“Moving Towards A true Commuity Based Model of Policing” and other bullshit I heard at the forum put on by the office of Of The independent Police Reviews Director yesterday and today.

28 Nov

For the sake of not exposing some of my professional friends i have edited them out of this peace.This gives the impression that i played a bigger role then i did, even though I have done it for the right reasons, i feel that there contributions should be aknowledged, some stuff i edited because of time, and also this is only what i know from the workshops i participated in. I would like to thank everyone who got texts for me and couldnt explain it all and ask for info, facts stats etc. I esp would like to thank those who only got a bit of the story and were like wtf??? here an account of a real sureal moment, maybe sometime in the future i willwrite about how scared and fucked up this experiance was, it was definatly surreal.

Sunday night one of my friends who works in the professional sector told me that they were going to a conference about the police complaints process put together by the Office Of The Independent Police Review Director. This forum was suppose to bring together Police, Legal Clinics,Social Workers and Community to discuss problems and issues with the police complaints program. the IPRD is suppose to be an indepoendent body in charge of police misconduct and investigating police complaints. There report on misconduct of police at the g20 was good but didnt mention anything that people didnt know.

My friend had to go for work and said it would be cool if i came, because they were sure i would have alot to say about this issue. Registration was theoretically closed and chances of me getting in were slim to none. i called another friend and found out they were going. We had a discussion about how forums like this that were consultive were not only a waste of time, but a way in which the state silences real community voices while at the same time legitimizing there rule. Still, since they also had to work that day and attend they said my perspective might by interesting. I ran some fake names to use to get in of revolutionaries that people may not know, discarded ernesto guevara, Vladimir illych a few other and decided to use the name of a revolutionary from Ireland who is not that well known over here but a Hero there. After all the chances of me getting in were slim, and had nothing to lose.

I woke up very early , downed as much coffe as i could smoked a few ciggerrettes and told my other friend the plan, and mentioned the fact that i would register at the same time they do so i look more legitimate.

i get to the registration desk, give my fake name, memorized a fake address postal code and all, and instead of asking me for that info, they ask what organization im with, i make one up and go in.

The first thing that struck me was the heavy police presence in uniform, with guns, vests jackets etc., Since this was a community forum, I expected that there would be some cops but public relations officers, not the goon squad, talking to delegates after, this really intimidated many community members, and played an important role into intimidating silence. The Panel was full of police officers, whose comments were very dismissive of people who launch complaints, and those who face violence from the police. The only person who was critical of police was Anna from the Toronto Coalition On Police Accountability, who gave a good speech. Registering made me late so I missed two community speakers who may or may not have been good.

One of the organizors of this forum was from University of Waterloo and knew me so we spoke for a bit but she did not call me by my real name and respected my confidentiality. Later I am approuched by the person at the registration desk and im like shit, im busted, only to find out that even though they knew that my organization that i said was made up , I was welcome as a member of the community, given tokens and promised an honorariam if i stuck around, i got it i was being tokenized as a member of the public, and given the fact that to the organizor I looked like someone who comes from a at risk community, i was to be used as one of those people who gives credence that this is a “legitimate” consultation.

The ideolgue of the conference starts speaking and i feel like Im watching a bad PSNI commercial, as hes talking about community policing that reflects the community and other such shit. When asked about the paramiliterization of the police, he states quite clearly that the police is a paramilitary force(this part is important given who this person is and where he trained people etc. I wont jump ahead but give you the hint that he had a thick british accent). The whole time a uniformed officer is seriously staring at me. We break for lunch and i talk to other people in the social service sector or legal sector who know who i am.

At lunch im like shit its only a matter oftime before a cop id’s me and figures out i gave a fake name. I read the bio of this ideoluge of the police and it reads like counter insurgency (which is later confirmed).

Dr. David Webb is a graduate of the Bramshill Police Command College in England, holds a Management Diploma from the national examination board in the UK, where he has worked for 30 years before starting LEMITS in the US, The last 12 a Chief of Police, ran Devon and Cornwall Police College, Marine Anti Terrorism,, Senior Police Advisor to Home Office Police Department Office of Science and technology, London England, worked extensivley overseas in Europe, Africa and Asia and his interests are POLITICAL VIOLENCE, HUMAN TRAFFICKING, AND ORGANIZATIONAL ISSUES. (Before I break for lunch he makes a comment that i hear about how most youth under 25 PERCIEVE that the RUC/PSNI are the same, and as a friend pointed out the word PERCIEVE becomes very important)

We go back to the conference and im approuched by a Toronto Cop I know well from the G20 who joins the break off group that im a part of. He asks me about my health and other things making it obvious that the gig is up. I answer in a cordial tone, stating only what he already knows about my health acting as if im not worried and several other cops and the lawyer from the OPP and others who keep trying to talk to me make me know that they know who I am without mentioning my name. I try to remove myself several time from the presence of the one cop who either was extra friendly (which i doubt) or obviously trying to intimidate me.( At that time I thought and think the gig was up the first few minutes I walked into the room and my presence was tolerated to legitimize this so called consultation)

So i know that they know but pretend i dont they know that i know and its kinda really wierd. Dr. David Webb is also in my break away group. Its obvious to everyone who is not a cop that the police are setting the agenda and controling the discussion, My role at this point in time is to say nothing and learn as much as possible before i get booted out. It becomes obvious (by a friend pointing it out quietly) that the word of the day is perception and victims of police misconduct only percieve that they are being mistreated, and there perception is right but if there perception is to change by interacting with the police through dispute resolution then the world would be a better place. The discussion shifts (which is clearly steered by police) from the diffrent forms of the complaint process to pushing this agenda of dispute resolution., as well as putting forward this agenda of shifting peoples perception towards the police, paticularly in targetted communities. We go for break, and i talk to people about how to proceed. its obvious that that the police are ither intimidating people into silence, stacking the room or people are to blind to see whats up due to the fact that as workers they are insolated from the targetted community by the saftey of the rules of social work and law that makes you see things people as a case or file as oppossed to seeing them like humans.

So how to interced and create room for discussion. The simplest way is to discuss what is at hand and the problems with the OIPRD. I interced by pointing out that even if the OIPRD is really neutral, despite the fact that half of the OIPRD is ex-cops it has no teeth and can only make recommendations, its up to the chief of police to implement the reccomendations, making it relativley toothless and leaving the police to punish the police, furthermore as a point of clarification, I would like to know how many times the chief of police has refused to implement there recommendations, at this point in time i was not given an answer. Given the fact that the facilitator took great pains to point out that the police are diffrent then other employees like a librarian, and is an issue of governance not employment, the police kept on argueing that it was a dispute between employer and employee, and only the chief should punish them.

After the break when we came back the subject was once again changed to perception, and the bootlickers kept on talking about the good role that TAVIS plays in there community, and how amazing it is that they play with the youth and hang out and shoot hoops and other such knowledge.

To those who dont know in theory TAVIS is the anti gang unit, sent to racialized communties as a special taskforce. There role in racial profiling, targetting minorities, jacking people etc. is very well known. As a side note Guns and Gangs, which TAVIs falls under is in charge of political prosecutions such as the G20, my current charges and many others, the G20 cop that was in the room, was the head of the TAVIS programs she was talking about. TAVIS is also known for intimidating and threatening community organizors who refuse to work with police, accept police funding via charities that say you must work with police, and try to solve problems of poverty etc. on a community basis. At this point a community legal person started talking about all the bullshit that TAVIS pulls nameing off stuff very legally, and how its not a metter of perception but fact (i am seriously paraphracing this for a matter of time) Another person speaks about how there are problems with the police but they always tell there youth to show there ID etc. Still he is forced to lament the fact that the police will not always meet them halfway. The discussion shifts back to getting people to talk to the police and implementing this local resolution bullshit. One person brings up the fact that there is no statistical data to show that this is the only or best method or good or bad so its unscientific to focus on this method at the expense of all others.(eg. formal complaints etc.) Which forces the meeting to be called to order as this rational explanation is bood down by the police and others.

At this point i go into research mode, and call people, study stuff re read what i know and come to the conclusion that this forum iis not a community forum, nor is it about the complaints process, but rather a way to justify the new nicer face of targetting policing and repression of minorities, poor people and indigenous people. Those who have good relations with TAVIS are the people who allow the police in marginalized communities to control and patrol, and the state funding for programs have nothing to do with helping kids but everything to do with collecting information, encouraging collaboration, setting up a network of people who are friends of the police and feed them information at the expense of there community.Political organizor who are interested in alternative are to be isolated, intimidated or pressurred into silence.

The problem with this forum is that its purpose, as well as the purpose of the toothless IPRD, is to legitimize an illegitimate process and instill faith in the system. The issue of accountability of police, which can only be achieved by true community accountability, which gives the community a direct say in policing, as well as the power to enforce there will politically. Without political power and the ability to determine there own destiny, recognizing the heredtirary rights of the indigenous peoples whose land this is, all these nice sounding words are bullshit, even if they are co oped from progressives.

The next day the presentation started (well i was late) with an Anishnabek Police officer saying not much of anything other then everything is hunkey dorey. This is followwed by Dr. Webb Addressing the issue brought up in the break up group that there is no data around the affectivness of the local solutions. He then says (and apparently my face turns red at this point) that “accross the pond in Northern Ireland” these solutions have been tried and work. He then goes on to talk about accountability and forums and surveys making it sound all nice and good. At this point in time i start texting people for data and statistics on the PSNI, its early in the morning so i get no response, i drink a cup of water to relax go back in and hes talking about all the successes of the pSNI in community policing, I wait for the question period, and i ask “given the fact that this summer has been full of attacks on Catholics in Northern Ireland, with the blessing of the police, that there has been a growing number of selective arrests, targetted policing, collusion esp during organge marches, and more and more people see the PSNI as a continuation of the RUC, cant one state that this model of policing has failed. If this is not the case then why is there a growing hatred against the PSNI, making policing the major example (except for the return of internment)used by Republicans as proof that the Good Friday Accords have only entrenched British occupation.Why would we want to replicate an exiperiment that has failed so miserably here esp. since it is obviously an example of counter insurgency, not peace time policing.(i also added something about the fact that 80% of PSNI Specialists are RUC who cover up and practise shoot to kill”

He responded by saying that he was working in the Six Counties during the troubles, and he understands and he doesnt want to talk about what is happening today over there but that the problem is biggotted cops who arent educated, and if they payed them more they magically would stopping being biggotted. He then continued to say that those people who mascarade as republicans are really criminals and no one wants a unified Ireland. We then broke out into break up sessions and given that i went for a ciggerrette i entered when there was someone attacking a professional and trying to talk over them. It was my time to re introduce myself, i gave my first part of my fake name and WEBB winked at me and let me know that I wasnt the only one who did research last night at which point i said obviously this is not my real name, and im not gonna give you my real name given my history with the police, but I have started one the first youth drop in centres in Canada, have worked creating drug prevention programs in the city of Startofrd, the Meth capital of north America, have started free food and programs to get youth off of drugs in Guelph have been program co ordinator at Inuvik Youth Centre dealing with issues of addictions and a bunch of other shit that i did, including some of the current stuff like dealing with drugs as a social issue etc. and my work speaks for itself or some other shit like that. After the introduction the strangle hold has been broken and more and more people talked aboutdiffrent ideas that were silenced before. The TAVIS cop came back and mentioned that he was just policing a pipeline protest (one i was suppose to attend) and actually explaining the issue. His demenor changed compleately and backed up most of the suggestions. When the facilitator didnt want to read my comment on addressing power imbalences by not having cops come to a meeting on police complaints carrying guns, the whole group asked that it be read. Yet there was lots of discussion on how as leaders in our community we need to go back and say how our voices are heard I felt un comfortable, and the facilitators, several times didnt write what people were saying or altered it, yet people were talking. At the get back together session alot became obvious the agenda was aleeady set as were the resolutions people walked out of the room in disgust, one facilitator yelled at his group to shut up when the IPRD rep. started to change the working groups suggestions, and there were countelles other examples of how this process was a fraud, the IPRD was shown to many for what it was, as we were told by one presentor WE MUST BELIEVE IN THE SYSTEM, as people voices were excluded and many community members left in disgust.

i myself was pretty pissed off, yet when trying to explain why i couldnt I knew from the begining this meeting was a fraud, i knew from the begining that KKKanada was built on genocide and has sent officers to train in isreal and learn from the IDF, there was no new surpirise to me, in fact given the response from people in some ways it was a success because the process exposed itself. As I was leaving one person said if they put ten percent of what was said in the report this will be amazing yet i think that a facilitator that wont read a comment about people bringing guns to a meeting on police complaints then they will have no problem leaving things out of a report, to be totally honest maybe my anger was because at one point in time despite all i knew I thought that during the fight, it would mean something. Still I told myself exposing them was a possative victory. it wasnt till I got back to my community dealing with the problems we face every day that I realized what a waste of time this is. The report is coming out in Feb. giving them enough time to edit and make nice, but one peace of satisfaction I have is that they wanted us to go back and sell this as a solution, instead what people are telling there communities is how the system can never work!!!!!

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One Response to ““Moving Towards A true Commuity Based Model of Policing” and other bullshit I heard at the forum put on by the office of Of The independent Police Reviews Director yesterday and today.”

  1. Stefan December 4, 2012 at 4:03 am #

    OIPRD covers for the cops… At least this is my view after they refused to investigate a serious complaint I forwarded to them… They only refused because they knew the cops in question would get fired and the tps would have been hit with a major lawsuit

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