Monday, December 13, 2010

G20 Part 3

Just got my hands on some Hansard Documents form when Bill Blair Testified in front of the Commons Committee on Public Safety. What is the charge for lying to the Commons?

Once and a while, the Hansard index provides a great deal of information. Note this quote from Chief Bill Blair:

“First of all, every police officer who was working on the G-8 and G-20 summit sites undertook training on the limits of their legal authority. It was about six hours of classroom training and then a full day of practical training to ensure every officer knew the limits of their authority. There was no period of time where any such thing as martial law was declared. In fact, we ensured that all our officers received training.”

This is not what the York Police have said. From the Ombudsman Report:

“ 253 We learned that York Regional Police officers assigned to G20 summit security did not find out about Regulation 233/10 until it was already in effect, even though some of these officers were actually responsible for fence security. Most York officers heard about the regulation through the media. The York Regional Police informed us that it sent about 450 officers to Toronto to assist the Toronto Police Service with the summit. York officers were assigned to various duties. Three teams of 41-49 officers, including supervisors, were assigned directly to the fence line, and a fourth team was stationed in the “the PATH” (a network of underground pathways in downtown Toronto) below the fence line. With respect to training regarding Regulation 233/10, the York Regional Police told us: At no time did he [the York Regional Police Inspector who acted as liaison during the summit with the Toronto Police Service] receive any material or information about the “fence line law” that could have been
disseminated to the participating officers.

254 Apparently, the Toronto Police Service also provided no information about
Regulation 233/10 to York officers when they checked in and attended morning
roll call sessions on June 21 and 22, 2010. It wasn’t until June 23, 2010, that some but not all, of the York Regional Police Supervisors were briefed on the
Regulation, and began to educate other officers. Some officers received
information about the Regulation, the Act and a document entitled “Toronto Police Service 2010 G20 Summit Interdiction Zone Access Policy and Procedure” while “street side.” Other York officers apparently never received any information about the Regulation, because they were not working when the information was supplied or the information was never specifically provided to their team. The York Regional Police told our Office:

As the summit carried on, most York officers became aware of the fence
law through the media. Some did not find out until they saw the press
conference with [the Toronto Police Chief] on Friday, June 25. It is
unknown whether or not all York officers received the information about
the fence line law, and if they did, when that notification actually took

Then there is this:
“Chief William Blair:
Okay. First of all, I have a rule in the Toronto Police Service--it's my rule; it's in accordance with the policy of my Police Services Board--that our officers will wear their names displayed on their uniforms. You'll notice that I wear mine.”

It’s my rule. Sorry Bill. I looked into this. This is whole-heartedly NOT your rule. Unless your used to fighting AGAINST rules that you are for. This was handed down by a Human Rights Commission for all officers in 2003. In 2005 it was implemented and halted for a study to see if it was detrimental to the well-being of the officers. Needless to say, it hadn’t been in all the years it had been implemented in other jurisdictions which would have taken about 5 minutes to research. Then it was a money problem, and then, you decided to say okay, after saying you wanted it to be optional. So no, Mr. Blair…it is NOT your rule. It was a rule that came into effect while you were in office fighting against it.

“What I have stated is that if they have made a choice to engage in misconduct by disobeying a rule of the service, they will be held accountable and be disciplined.”
Does this apply to all of those under your command in this instance, or only Toronto Officers. This is a very important distinction since there are many other officers under your command at the time that are NOT Toronto Police members. If they are under your command AT THE TIME, do they abide by your (proven to not be) rules? Or do they fall under the Uniform command of their originating detachments.

“Chief William Blair:
There was one particular incident, and it relates directly to the event we've displayed. This took place on Friday evening. There were no criminal charges arising from this event, which is one of the reasons I felt I could bring images of it; it doesn't compromise any ongoing criminal trial.

With this event, there was a clear element within that demonstration. I've spoken to two reporters who were with that crowd, and they were standing within 20 feet of this, yet both of them reported the next day that the crowd was provoked when the police donned their helmets.

I was out there that day and I witnessed what was taking place. There were things being thrown at the police from that group—golf balls and rocks and urine and feces—and the police officers put their helmets on to protect themselves from that assault.
The reporters were there and witnessed that, and yet there was not a single mention, not only of that assault but even of the presence of this group, in any of the media reporting on Friday night or on Saturday morning. I thought it was an extraordinary omission.”

I’d like to see those files and photos you have. If this is the ‘incident’ I think you’re speaking about, I was there, in front of Police Headquarters. This is not how I remember it, nor how I filmed it. In fact, in looking at my footage, I found another 3 or 4 officers without their badges.

“Mr. Rick Norlock:
For the 19,000 security personnel who were in Toronto, do you believe you had sufficient resources—

Chief William Blair:
I'm sorry, sir, but not all 19,000 of them were in Toronto. They were split between the two events.

Mr. Rick Norlock:
In Toronto, about how many personnel were there?

Chief William Blair:
Initially, I believe, the number was approximately 6,000, but when the events transpired on Saturday and it became clear that we needed additional personnel and help, the help was forthcoming. The OPP sent a lot of their resources down from Huntsville on Saturday night to help us in Toronto.”

So…when all of this was happening…only 1/3 of the entire force was in Toronto? And, as I’d assume, 1/3 of them off-duty? Of the 19,000 Officers involved, 2/3 were designated to an area that wouldn’t experience the major problems. This seems like an… I wouldn’t call it an oversight…I’d call goddamned fucking common sense to send the majority to Toronto and call them up to you if needed.

“Mr. Roger Gaudet (Montcalm, BQ):
Thank you, Mr. Chair.

Mr. Blair and Mr. Giroux, I have seen the photos. How come you did not arrest the people in disguises and masks? You went into a university gymnasium at four o'clock in the morning and you arrested people as they slept.

There were people in masks. But it was not Halloween weekend, it was June. Halloween is October 31. How come you did not arrest those people on the spot? They were all together. It would have been easy to surround them and take them off to prison. That would have settled the matter for the weekend. But you let them go and, instead, you arrested some poor students in a university gymnasium. Can you explain the logic behind that?


Chief William Blair:
Certainly, sir, I'd be delighted to explain that to you. This was a crowd of several thousand, and for the police to penetrate into that crowd in an effort to apprehend those individuals.... First of all, they had not yet begun to riot tumultuously, as they did the following day. So unfortunately, there needs to be access—


Mr. Roger Gaudet:
Those people were wearing masks. It wasn't a costume party.


Chief William Blair:
Yes, and—


Mr. Roger Gaudet:
You knew what you had to do. You should have arrested them immediately. But no, the force's finest went to a university gymnasium the next morning. It is ridiculous.


Chief William Blair:
Mr. Gaudet, if I may answer your question, the decision was made to not try to penetrate that crowd, because it would have created a more dangerous situation. In fact, an operational decision was made by the investigators that a safer place to apprehend people whom they believed were involved in criminal activity was the school gymnasium, away from the crowd. That was a safer thing to do.

Our responsibility is to maintain the rule of law and to protect the public, but also to do our job in a way that does not compromise public safety. The decision was made to not try to penetrate that crowd to remove this group, but rather to do it in a safer environment, which was why the arrests were made in a school gymnasium in the very early hours of the morning, as opposed to out on the street where a riot might have ensued.”

Okay. I’m confused. The question asked is why “ONCE THE BLACK BLOC BEGAN BREAKING SHIT” why did you not do anything. His Answer: They had not begun to riot tumultuously”. Hey…he used the key words to invoke the Riot Act, which, as I recall was never invoked, and therefore basically makes ‘breaching the peace’ moot. Thanks for that. Lovely evidence. Next!
“the decision was made to not try to penetrate that crowd, because it would have created a more dangerous situation” Possibly…but…still your job. But we have seen your cops running away. So…maybe it was dangerous, or you called them off, on of the two really.
“In fact, an operational decision was made by the investigators that a safer place to apprehend people whom they believed were involved in criminal activity was the school gymnasium, away from the crowd.” - If that’s what your going with. Good for you. Stick by your investigators. Would you be surprised to know, that 70, out of 70 charges laid by your ‘investigators’ were dropped. So much for it being the better place to arrest them. Operational decision indicates that they had very good evidence. The Crown doesn’t appear to think so. I’m going with the Crown on this. You also indicated that an arrest at gunpoint is unusual. Yet, these 70 people who did nothing as described by our courts were arrested at gun point. Placed in zip-ties, had those removed while going past media, and had them re-applied. Not only were there at least 70 false arrests (sorry, ‘operational decision’ is not the right term), they were also done at gunpoint which, as you say, is unusual. You mention that of the 1100 arrests, 900 were for breach of the peace. If that were the case, then your numbers are off. You have 100 or so still facing charges. 70 charges dropped in this incident. 300 dropped or deferred to a questionable “donate to charity’ scheme during the first court appearance. Given the benefit of the doubt, you’re off by a third. And as Police Chief, after many months, testifying before a FEDERAL panel, you should know what the hell you’re saying.

“The decision was made to not try to penetrate that crowd to remove this group, but rather to do it in a safer environment, which was why the arrests were made in a school gymnasium in the very early hours of the morning, as opposed to out on the street where a riot might have ensued.”
Remember, the ‘crowd’ he’s referring to extricated themselves from the larger group, moving, unaided across Queen Street to Yonge, and then up Yonge Street uninhibited by the police. At all. All the qualifications for “riot” were met. He failed, as did all the other officers in failing to quell the riot in his/her jurisdiction, an offence punishable under the Police Services Act.

“as opposed to out on the street where a riot might have ensued.” Let’s look at this again. You mean the riot that was ALREADY ensuing…by your own words.
Again…for clarification he stated: “We didn’t go in and arrest them during the riot, for fear of starting a riot”.

Further in the Hansard Record:

” With great respect, I think that all of those video images that have been posted and displayed demonstrate quite clearly that the officers acted with restraint; they acted according to the rule of law; they acted within their lawful authorities; they maintained their discipline; and they did their very best to protect the citizens of Toronto, while at the same time trying to facilitate lawful, peaceful protest.”
No. Unless were watching different videos.

“The overwhelming majority of citizens helped us and cooperated with that. Some chose not to and placed themselves at risk of being apprehended and arrested.”
Is that the citizens that were out buying groceries? Or walking their dog? Or like me, asking a cop if the area was clear and basically being sent INTO the kettle at Queen and Spadina? As you have stated, downtown Toronto was NOT a scene of martial law, and therefore all you “we told you to stay out” phraseology is moot. No marital law means NO stopping of the freedom of movement, which allows me to travel any part of city, NAY any part of the country I want, when I want. YOU do not decide my fate. In this case, my fate is decided by me alone. You breech of the peace arrests were either false (no actual “breach of the peace”) or dubious at best. If this was not the G20, and you had 1100 arrests and only 100 charges that go on to trial, you would not only be fired, but held to account for all the nefarious charges. You cannot arrest that many people and only have less than a 10% CHARGE rate, let alone a conviction rate. Trust me when I say more charges will be dropped. This is not a one off people. This is going to become the norm. So many people have had to hire lawyers for something that shouldn’t have happened in the first place. It’s more than high time that the police pay for their own mistakes, versus the public purse paying for them. NO officer found guilty of wrong doing either by Criminal Court nor in Civil Lawsuits should be paid out by the taxpayer. If they want to act illegally, they can pay it themselves. There is no place for public money to pay the public for wrongs committed against them by the vary people they pay through their taxes to protect them. It’s a criminal cabal that must be stopped.

“Chief William Blair:
First of all, on our responsibility to maintain the safety and security of the summit, I believe that was a successful mission. There was no interference with either the summit site itself or the motorcades.”
ISU’s direct responsibility, not yours. Yours was outside of the fence. They were acting under the International Protected Persons Act…you …

“There was difficulty in maintaining the public peace. We certainly saw significant disruptions to the public peace, damage to private property, and the injury of two innocent people, including police officers, on Saturday afternoon. It then required a great deal of work over the next two days to prevent a further breach of the peace in the city of Toronto and to protect our citizens.”
You recently said 10 officers were injured. Were you lying then, or are you lying now? Or did you simply misspeak, as is the convention of today.

“A number of reviews are taking place. We are cooperating fully with those reviews because I believe it is the responsibility of the police to be publicly accountable to the public through our civilian authorities. We are doing our best to do that.”
That is, except the SIU who has said you’re not helping, and the Ombudsman which we know you didn’t help. If by doing you’re best, you mean you’re not doing anything, then I believe you.

“It's very unfortunate that the right of Canadians to engage in lawful, peaceful protest was compromised by the actions of criminal groups who made it impossible, frankly.”
Like the criminal groups at Queen and Spadina, or at the Novotel. Yeah…those FRIGHTENING people leaving the Keg after a meal. You must have been so frightened. I now totally understand why you beat a reporter that night. Wait…no, I don’t. I thought ALL policing was to be done on an as seen basis. Even if there ARE criminal elements within a peaceful group…if the group is peaceful, you treat them the same. NOTHING on the street is supposed to met out for court. Court is one thing, the street is another. I don’t care if you have a serial killer in the group. If he/she is NOT violent, you DO NOT perpetrate violence against them. That only does two things, get the case dropped, and gives yourself a bad name.

“I have to tell you that one of the challenges of trying to police lawful, peaceful protests and respect all citizens' rights to express themselves is that it's very difficult when you're also trying to manage a mob. The mob was using the cover of a large, law-abiding crowd to launch their illegal attacks on the city and on our citizens. It did compromise our ability, to some extent, to continue to work to maintain those lawful, peaceful protests and the protestors' rights to do that.”
But you didn’t manage the mob. In fact, earlier you said you COULDN’T while trying to maintain the peaceful protest. You let them run free to arrest them later when it wouldn’t turn into a riot. So…you let a riot take place, because of the riot, and arrested uninvolved individuals 12 hours or so later, so as to not start a riot. You sir…are a RIOT…if it wasn’t so serious. Illegal attacks on our citizens? Windows are citizens? The only illegal attacks on citizens I saw that weekend were from your gang.
“Comprimised our ability to maintain peaceful protests?” So, instead you arrest them all. That’s not what you’re saying, but that’s what seemed to have happened.

“Even after the riot had taken place, there were other protests that were taking place and that we were able to work with, but some of our ability to do that was made very difficult. Even as we moved with 10,000 people, with several hundred were attacking our city, we stayed with the 10,000 and we got them back safely to their points of origin. We allowed them to do what they had come to do, which was to protest lawfully”
I would put it at about 100% that those 10,000 lawful protestors would have been just fine without police protection. They would have gotten safely to wherever they were going without those officers whose duty and responsibility it was to quell the riot, again, as stated in the Police Services Act. If the Police Chief wants to keep bringing up that a “riot” took place, then I will keep bringing up the Police Services Act that states he must quell the Riot (and read the Riot Act).

“I understand that he has those complaints and he's investigating them. Frankly, my responsibility is to do everything I can to cooperate and to provide him with the evidence and information he needs to do his job, and then I will respect the decisions he makes on the basis of that evidence.”
How about dictating to your officers that failure to appear, or make yourselves available for questioning will result in your immediate firing from the force. THAT is co-operation. Stating that it is your right and the officer’s right not to testify is not good enough. In fact, one in the public would view it as either trying to conceal evidence, or stopping self-incrimination. Either way, you look bad in the eyes of the public, and it’s no giant leap to guess why they don’t trust you.

“Yes, there were cameras every 10 feet, in fact. I went through the facility to ensure that there was thorough coverage of the video cameras. Any areas that were not covered by camera were marked off and blocked off and no prisoners were taken into those areas.” You’re now an expert on cameras and their coverage zones. Good for you. By the way, for those following along on the home game, he just admitted that there were areas in the detention centre that were unmonitored.

“First of all, they were all given two online training requirements that they had to complete successfully{sic}, and then at least one full day of operational training. Most of the online work pertained to their legal authorities. We wanted to ensure that our police officers knew the limits of their authorities and that they knew how to work together in maintaining public safety.”
Did that include the PWPA, since the York Regional Police seem to dispute that.

“Training was very important to us. We wanted to make sure that our people knew how to work together, that our communication systems worked, that there was consistency in our policies and operational directives, and that there was a very clear line of communication and a clear line of command.”
Except that, again, the York Regional Police dispute this, The OPP not wearing ID disputes this (YOU are the one in charge, therefore everyone is under YOUR policy, regardless of actual juritiction, and you yourself said “ONCE I FOUND OUT ABOUT THE SO CALLED KETTLING AT QUEEN AND SPADINA”…means, you Chief, were NOT in charge of those under your charge.

“One of the challenges in policing an event of this magnitude is ensuring that your people maintain their ranks, maintain their discipline, and do their job in a way that is lawful. So we trained our people quite relentlessly in preparation for this event.”
Except that you failed them, in what you yourself had made into law, for your officers to use and was abused throughout the city. Your requested invocation of the PWPA was used at various locations around the city, illegally, to detain hundreds, if not thousands of people to search them. You claim only two were arrested. While that may be true, it’s severely missing the point.

“Quite frankly, we know, because events like the G-20 have happened in other places, that public complaints are an inevitable result. Civil suits are an inevitable result. Calls for public inquiries are also an inevitable result. Quite frankly, calls for the resignation or firing of the chief of police are usually an inevitable result. We prepared our people for those complaints. We took every prudent step we were able to in order to ensure that our people knew their jobs, that they were properly supervised and properly managed, and did their job according to the rule of law.”
Except, advising them of the rule of law, I agree. In fact, there is ample evidence to prove you right, except for the “properly supervised and properly managed” part.

“As an area to secure, if it had been held in one of the buildings, because it's isolated from other buildings, it would perhaps have had less impact on other businesses and citizens. In the area where the summit subsequently took place, there are a number of condominium buildings. There are people who live and work in that area. It might have had less impact on their daily operations and lives if the summit site had been at that location.”
So much for “people were told not to go downtown” since, as you indicated there were numerous people who lived in the area.

“We even went to the extent of delivering over one million flyers to the people of Toronto and about ten thousand flyers to the businesses impacted in that location. We spent money and took out advertisements in six of our newspapers, including in several different languages, informing the people of Toronto of what they might expect as an impact, both through traffic disruptions and their ability to move through the area secured for the summit.”
With no mention of the PWPA…funny that.

“We wanted to provide as much information as possible to our citizens to minimize and mitigate the impact of the summit on their daily lives.”
Except the PWPA...

“In addition, there was a very significant breach of the peace that took place on Saturday. There was, in my opinion, a very reasonable apprehension of a continued risk of a breach of the peace that continued throughout that weekend at a number of different locations. Decisions were made by the incident commanders and operational people on the ground that it was necessary, to prevent a breach of the peace, to detain those individuals under the breach of peace legislation of the Criminal Code, and that was done.”
Other than the day you let the riot happen, nothing else came close to satisfying ‘breach of peace’. Are you really that daft? Novotel, where upwards of hundreds were arrested, were in jeopardy of breaching the peace?

“A significant number of people who were apprehended were not apprehended with the intention of bringing criminal charges against them. Rather, they were apprehended under the breach of peace legislation to prevent that breach. The circumstances were such that I think we had a very real apprehension that the peace was very much at risk from the demonstrations taking place over that weekend. Certainly there was strong evidence from what transpired on Saturday afternoon about the intent of those individuals.”
No. There wasn’t. This is you lying again. You mention ‘individuals’. That indicates a specific crime. Breach of the peace is not specific, so, your either talking about two different crimes, or lying about two different crimes. Either way, your lying to the House of Commons. In either case, you do NOT arrest willy-nilly to make up for Saturday.

“People were apprehended and detained under that legislation without an intention to bring them up on criminal charges, because there is no charge under breach of the peace. It is simply preventive detention to maintain the public peace.”
This is the most complex of the arguments you have made. But it’s not complex at all. You can only detain someone under this legislation if you have a STRONG feeling that they will do this. As is was, there was not. So this point is also moot.

“We've had quite an issue in Toronto. I'll explain this as quickly as I can. When I issued an order that we would wear name tags, a number of concerns were raised by our police union.”
Without discounting the concerns of the Union, I’ll say this. “When I issued an order”…that was made two year previous by the people who control you, that you fought against, that was originally made by the Human Rights Commission, is NOT your order. No matter how you try to spin it.

NOTE: The quoted testimony from Bill Blair is from the Hansard Record of the Federal Government. Testimony is available here:

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