Ask Police Tough Questions

This video was taken on Thursday, July 1st, Canada day. There was a peaceful protest downtown for people demanding a public inquiry about the events that took place over the G20 weekend. People were very angry at the police because many of the people present at the rally had been abused by police in some form or another... and those who were not abused, knew that the same things could have happened to them. We were all outraged at the police brutality that occurred on Canadian soil and the clear and open violation of our rights that occurred at the hands of police. But of course, no protester got violent towards the police and, unlike at the G20, the police did not cause any violence towards us on Canada day.

So we were all just standing around the intersection and I looked over to see some girls talking to a police officer on a bicycle. The girls were questioning him about the police brutality that occurred over the G20 weekend. This cop was acting confident and like a bit of a smart ass towards the girls as if the police had done nothing wrong at the G20 and were totally justified in their actions. This cop probably thought he was really smart and would be able to explain away all the criminal acts committed by police.

Since this guy thought he was so good at explaining the law and police actions to everyone, i asked him to comment on the undercover police dressed as black bloc anarchists in Quebec in 2007. All of a sudden, this guy wasn't so talkative anymore. He said he wouldn't comment because he wasn't there. When I asked if he thought that something like that could have happened in Toronto, he replied "highly unlikely". But when I asked him if there were any undercover cops dressed as black bloc anarchists, he got totally frightened and likely realized that he can't be talking about this stuff and wanted to get out of the situation before he said something that might get him in trouble. He was standing there pretty tall for quite a while, talking to the girls, before I came up to him. And it was hilarious that after I asked him about the undercover police, he started backing up and cowered away. The question is not whether they had any of these agents, but whether or not these agents caused or encouraged any vandalism or violence to take place. Not that I would expect the police to tell the public the truth after their many public deceptions over the last week, but we need to know how many undercover agents were present at the protest, and how many undercover agents they had dressed as black bloc anarchists. After all, with 19,000 police in the area, it is pretty simple to infiltrate a group of anarchists by dressing up some of your officers in an all black costume. So we need to know who these agents were and get statements from them, as well as have them identified in the numerous videos taken of the events. Most informed observers would not really deny the fact that police had likely infiltrated these anarchist groups at some level or another for the legitimate purpose of keeping an eye on them. But I think the public has a right to know the level of involvement that police had with the black bloc anarchist groups.

It appeared to me that this cop may have known about the use of undercover agents which is why he did not want to talk about it. Rather than arguing that my claims were ridiculous, he backed off instead. Many police would have likely known about the presence of undercover agents because the police would not want to attack or injure their own agents or fellow officers.

Most police officers in Toronto were on duty over the weekend and I am sure that many of them have stories to tell. They were the ones receiving these orders. We need accounts from police about what it was like that day. We need to ask police these types of questions. ask them 1) Were there orders given to "stand down"? 2) Did the police have undercover operatives dressed as black bloc anarchists? 3) Ask them about any number of the cases of assault and abuse that occurred.

Everyone in Toronto needs to start carrying around a video camera of some kind and go up to police and film them or tape record them and ask them these tough questions and see what they say. Hang out at your local Tim Horton's (or where ever police get their doughnuts on break) with a video camera and start politely asking whatever questions you think need answering. A lot of these police probably know things that the public does not know. Don't just wait around for a public inquiry, start the inquiry yourself. Don't be afraid to go up to police and talk to them. They're not as scary when they're not 19,000 strong with storm trooper gear and the power to beat you up and arrest you and throw you in a cage for no reason.

We need cops to start speaking out. I know that most cops are not bad people and probably did not want to go along with what was happening. But nevertheless, they choose to obey illegal orders and committed illegal acts or were accessories to these crimes and stood by and did nothing when they should have had the courage to speak out against what was clearly wrong. When police realized something was wrong and they were being ordered to attack and arrest innocent people, I believe that an individual police officer has the duty to refuse the illegal order. They should have taken off their helmets and badges and said "I quit. I will not be a part of this" and gone and joined the protesters. Because it was the protesters and the citizens who were not doing anything illegal. It was the police who were committing illegal acts. But not one police officer that I have heard of, has actually had the courage to do what is right. That is disgraceful. Hopefully in the coming weeks and months, police officers will realize their mistake, turn themselves in, and speak out against the crimes committed by police over the G20 weekend. We also need police to speak out and describe the types of orders they were given to determine if illegal orders were given by their superiors. A judge and jury of the court will decide what punishment is appropriate on a case by case basis for these officers and their superiors for their involvement in the various criminal acts.

Many police who were not involved or witnesses to the illegal activity now have a duty to the people of Canada to look at the evidence for themselves and speak out against what is clearly wrong. It should be clear that there are a lot of bad apples in the ranks of the police across this country and it gives good police officers, who joined to protect the public, a bad name. It would be very courageous of police officers to speak out against crimes committed by their superiors and fellow officers, since they would be risking their career. Good, moral and honest police officers picked this career path because they wanted to help and protect innocent people. I am sure that many police will be just as disgusted and outraged as the rest of us when the hear the stories about what really happened. After all, good police officers would not want this to happen to people that they care about either. I'm sure that many police by now have started to hear these accounts and likely feel like they are caught in a difficult moral dilemma that has serious implications. Even though it will not be easy, police need to do what is right. They need to be brave. The police who were attacking innocent people are not tough or macho. They are weak cowards. Attacking and abusing defenseless young women takes no courage. Speaking out against injustice takes real courage, and those are the type of police I want in my city. I do not want ones who will follow orders and turn a blind eye because it is more convenient than rocking the boat and putting themselves at risk.

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