Monday, January 31, 2011

Free Egypt

I went down to the Free Egypt rally at Yonge and Dundas Square on Saturday. It was a great event, wonderful feeling of people coming together. I also met an Officer there. He has just gotten into DSLR cameras and saw mine. I was back behind the crowd trying to get a few artistic shots. He had a few questions about camera gear, what the lens hood was for, things like that. When you first get into cameras like this…it can be quite overwhelming. We were talking for a few minutes, and he looked quite familiar. I hadn’t seen his entire nametag yet, but looked and saw “…THERBEE”. I asked if his first initial was J. Yes. Okay, now I’m putting it together:

During the Canada Day protest after the G20, I was at the front of the line shooting with the media. I don’t know how it happened, but I got separated from them and ended up in the front of the protest instead, on the opposite side of the police line than the media. One of the first shots I got, was of …J. WEATHERBEE.
(click for larger image)

Here are some other shots from the Free Egypt rally:
(click for larger image)

All 10 images available to view on Flickr.

What is with the SIU?

The SIU has recently re-opened yet another G20 related case after new evidence has come forward. I’m not exactly sure what their current investigation procedures are, but at this point, one can only say that they must be changed. Either that, or they need to read the dictionary definition of INVESTIGATION...

When the police need help, they appeal publicly for help. I haven’t seen the SIU do that in a case that has only been opened once. They HAVE appealed for more information and witnesses AFTER re-opening a case. The only real reports that seem to come out in the media are at the initial time of the incident with the phrase “The SIU is investigating”.

We do not often see them ask for the publics help. Is this because they feel they have expert witnesses at the scene? Who, incidentally have their own interests to protect. Or are they forbidden to due to laws or regulations? Either way it has to change. There can be no more ‘private’ investigations. I’m not asking to know everything their doing and to see all the evidence they have. I’m asking them to proactively engage the public as the public’s supposed watchdog over the police.

If the SIU is truly serious in doing its job, it really needs to do a better job. Re-opening case after case only serves to tarnish the reputation of the SIU. I’m acutely aware that the G20 was a different situation since there were cameras everywhere. It would also behove the SIU to release the information regarding WHERE the new evidence came from. They do not need to name an actual source, just the relative source. IE, from the public, from the police, from the crown…

There should be no reason WHY the rules governing the SIU should be any different than the way the police investigate crimes. Use whatever resources are available. You know that there was a lot of video tape shot and still photos taken that weekend. You should have immediately come to the public asking for copies of any of those incidents. Subpoenas the police video tapes, they would also do the investigation good if you don’t have them already.

All in all…I’m just really getting tired of going through all my photos from that weekend every time you re-open an investigation.

Friday, January 21, 2011

No. You're wrong.

*there is a shorter video of this, but this gives more context*

You're wrong. So very, very wrong. I don't even CARE if someone else told you to say that. Whether they be a fellow officer OR a commanding officer. You have to use your head and THINK about what you are saying. You do realize that this leaves you as one of the faces of what went wrong that weekend. In one media story you stated you were not sensitive, and that if you were, all the comments directed to you would make you cry. GOOD. At least we know your not completely morally bankrupt.

It's good that this video came to light again. It feels like this might be about the right time to see again WHY some people are still fuming about this months later. The reasons of course are many, but nothing more succinct than 'this ain't Canada right now" ... and "there is no Civil Rights in this area".

First, speak proper English. This ISN'T Canada right now...and there ARE no Civil Rights. There, I fixed it for you.

Second, he called you on it. He called you on it, and your response was to intimidate him. He called you on it, and you lied about your authority. He called you on it, and you seem to think the whole block is less than 5 meters. He called you on it, and you will lose.

"and there's unlawful assemblies going on all around us."
Yup...the same as ANY other summer day. This seems like a very stock answer for this occasion since it opens them up to arrest anyone for breach of the peace. Well, actually it DOESN'T... It's lazy policing since there is NO WAY for an individual to take legal action since the police can only hold you for so long, and there is no actual charge. The only recourse under Canadian Law is to sue. There is no real way to have the police charged with kidnapping (which is basically what it is). For a breach of the peace to have occurred, an unlawful assembly must be declared AND give the entire group 5 minutes or more to leave the area. See...they already 'declared' the unlawful they don't have to wait. Neat trick isn't it?

By the way...if this wasn't Canada, I was apparently living outside of the country for a few days. For tax purposes, can you let me know how many days I was out of country? Also, why were my Canadian tax dollars paying for something like this outside of Canada?