Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Ontario's Special Investigations Unit on the job

...turning a professional blind eye to flagrant police abuse. A few examples, courtesy of the Toronto Star:
  • A grandmother is run over and killed by a recklessly-driving cop. Cleared by the SIU, no charges, but he's fined $500 under the Police Act. Another cop runs over two teenagers in a park. He, too, is exonerated by the SIU.

  • Two cops shoot a camper preparing his supper. Synchronized notes + SIU incompetence = no charges.

  • SIU clears a police officer of wrong-doing after he breaks a handcuffed suspect's jaw in two places. A judge expresses shock and throws out the case against the suspect.

  • A slightly-built chartered accountant is pulled over for an expired licence sticker--and a cop breaks his arm. The officer leaves his victim by the road, saying he was lucky he didn't get worse. The SIU clears the officers involved.

  • An officer shoots dead a man approaching her armed with a plastic lawnchair. She gets a pass from the SIU.
As I noted in an earlier post, police in Ontario have been free for some time to assault and even kill ordinary citizens with impunity. The SIU can be counted upon to sit on their thumbs. Could the G20 police rampage a few months ago be seen as the inevitable result, at least in part, of the unwillingness of this "watchdog" to make police officers accountable for their actions?

UPDATE: And the societal sickness of police impunity is not, by any means, confined to Ontario. Not by a long shot.

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