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Police ethics update: Mocking the Charter

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On Tuesday we went before the Police Ethics Committee to ask that I be involved in my own complaint against the police. I want to be able to ask directly who was giving the agents provocateurs in Montebello their orders.

The hearing was held in a small faceless courtroom, on the sixth floor of an office tower in downtown Montreal. The lawyers all wore nice dark suits. We had one lawyer. The SQ had three.

It's pretty clear that three years after we filed our complaint, the SQ complaints procedure is a bad joke.

When we first filed our complaint against the SQ it was thrown out by the Police Ethics Commissioner-that's right, thrown right out.

The Commissioner admitted that the three undercover cops were a bit pushy with me, but that that was OK under the circumstances.

We appealed, and the Ethics Committee ordered the same Commissioner who turned down our original complaint to proceed against the three officers. That means that the guy who didn't want to hear from me is now supposed to defend my interests.

Our lawyer Mike Cohen says any reasonable person would find this bizarre-how can the guy who turned down our complaint be relied on to dig up evidence that proves how wrong he was? That is why I should be directly involved as a third party intervenor. That would make the proceedings more credible.

Oh no no no, said the police and Commissioner's lawyers. If we allow Dave Coles to testify we would have to open the door to all kinds of distracting people and the proceedings would turn into a Chinese Buffet and could drag on and on, said the SQ lawyers.

But there is the matter of the Charter and issues of freedom of expression and association, said Cohen.

We all know that when the Charter is invoked it is because there is no case joked one of the SQ lawyers, while the other one chuckled sympathetically.

Making fun of the Charter apparently passes for humor among lawyers who work for the police.

As lawyers say, I would respectfully submit, that when you make fun of the Charter it is because you don't have a moral leg to stand on.

We now know the three masked SQ cops' names: Jean-Francois Boucher, Joey Laflamme and Patrick Tremblay. You can watch some of what they were up to on YouTube:

But I don't really have a big hate-on for "the three stooges" who were defending "the three amigos."

I do have something against the systematic use of provocateurs at all the summit protests in recent years, including the G20 in Toronto. I want to know who tells guys like Boucher, Laflamme and Tremblay that they should wreck our demonstrations, and discredit our right to protest.

Three years after the fact, and counting, who is giving the orders?

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