To: The Collective Human Conscience
Subject: RCMP will investigate a stack of 50 complaints of misconduct against Vancouver police
Adrienne Tanner and Ian Austin
The RCMP will investigate a stack of 50 complaints of misconduct against Vancouver police in the Downtown Eastside.
The complaints accuse police of breaking bones, illegal searches-and-seizures and hosting "starlight tours" in which suspects are picked up and dumped far from home.
In addition to complaints by the Pivot Legal Society, police have recently been accused of covering up two internal investigations into police-related deaths.
The cases of Jeff Berg, who died of injuries during an arrest, and Frank Paul, who died of exposure after police dumped him soaking wet in an alley, were reopened by the police-complaint commissioner this summer.
Among the Pivot complainants are:
- Jose Cardona, who lost a testicle after allegedly being kneed in the groin by an officer on March 25.
- David Morales, who alleges police ordered him out of downtown, dumped him in Kitsilano and broke his nose when he returned.
- Fausto Portillo, who claims he was beaten unconscious in police cells.
They were forwarded to the complaint commissioner last month along with a call for a public inquiry by Pivot, a Vancouver legal-reform advocacy group. Pivot, which compiled the complaints, also requested that Vancouver police not be allowed to conduct the investigations themselves.
Complaint commissioner Dirk Ryneveld said the allegations of "systemic abuse" against residents in the Downtown Eastside influenced his decision.
"I deemed that in order to preserve public confidence in the complaint process, it had to go external."
Ryneveld said he called on the RCMP because it is the only force with enough staff to handle so many complaints
To: The Collective Human Conscience
Subject: Thugs welcome as Canada's "Peace Officers" - spokesman
Thugs welcome as Canada's "Peace Officers" - spokesman
Just hours after six constables pleaded guilty to assault, the Vancouver Police Department admitted yesterday that several additional officers on the force also have criminal records for assault.
At least one even has an impaired-driving conviction, said police spokesman Anne Drennan, but refused to release names or circumstances surrounding the convictions.
"The assaults did occurred after they were hired", she said. "Generally speaking, only people with clean records are considered as recruits." But later admitted "there could be exceptions to that".
"The working police officers convicted of assault were all internally disciplined", Drennan claimed. Their penalties ranged from "a two-day suspension without pay to a demotion in rank".
Lawyers for the six officers, convicted of cowardly beating up three handcuffed suspects (for minor drug offences) in Stanley Park, indicated that at least some of the officers will argue they, "deserve to keep their jobs, too".
Civil-liberties advocates, lawyers and criminologists, however, seriously questioned how the force could maintain public confidence if the officers are kept on.
Neil Boyd, (SFU criminologist), said the officers are entitled to "make their case", but questioned how it would play if Chief Jamie Graham opts to keep them on.
"Police vigilantism is not going to sit well with the public," Boyd said. "There is a difference between someone who loses his or her temper in a
moment of anger and the Stanley Park beatings, which were premeditated "stated John Richardson, executive director of PIVOT Legal Society.
He said the six officers should be fired, and is amazed police are even considering keeping them on. "They're totally downplaying this as a
one-off instance," he said.
For about a year, Richardson, who has collected copious allegations of police misconduct in the Downtown Eastside, has argued "a full public inquiry is needed to restore confidence in the police."
However, Solicitor-General Rich Coleman, himself a former RCMP heavy, said he "saw no reason for an inquiry into this specific incident, as it would just become an exercise in name-calling."
Coleman even went so far as to boast that Graham, who is rumoured to be a close friend, "is doing a good job" and "handled the incident extremely well."
Robert Polton Copyright BC Revolution.
Some brief facts on VPD Chief Graham, as alleged from their website: http://www.city.vancouver.bc.ca/police/chief/jamiegraham.htm
As an executive officer with the British Columbia Police Commission in the mid 1990's, Chief Graham led a team that conducted Police Act audits of numerous Municipal Police Forces, including the Cities of Vancouver and Victoria.
Chief Graham is well known for his reputation as a problem solver and is a popular lecturer and after-dinner speaker. He has been married to lawyer Gail Graham for over 20 years.
As shocking as the following stats on police brutality may be, they require a good deal of qualification: Firstly, they are gathered and provided by the "office of police complaints commission" - an office widely known to be sympathetic to police. [In fact many members are former crown prosecutors]
Second, these numbers do not reflect the feelings of most members of the public that filing a complaint will get you a) nowhere, or b) another beating from the "officers of the peace".
Most so-called "police complaints commissions" are there to cover up, or justify abuse, as we see the police doing in this very public beating.
Subject: BC's RCMP complaint commissioner, Dirk Ryneveld, was a chief prosecutor of Milosevic in the sham trial --designed to justify NATO's illegal overthrow of stubbornly socialist Yugoslavia-- now being perpetrated at the Hague.
What hope is there for us?
How convenient for them to appoint the former crown council, a hand in glove operative, to oversee the RCMP complaints commission.
Raw expediency is their ethos, and principle, and agenda; and authors most of the grief the little people suffer. All in the name of elitist privilege and its preservation.
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