Archive for the ‘Police’ Category

Gatineau cruisers vandalized overnight

Tuesday, July 14, 2009
CBC News [Quebec]

A dozen police cruisers were vandalized overnight in Gatineau, Que., and fingers are being pointed at the city’s police officers.

The cruisers were covered with orange paint.

Both the city and the officers’ union said the officers could have been behind the vandalism, because words written in the paint referred to negotiations and work contracts.

For more than two years, police in Gatineau have been without a collective agreement.

Their protest has consisted of wearing cargo pants and khakis instead of police-issue slacks, but the mayor said he thinks it’s possible that the vandalized vehicles mark another step in the protest.

While the cars are being washed, said Mayor Marc Bureau, they’ll be out of commission.

Neither the union nor the city, however, has confirmed officers were involved in the vandalism.

Jean Pierre Bussière, the union’s vice-president, said there will be an investigation, but the vandalism is probably a simple sign of frustration.

“You know, in my understanding, it was probably a way to inform the people on what’s happening – that the city … they’re doing nothing to end the conflict.”

Bussière said he’s not sure applying poster paint could be considered vandalism because it could easily be washed off.

On Friday, Gatineau police officers who were being sworn in at the Elgin Street police station said they would be willing to wear their proper uniforms when they conduct investigations on the Ottawa side of the river.

But on the Gatineau side, they said, they planned to continue their plainclothes – or at least pants – protest.

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Hunt for pipeline bomber draws harassment complaints
Residents of B.C. town question RCMP tactics

Mark Hume
Globe and Mail
Saturday, Jul. 11, 2009

An RCMP [Royal Canadian Mounted Police] team hunting for the EnCana pipeline bomber in northeastern British Columbia has been accused of harassing and intimidating people in an attempt to get a break in the case.

Several residents of the Dawson Creek area say they have been interrogated up to eight times, pressured to take lie detector tests and asked for DNA and fingerprint samples.

One man said he fled a busy restaurant when police loudly accused him of being the bomber.

The RCMP say they have not received any formal complaints about their tactics.

But Vancouver lawyer, Jason Gratl, vice-president of the B.C. Civil Liberties Association, said he has written to the RCMP asking them to stop harassing two clients.

“They are acting like state or secret police,” Mr. Gratl said. “The RCMP have fomented a climate of paranoia and suspicion … by applying a level of social pressure that amounts to harassment and intimidation.”

The RCMP has more than 250 investigators trying to catch whoever is responsible for six bomb attacks on EnCana infrastructure since October. Police have interviewed more than 450 people so far, without any charges laid.

Mr. Gratl said four people have contacted him with complaints about police.

One of those is Dennis MacLennan, who says he willingly agreed to a police interview last fall, after the first bombings, but when investigators kept returning with more questions, he decided not to co-operate any more.

That, he said, led to a confrontation with members of the Integrated National Security Enforcement Team in a local café.

“They come and sit at my table … and they start engaging me in questions. I said, ‘look I don’t want to talk to you, my lawyer has advised me not to’ … So I get up to leave and one member of the INSET team starts yelling at me: ‘You’re the bomber You’re the bomber’ You know, in a public restaurant … this is just absolutely atrocious behaviour,” Mr. MacLennan said.

He is in a dispute with EnCana over the amount of money he claims is due for a well on his property, but says that shouldn’t make him a bombing suspect.

“I do my business by the rules … I’m not some radical crazy,” he said.

But police have kept after him for months.

“They just kept pressuring me and chasing me around town, talking to people I’m doing business with and telling them I’m under investigation … destroying business opportunities for me. It’s been quite stressful … they’ve gone to my landlord and said, ‘Would you be surprised if we arrested him?’ and poisoning the atmosphere with people I’ve had relationships with for 10 and 20 years,” he said.

“My friends think there must be something to it if the police are being this persistent. All sorts of rumours are being spread.”

A woman, who asked not to be named, sounded distraught as she described being a police suspect.

“They’ve talked to me three times; our son at least six times. It’s interviews, interrogations, wanting fingerprints, DNA, lie detector tests. They wanted my cellphone record … It’s two or three hours of questioning at a time, over and over again,” she said.

The woman, who is not one of Mr. Gratl’s clients, said she knows others who have been questioned by police, and most are withdrawing from social contact.

“I can see some of the same symptoms of [post traumatic stress disorder] in those who have been police targets … there is isolation, paranoia, just like they have been in combat,” she said.

Another woman, who has not been questioned herself, said a friend was interrogated repeatedly and “he was absolutely torn apart by the intimidation. He was a basket case.”

She said she didn’t want her name in the media, fearing it might result in a police visit.

RCMP Corporal Dan Moskaluk, media relations officer for the North District, said police would like to hear from anyone who thinks they have been treated unfairly.

“I guess the response to those types of issues [is that] we are always concerned,” he said.

“At this point in time I’m not aware of any formal complaints that have been received or are being investigated … but again we would certainly welcome any issues that people would like to voice to us,” he said.

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Tensions between Montreal North’s youth, police

Updated Wed. Jun. 17 2009
CTV.ca News Staff [Quebec]

A fire burns on a north Montreal street after police and youths clashed on Tuesday, June 16, 2009. (CTV)

A fire burns on a north Montreal street after police and youths clashed on Tuesday, June 16, 2009. (CTV)

Some residents of Montreal North are worried the neighbourhood’s youth are relying on violence to express their frustrations with police, after a night of vandalism resulted in nine arrests.

“I’m worried that young people are developing a culture of violence against the police,” Brunilda Reyes, a community spokesperson, told CTV Montreal in French. “We have to change that.”

The Montreal borough has seen several violent protests since teenager Fredy Villanueva was fatally shot by police last August. During the latest bout of vandalism Tuesday night, businesses were damaged, fires were set, and police were pelted with bottles.

Youth worker Will Prosper said young people are concerned they have been the targets of racism. After Villanueva’s death, politicians and law enforcement officials spoke about reaching out to Montreal North’s youth, but Prosper said there has been little or no concrete action.

“The leaders have not listened to them,” he said.

Most of the suspects arrested Tuesday night are in their twenties. They face a range of charges including assault with a weapon, assaulting a police officer, trespassing, vandalism and public mischief.

According to reports, police went to the park at about 10 p.m. in response to calls about fights in the area.

When they arrived the fight had broken up, but between 50 and 60 youths were in the park.

Officers stayed on the scene to observe the group, but eventually became the target — with the group pelting the officers with bottles and rocks.

About 100 riot police were called in to clear the group, which then went on to cause damage to parked cars, businesses and a school in the area.

Const. Andre Leclerc told The Canadian Press on Wednesday that the group quickly broke out of the area around the park.

“The young people were going in the back alleys and the streets,” Leclerc said. “They were damaging cars and houses and a school.”

One officer was slightly injured in the melee while trying to arrest one of the suspects.

On Wednesday morning, Montreal Police Chief Yvan Delorme visited the scene of the Tuesday night confrontation — a sign of the high level of concern about relations between police and residents in the area.

“The police are saying they know this is a hotbed, there are occasionally clashes with police and there’s a high level of mistrust of police — but also that they have a job to do and when there’s a call about a disturbance they’re going to go ahead and do their job,” Lurie told CTV News Channel.

In Quebec City, provincial Public Security Minister Jacques Dupuis said a small group of agitators are responsible for the high tensions in north Montreal.

Dupuis vowed that police would not turn a blind eye but would continue to bring order to the area.

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Protesters out on bail

Photo: Belleville Intelligencer

Photo: Belleville Intelligencer

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A handful of protesters arrested late last week in connection to the Skyway Bridge blockade have been released on bail.

John Boots, Brendan McLaughlin and Benjamin Loft were all released on $1,000 bond with conditions not to associate with the others charged following Friday’s arrest and not to participate in “unlawful protests” following their bail hearings at the Ontario Court of Justice Monday. McLaughlin and Loft had been charged with mischief while Boots faced charges of mischief and assault.

The trio are among 13 individuals arrested late last week after a five-day blockade closed the Skyway Bridge connecting Deseronto to Prince Edward County.

Mohawk protester Shawn Brant also made a brief appearance in the courtroom where he was told he will remain in custody until June 22. Brant was charged with breach of conditions.

That courtroom was filled with approximately 75 supporters who cheered and applauded as each of the three released were welcomed by family and friends. Those supporters had marched from Market Square up Pinnacle Street to the Ontario Court of Justice to show their support for those who had been arrested.

“We’re just a few supporters who came up to show our support for the injustice that happened with our people,” Thomas Bruce Maracle said before the march began.

Maracle claimed Friday’s arrests were in contradiction to negotiations the protesters had been undertaking with police.

“They spilled Mohawk blood all over the highway,” he said. “They broke the peace, they broke their honour and they broke their word.”

Maracle said the police action has created “a whole new situation.” There is a great deal of anger among local Mohawks, he said, and the situation needs to be managed.

George Smart, who was also among the supporters, also pointed the finger at police for making the arrests prior to “proper discussions.”

“We’re here to say we should be able to exercise our authority and our rights on our territory,” Smart said.

Maracle, following the bail hearings, said the result was not what the people had wanted. He said the protesters should not have been arrested.

“We’re not happy that our people were incarcerated for standing up for what we believe in,” he said. “We were in a negotiating state with the community and the police were dishonourable.”

Further bail hearings are scheduled to take place later this week.

Paul VanHooser and Charles Kloestra, both charged with mischief and assault, will remain in custody until Wednesday when bail hearings are scheduled for the pair.

Terry Maracle, William Hartin, George Zachariah and Dave Barberstock were all released Friday after being arrested and charged with mischief.

Three youths have also been charged in connection to the matter.


Akwesasne Counterspin

Tyendinaga Support Committee

No One Is Illegal – Montreal Update on Akwesasne

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Blockade comes to end

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Motorists are once again able to cross the Skyway Bridge after protesters who had closed the Highway 49 fixed link for six days left the scene without incident.

It was just after 5 p. m. on Friday when the small blockade preventing vehicles from crossing the bridge was removed.

“We left on our own terms,” a female protester told The Intelligencer. “It’s contingent with our boys on bail and that’s all I can say.”

The protester was referring to 13 individuals who were arrested and charged at the protest scene early Friday morning. Napanee OPP detachment commander Pat Finnegan confirmed Shawn Brant was among those arrested.

It was at approximately 6:30 a. m. when the OPP’s Public Order Unit arrived at the scene and, after Tyendinaga Mohawk Police Service officers — who were in control of the scene throughout the protest — advised protesters they should move or be arrested, the OPP team moved in, police said.

During the arrests, police said a Tyendinaga Police Service officer sustained an injury to his hand and two protesters were taken to hospital with injuries. One was treated for a minor injury, the other remains at hospital complaining of back and shoulder pain.

“The decision to remove the protesters was a joint policing decision made after all other avenues to finding a resolution to the road closure were exhausted,” Sgt. Kristine Rae said.

By midmorning, police had assumed the original position the protesters held since Sunday evening in support of Akwesasne Mohawks.

That position was lost later in the morning, however, when as many as two dozen protesters blocked access to Bayshore Road, while others — namely native dissident Jerome Barnhart — loudly ordered media and the public away from the scene. A short time later the protesters resumed their original position and were again preventing vehicles from crossing the bridge.

Clad in camouflage and wearing white sneakers, Barnhart barreled across Highway 49 shortly after 8:30 a. m. barking orders that all media “should get away from here right now.”

“You need to leave right now, or else,” he said, his finger now pointing down the highway.

“The CBC is not allowed here and neither are you. Get the f–k out. And don’t be pulling off the road down there … we’re going to be watching you and where you go.”

A vehicle with individuals from the protest group followed the retreating reporter from the scene.

An OPP helicopter was circling the scene throughout the day and a police marine unit was nearby, Finnegan said.

There was a heavy police presence around the bridge, including several dozen officers and vehicles parked at the Picton Arena and another, smaller group of officers at Centennial Park in Deseronto.

Finnegan confirmed his concerns that if the bridge had remained closed during the weekend there could have been clashes between the protesters and people from neighbouring communities, including tourists.

He also said Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte Chief R. Donald Maracle requested the OPP help the Tyendinaga Mohawk Police clear the bridge.

Meanwhile, support among Mohawks for the protesters in both Akwesasne and Tyendinaga — who are not all natives — appeared to have bottomed-out, according to sources on both reserves.

As many as 100 Mohawks from Tyendinaga who are opposed to Brant’s actions confronted him and his followers Thursday evening at the bridge site, demanding he and others remove themselves from the scene.

Also, earlier this week, The Intelligencer has learned, the Rooseveltown, New York, long house of the Mohawk Nation Council of Chiefs representing Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, Seneca and Tuscarora peoples, — ‘Haudenosaunee’– formally asked Shawn Brant to remove the roadblock. The message was sent to Brant formally, through Tyendinaga police chief Ron Maracle.

The longhouse is considered the epicentre of the Mohawk community.

Brant had earlier claimed he had support of Akwsasne “clan mothers.”

As well, earlier this week representatives of the band council of Akwesasne — the elected native municipal leaders — voiced displeasure with Brant’s actions, claiming it could negatively impact the situation in their community.

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Mohawk police chief’s vehicle shot up

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Six bullets were pumped into the personal vehicle of Tyendinaga Mohawk Police Chief Ron Maracle, The Intelligencer has learned.

The incident occurred while the vehicle– a black Ford F-150 — was parked in the lot of the police station on York Road between 4:30 p. m. Thursday and 7:30 a. m. Friday.

Three of the windows of the vehicle were shot out and the body along the passenger side was riddled with holes.

At the time, Maracle was at the scene of a protest that had blocked the Skyway Bridge near Deseronto.

Police would not confirm suspicions the incident was linked to the blockade, however, a criminal investigation has been launched.

A resident whose home is in close proximity to the police station, said she did not hear any gunshots Thursday night. The incident, the woman said, is “frightening” as living so close to a police station would lead one to believe she is safe.

“It’s scary. I thought living here we’d be safe but that’s a little too close,” she said, adding she did not want to be identified.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police at [stop snitchin’] or Crime Stoppers at [stop snitchin’].

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Surrey RCMP officer injured in Canucks street celebration

Wednesday, April 22, 2009
CBC News [British Columbia]

An RCMP [Royal Canadian Mounted Police] officer was injured as an estimated 1,500 Vancouver Canucks fans gathered on the streets of Surrey, B.C., to celebrate the team’s victory over the St. Louis Blues Tuesday night in Missouri.

Sgt. Roger Morrow said most of the crowd that gathered around 72nd Avenue and Scott Road on the Surrey-Delta border southeast of Vancouver was peaceful, but not everyone.

“It appears that one of the people, an intoxicated man, in the crowd was trying to incite the crowd. Ultimately he ended up pushing one of our police officers. He was arrested for that assault. In the process of that he fell on top of one of our members as well as a number of other people resulting in a leg fracture,” said Morrow.

Morrow could not confirm reports that some people were jumping on cars and breaking windows.

Meanwhile in Vancouver, police said fans were boisterous and noisy following the overtime victory, but there were no major problems.

The Canucks defeated the Blues 3-2 in overtime to win their first round in the Stanley Cup playoffs in four straight games. It is not yet clear who the Canucks will face in the second round of the playoffs.

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Gunman attacks B.C. RCMP detachment

Friday, April 17, 2009
CBC News [British Columbia]

An armed man was arrested and charged after breaking into the RCMP [Royal Canadian Mounted Police] detachment in Princeton, B.C., allegedly intending to shoot any officers inside, police said Friday.

Benjamin Coan, 18, has been charged with two counts of uttering threats of death to members of the RCMP and the public; breaking and entering; and theft of RCMP property, Sgt. Mike Savage said in a release.

The arrest of the Princeton man was made after a standoff with an RCMP emergency response team, Const. Steve Holmes said earlier Friday.

The man had shattered some windows to enter the detachment overnight Thursday, Holmes said. No one was in the building at the time.

“The man was armed with a 9-mm semi-automatic pistol as he broke into the detachment with the purpose of damaging the building and shooting any police officers he believed were inside,” Holmes said in a release Friday afternoon.

An emergency response team was called out and secured an area around the building.

“The man injured himself while damaging parked police cruisers and the detachment windows,” Holmes said.

He then walked from the detachment toward a nearby 24-hour service station, prompting police to evacuate the workers and customers inside, Savage said.

Police made contact with the man by cellphone during the standoff and “he eventually surrendered to police,” Holmes said.

Police did not say whether any shots were fired, but no officers or members of the public were injured. Holmes said the man was known to police, but he didn’t explain further.

Princeton is 280 kilometres east of Vancouver.

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Fredy Villanueva, 18, killed August 8, 2008, by the Montreal Police

Fredy Villanueva, 18, killed August 9, 2008, by the Montreal Police


Graffiti Recall Police-Killings

Wed, April 15, 2009
Kathy Coulombe, CJAD News Talk Radio [Montreal]

Montreal cops are investigating after anti-police graffiti started cropping-up about 3 days ago, accusing them of killing wantonly. Those behind the graffiti have also launched a website (www.flics-assassins.net) listing the names of people killed by police in the past 20 years, their ages and the date of death (43 starting with 19-year-old antony griffin in 1987 to 18-year-old fredy villanueva last summer). The graffiti shows the Montreal PD logo with a pistol painted over it.

The website claims to be the work of an anonymous group of Montrealers which says it’s “outraged by police brutality and impunity.”

The group says it’s not affiliated with any particular organization, just “a modest part of ongoing efforts to counter the police offensive against our comunities, in support of grassroots initiatives.”

Montreal Police Inspector Paul Chablo tells CJAD News the graffiti can’t be categorized as a hate-crime because it doesn’t refer to race, colour, creed or sexual-orientation, but he says it’s definately vandalism and those responsible will be prosecuted as such.

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Corporate media report


Residents rally to get officers fired

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Tempers flared during a protest against police brutality outside the Six Nations police station Tuesday morning.

The family and supporters of a man who says he was beaten by native police officers exchanged sharp words with the family of one of the officers who is accused of the beating.

The family of Elgin Butler is demanding Six Nations police fire three officers who were involved in an altercation with Butler on Saturday.

A one point, police Chief Glenn Lickers came out to address and calm the crowd in Veterans Park, adjacent to the police station.

Butler has a bruised and battered face that was featured on several placards carried during the protest. One eye was almost swollen shut and blood red. Butler’s face was covered with small cuts and abrasions from when he said it was rubbed in gravel during his arrest.

The 40-year-old man said he and an officer exchanged words on Saturday. Then he said he was beaten by one constable, while two others held him down.

Butler’s mother says the community has had enough of such incidents.

“These cops are known for beating up people on the reserve,” April Butler said. “Everybody knows it and that’s why we’re asking for their badges. Eventually, they’re going to kill someone.”

April Butler said that about 100 people attended the protest Tuesday morning. A protest was also held on Monday and she said she hopes to continue the daily reminders to police each morning.

“We need to protest. There were other mothers here this morning whose sons have been beaten by these cops.”

Police said many of the Butlers’ supporters were from the Men’s Fire, a group that has also led land rights protests in Brantford and surrounding areas.

Elgin Butler runs a construction business, several variety stores and a car repair shop. He was on his sister’s Tuscarora Road property Saturday afternoon when officers wanted to remove some stolen vehicles they found in a bush lot behind the property.

Butler asked the police to delay the process until the land had dried since he said the trucks would damage the wet property. The removal of the cars did, in fact, leave deep ruts across the land, he said.

“They said no, they had to get them out now,” said Butler. “So I said I would exercise my hunting rights and go hunt on their property with my four-wheeler.”

Butler went to the home of Deputy Chief Rocki Smith who told him to wait for the next police commission meeting.

When Butler went back to the property, he said the three officers blocked him on the road, pulled him from his car and hit him.

“The constable grabbed me and said, ‘You threatened me and my family.’ And he punched me in the side of the head. The next thing I knew I was at the bottom of a ditch with a cop on either side of me and (one) on top of me.

He said the officer said he “didn’t care about his badge.”

Butler said he was handcuffed and taken to the police station.

According to a statement from Lickers, Butler was actively resisting arrest and that resulted in a physical altercation with the arresting officer.

Butler was charged with threatening and resisting arrest.

At the police station, Butler said asked to be taken to the hospital for medical attention and was denied.

Instead, he was held for a video bail hearing.

“When I saw him on the video in court,” said his mother, “I almost passed out.”

Butler has filed an official complaint with the Six Nations police commission.

Commission chair Wellington Staats, a former elected chief of Six Nations, met with the police chief Tuesday morning to discuss the issue.

“We’re not involved yet,” said Staats as he left the station. He said the situation hadn’t upset the community much.

In a news release, Lickers said the OPP will be asked to have its criminal investigations branch examine the arrest.

“The Six Nations police service will not be actively involved in conducting any part of this investigation,” the release said.

Lickers noted that no penalty or sanction will be considered against the officers until the investigation is complete.

“As it stands,” said the release, “there are basically two versions of what transpired. While both versions are similar in some aspects, there are also significant differences.”

Butler is angry about more than just his injuries and the fact that he’s been relieved of his gun licence — which he relies on for hunting game.

In October 2007, Butler’s teenaged son, Ryan (Punky) Butler, died during a police chase.

“My son was killed by the police in Welland and the (Special Investigations Unit) covered it up,” he said.

Police said at the time that the 15- year-old Butler was driving a stolen Hummer, which was pursued by Niagara Regional Police. During the chase, the Hummer came to the Welland Canal, where the bridge was up. When the car turned and sped along the canal, it didn’t make a sharp turn and crashed into a tree, killing the young Butler.

The officers were found not responsible for the teen’s death.

The Six Nations police service is no stranger to complaints.

“There are a lot of us unhappy with our police force,” said an older businesswoman in Ohsweken who asked not to be identified.

“They shouldn’t be working here because they’re all family. They should go to some other reserve and have those officers come here to work.”

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