PDF report:
http://gov.ns.ca/just/public_safety/_docs/Excited%20Delirium%20Report.pdf

G. Muffin

"Exhibited delirium" is a bogus syndrome invented to blame Taser victims for their own deaths. 

P.S.  Tigana, I am quite sure that Snert is well aware of the existence of Tasers.  His comment was funny.

Le T Le T's picture

I guess some cops prefer brutality unplugged. The London Police are notorious thugs. When I was growing up in and around London I remember an incident where an elderly man pulled over for riding his bicycle without a light was beaten TO DEATH by London cops.

davisjayw

This is a complete violation of human rights, by the police.....no matter what B.S. they sell the media. I would love to help the beat student get all five police removed from the police force and charged with assault, police do not have the right to enforce statutes if they themselves can not follow them. No police officer/politician has any authority over anyone, and have the no right to infringe on a persons rights, give to them from there creator, not the government. Canada must stand against what has become a defective system that day by day starts to resemble the US and its "Patriot Act". We the People have right on our side......stand for your rights and the rights of your fellow Canadians before this happens to you.

Tigana Tigana's picture

G. Pie wrote,

'"Exhibited delirium" is a bogus syndrome invented to blame Taser victims for their own deaths. '

Pie, can you please direct us to the source material where this judgment on EXCITED DELIRIUM and its status in law has been determined?

 

'P.S.  Tigana, I am quite sure that Snert is well aware of the existence of Tasers.  His comment was funny.'

Yes. I thought it was funny too, but not scary enough.

G. Muffin

Tigana wrote:
Pie, can you please direct us to the source material where this judgment on EXCITED DELIRIUM and its status in law has been determined?

It's not a legal matter; it's a medical one.  So how about you direct us to some source material showing that "excited delirium" is a genuine, documented medical condition?  There's certainly room for skepticism when a disorder is primarily invoked to reduce police liability. 

ETA:  From the document you linked:

Quote:
Critics, disputing the legitimacy of the term, claim that it is being used as a 'catch-all' that masks contributions to in-custody deaths from factors such as dangerous restraint procedures or inappropriate use of force by law enforcement officers.

I guess I'm one of these critics.

And ETA:

And how many taxpayer dollars did these asshole "experts" spend to come up with this non-conclusion?

Quote:
The panel has concerns about the quality of some of the research that has been conducted regarding the impact of restraint mechanisms. To our knowledge, no systematic analysis has been undertaken that applies a critical evaluative methodology to these studies. In the absence of a critical synthesis of available research regarding the individual or combined impact of the various forms of restraint, it is not possible to draw definitive conclusions regarding the safety of these restraint mechanisms (including the conducted energy device) for individuals experiencing AHS.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Tigana wrote:

G.Pie wrote:

'P.S.  Tigana, I am quite sure that Snert is well aware of the existence of Tasers.  His comment was funny.'

Yes. I thought it was funny too, but not scary enough.

It wasn't funny at all. It was sarcasm designed to support Snert's disgraceful thesis that police are entitled to punch and kick people into submission, by raising as the only alternative the use of potentially lethal tasers.

Tigana Tigana's picture

M. Spector and G. Pie, it looks as if you are both trying to deflect the issue away from taser deaths. And that is disgraceful.

Michelle

I don't think they're doing that - if anything, it sounds like they're both concerned about police brutality.  Besides, the topic isn't taser deaths anyhow.  I mean, I don't care if you want to talk about taser deaths - it's somewhat connected to this issue since police brutality is the broader issue.  But other people can also talk about other aspects of police brutality other than taser deaths too.

Snert Snert's picture

Quote:
It was sarcasm designed to support Snert's disgraceful thesis that police are entitled to punch and kick people into submission, by raising as the only alternative the use of potentially lethal tasers.

 

No, I'm not by any means convinced that there are only two options, however I can't really say what the other options are (excluding trite nonsense like "just talk to him" or "abolish the police state!!!")

 

I am, however, very confident that if you were one of those officers you'd have known exactly what to do to subdue a violent asshole without having to lay a finger on him. Feel free to share.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Q.E.D.

Michelle

I think it's important to discuss what other options there might be, because otherwise the police get the upper hand when it comes to PR.

I'm not sure what other options there are either if the guy is being violent, beyond restraining the guy by holding him down (which, as Snert was saying, could suffocate him if you have to really put weight on him to get him to stay down).  But I'm sure there must be other ways to deal with it without harming him or beating the crap out of him.

Holding him down AND "just talking to him" (as opposed to screaming, "STOP RESISTING!" for benefit of the cameras) might work - the article said the guy was disoriented, so it's quite possible he was in distress.

G. Muffin

Tigana wrote:
M. Spector and G. Pie, it looks as if you are both trying to deflect the issue away from taser deaths. And that is disgraceful.

On the contrary, Tigana, exposing "excited delirium" as a fraud puts the focus where it should be -- on people in custody being harmed or killed by police procedures. 

Snert Snert's picture

Quote:
Q.E.D.

 

Latin for "I don't have any other ideas either".

Tigana Tigana's picture

Nothing good for Canada, liberties or mental health is happening in this thread. 

Bye. 

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Well, first of all, 'force' doesn't have to mean 'kneeing someone repeatedly in the leg and batonning him in the head'. There are other ways to physically restrain someone, even someone very big.

Secondly, how long do we have to wait before police officer get real training on mental health? There's been mention of 'excited delerium'. I've lately been reading 19th-century texts on hysteria and I have to say, there's not much light between 'hysteria' as a medical affliction an whatever 'excited delerium' is supposed to be. Even if 'excited delerium' is an actual medical condition (which, I am nearly positive, it is not), why are police trained to deal with it by pummelling the subject into submission?

I also wonder, if there is no potential for the subject to injure bystanders or himself, once he has been isolated, what is the urgency to restrain him? It seems like the officers had isolated the individual, but for some reason, really needed to beat him up in a hurry. I suggest that it's part of a police's job to keep everything else calm, including his or her person, even while someone in front of them is freaking out.

Tommy_Paine

Le T wrote:

I guess some cops prefer brutality unplugged. The London Police are notorious thugs. When I was growing up in and around London I remember an incident where an elderly man pulled over for riding his bicycle without a light was beaten TO DEATH by London cops.

I believe  his name was Larry Campbell, but I could be wrong.   He was killed because a simple situation escalated out of hand.  The officer went to take Campbell down to the ground, and they both fell-- and Campbell broke his neck on the curb.  I don't think anyone disputed the facts.

But, for sure both officers at the scene confered before they made thier notes on the incident, and neither were held accountable for that.

And I remember the lawyers dragging Campbell through the mud, just like Alan Sheppard was more recently.

I tend to think that incident was one of those accidents that everyone wishes they'd have done just one small thing differently, and it wouldn't have happened.

But, it's the cover up that sticks out in my mind the most.  Needless cover up that did more to bring the local Police Force and administration of justice into disrepute than the actual incident itself.

 

kropotkin1951

Here is a very good article about the term and its history and usage.  I personally side with the people who say it is just an excuse for deaths caused by excessive force. I especially liked the line that only police officers seem to find people sufering from it.

 

But nearly all reported cases of excited delirium involve people who are fighting with police. And that's extremely problematic, says Eric Balaban of the American Civil Liberties Union.

"I know of no reputable medical organization — certainly not the AMA [American Medical Association] or the APA [American Psychological Association] — that recognizes excited delirium as a medical or mental-health condition," Balaban says.

He's right. Excited delirium is not recognized by professional medical associations, and you won't find it listed in the chief psychiatric reference book.

 

 

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=7608386

 

 

G. Muffin

Catchfire wrote:
Secondly, how long do we have to wait before police officer get real training on mental health?

Real training from whom?  Ever seen mental health professionals take down a patient?  It's not pretty. 

Quote:
Even if 'excited delerium' is an actual medical condition (which, I am nearly positive, it is not), why are police trained to deal with it by pummelling the subject into submission?

Good question.

G. Muffin

Tommy_Paine wrote:
The officer went to take Campbell down to the ground, and they both fell-- and Campbell broke his neck on the curb.
  [emphasis added]

An elderly man?  For a bicycling violation? 

martin dufresne

Today,  Canadian cops have become licenced murderers, probably under explicit orders from their chiefs...and we are further and further from being able to do anything about it. (Silencing their shameless apologists here would be a start, however.)

Fidel

martin dufresne wrote:

Today,  Canadian cops have become licenced murderers, probably under explicit orders from their chiefs...and we are further and further from being able to do anything about it. (Silencing their shameless apologists here would be a start, however.)

Well,  at risk of being labelled a supporter of state-sponsored murder, I think there are two sides to any incident and sometimes grey areas between right and wrong. Cops are people. There are good ones and bad ones. The stories my sister and uncles told me about the dirty jobs they do, like domestic dispute calls, I think would have the most understanding of us siding with cops. The good cops that is. Everybody's heard the stories about bad plumbers, bad doctors and nurses, and dirty politicians. There are bad cops, too, just like any other worker. People are rarely perfect in what they do, and when they are we rarely hear or read about it.

martin dufresne

Care to point out "the good ones and the bad ones" in this video, Fidel?

Fidel

You win again, Martin. And if ever a neighbor catches his wife or vice versa screwing around and decides to murder their spouse with a shotgun or hunting knife, be sure not to call the cops. Because I think someone like you will be able to handle it all by yourself without any backup. And mind the kids and neighbors in the line of fire.

Martin, how could you be sure this guy didnt have a pistol on him and wasn't bent on taking out a dozen females for whatever reason?

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Fidel, why do you have to make this into a caricature of extremes? Either we give cops a licence to beat and kick people senseless with impunity, or we can forget about law enforcement altogether? Are those the choices we face?

Fidel

Where did I say these particular cops did the right thing? Otoh, I think sometimes it's possible that cops don't have a lot of time to ponder whether someone running around university grounds erratically is real danger to other students and innocent bystanders. They can be heroes or shits in a heartbeat. It looks to me like these cops weren't giving the guy a lot of time or room to decide on his next move. And I don't agree with kicking or punching anyone. Bad move on the part of the cops, and apparently they didn't give two shits about the camera recording their actions.

Aristotleded24

Fidel wrote:

Well,  at risk of being labelled a supporter of state-sponsored murder, I think there are two sides to any incident and sometimes grey areas between right and wrong. Cops are people. There are good ones and bad ones. The stories my sister and uncles told me about the dirty jobs they do, like domestic dispute calls, I think would have the most understanding of us siding with cops. The good cops that is. Everybody's heard the stories about bad plumbers, bad doctors and nurses, and dirty politicians. There are bad cops, too, just like any other worker. People are rarely perfect in what they do, and when they are we rarely hear or read about it.

Policing is a difficult job and there are several officers who don't actively abuse their authority. What I often wonder is if the brutal cops care that their own actions make their job that much more difficult.

Aristotleded24

martin dufresne wrote:

Today,  Canadian cops have become licenced murderers, probably under explicit orders from their chiefs...and we are further and further from being able to do anything about it. (Silencing their shameless apologists here would be a start, however.)

I'm not sure if the problem is actually getting worse or if we're beginning to acknowledge it. There is a reason that police agencies were originally referred to as the police force. That's how they dealt with people, and it was expected. Certainly the assumption that "the coops won't bother you if you don't do anything wrong" is not the case and people are just coming around to seeing that, whereas before people would just take it for granted that anybody on the wrong end of a police baton had it coming. Most agencies have changed their names to police services, and there's talk about more training, more education (a cop once told me that even without the formal requirement, that most police agencies are unlikely to take someone without post-secondary education) community policing and all sorts of things. Officially, the PR is that police agencies need to do better in serving their communities. The extent to which this actually happens is a fair question.

So we're clear, I'm in no way arguing that good cops or good work done by cops excuses brutality.

Fidel

I don't think they do care. Some do their job the way they were taught old school. Cop horror stories abound for sure. Some cops nowadays have college diplomas and university degrees. Some like my sister did before becoming a cop have education and on the job training in social work, the prison system, and even teaching.  Some of them really care about their work, and other become frustrated with the inequalities inherent in our system and its end results cops deal with daily. One of my cousins quit being a cop, and it was partly because of the trafick ticket quotas imposed on street cops every month. He found out he couldnt give parking tickets to the big nuts around town, because it just isn't done.

Tommy_Paine

There are bad cops, too, just like any other worker. People are rarely perfect in what they do, and when they are we rarely hear or read about it.

Exactly.  And there's good cops too.  I've met a few from both examples, as I'm sure all  of us have.

 

The issue is what to do when cops-- or other professionals for that matter-- are "bad".  Right now, there's no accountability.  Period. We can all point to some pretty egregious examples of that. 

As it is, the cops are above the law, and what's worse, they act like they know it. They take it for granted.

Most of the focus on this issue is on the individual officers, but as long as it is, this will continue.  The focus should be on our Chief's of Police, Crown's Attourney, Judges and Attourney's General.  They are the ones extending a blank cheque to bad cops.  They are the ones protecting bad cops. They are the ones guilty of violating  everyone's charter rights by putting some people above the law, while others are crushed by it.

 

Fidel

Okay apparently no one was impressed with that.

martin dufresne

Thanks for taking it in good humour. Let's just say I considered asking the mods to verify whether your account had been hacked...Wink

Caissa

Students remain unclear and angry about the violent arrest of fourth-year social science student Irnes Zeljkovic last Wednesday.

A video of the arrest was posted to YouTube showing six officers arresting the suspect using a flurry of fists, knees and batons in the Social Science Centre.

Last Friday, anonymous protestors wearing black clothing and bandanas over their faces assembled on concrete beach, handing out pamphlets condemning police violence.

"When was the last time you were served or protected by the pigs?" the pamphlet read. "More likely your last encounter with them was one where you felt harassed or intimidated."

http://www.uwogazette.ca/2009/10/20/concern-over-use-of-force-in-ssc-arr...

remind remind's picture

Are health care workers the only ones trained in safe physical restraint techniques?