Monday, February 7, 2011

Toronto Police are out of control

Toronto Police are out of control

The issue of Metro Toronto police wearing a tag that displays their name and or badge number on the outside of their uniform has come to the forefront of discussion again. Last week a film on you tube by local activist, film maker and radio host Daniel Libby featuring this writer at a rally to support the Egyptian uprising has gone viral on the internet. The film features the infamous officer A.  Josephs  (A.K.A  Officer Bubbles).  The reason I choose officer Josephs to approach about being one of the half dozen officers there who were not wearing a tag was because he was the only one I knew by sight and could identify by name who were not wearing name or badge numbers that day.
    The fact that he refused to recognize me when I politely said “Excuse me Officer” or was openly rude and threatened to arrest me as a member of the public who merely wished to ask a question, is to me all the more reason police officers need to be able to be easily identified by citizens. Also being winter time these officers who did not wear tags were also wearing cold weather head gear and sun glasses that partially covered their faces as well. Other than officer Josephs who has become famous for his open rudeness and distain for the general public none of the other officers that were not wearing tags could be identified.
    The Ontario Labor Relations Board has recently turned down a Toronto police union bid to end the mandatory wearing of name tags by uniformed officers. The police union claim that the name tags, which display an officer’s first initial and last name, increase the risk of their being harmed. This however does not explain the excuse for not wearing a badge number either. I can’t help but feel the growing attitudes of the rank and file of the police towards the public is a much greater risk than the name tags ever would be. When the police engage the public in this city, weather a traffic stop, on the street, a protest or rally or even a criminal investigation they are seldom friendly or polite. 
     After the G-20 in Toronto last June Chief Bill Blair of the Toronto Police Service told a Commons public safety committee that 90 officers will face disciplinary action for failing to wear their ID badge. During committee questioning, Blair said he believed some of the 90 officers were trying to hide their identities. One of the main reasons there were not more charges laid against the perpetrators of the wide scale violence committed on the public was due to the fact that the police officers breaking the law could not be identified. The fact that more than six months later the rank and file are still thumbing their nose at the law and the rules that govern the conduct of the police in this city clearly show that the police are out of control and that Bill Blair as chief cannot control his officers.
   The Toronto Police Services Board, a civilian agency that oversees the police force, made name tags mandatory in 2006. The police have appealed this decision and lost and yet still there were many officers spotted at the rally who refuse to comply? After the G-20 Chief Blair’s response to this was to dock the officers a days pay which amounts to a fine of about $300.00 and it now looks like this punishment clearly had no effect at all.
     Many people in this city have some serious concerns that we are quickly slipping into a fascist police state here in Canada. The fact that Officer Josephs refused to identify himself that day to me or that  About 1,100 people were arrested during the G20 weekend in Toronto, but only 308 were charged. With many of those charges later being dropped, proves that these concerns are well founded.
   Our charter of rights and freedoms were and are being blatantly violated and ignored by the Toronto Police Services and this is the main reason why people like me will never give up on calling for a public inquiry into the G-20. Unless the police in Canada’s largest city are brought under control and soon, you may as well hang that charter of rights and freedoms in your bathroom and use it to wipe your butt.

Lawrence McCurry
February 6, 2011


  1. Great points, they should definitely be wearing at least a badge number. If they are doing their job well & to the professional standard they are trained to, there is no need to hide their identity. Only a criminal needs to hide their identity.

  2. Bill Blair may have said 100 officers would be fined, but were they ever fined???


    Harper’s G20 = Harper’s Mess. Pls email out G20 protest letter: February 22, 2011

    To: Look up an MP via Postal Code:
    Look up an MP by region:
    If you live in Toronto, find your City Councillor:

    Re: Public G20 Inquiry

    Last summer's G20 abuses in my city were appalling. I demand a full official G20 Public Inquiry, with the jurisdiction to ask all fundamental questions and the authority to compel the answers. I wanted to take my family to peacefully protest that weekend but I was too scared. Where is our democracy? Where are my rights and freedoms as a Canadian I am supposed to be entitled to?

    What we need is a full public inquiry, we need a judicial inquiry, we need an independent inquiry, we need an inquiry with full powers to hear sworn evidence, subpoena witnesses and compel the production of all relevant documents. I demand this.

    • There needs to be a Commission of Inquiry into abuses of individual rights and freedoms by the G20 Integrated Security Unit.

    • There needs to be an investigation into the options, risk analysis, and decision-making that led to the G20 Summit being held in Toronto Ontario.

    • There needs to be an investigation into imputed G8-related spending in federal ridings held by CPC Members of Parliament.

    • There needs to be an investigation into all G8/G20-related expenditures made without a tender process.

    • There needs to be a plain English explanation of all agreements and commitments made by the Government of Canada and opportunity for parliamentary debate and vote before they become binding on Canada.

    Thanking you in advance for your attention to this matter.

    Canadian Nobody
    City, Province
    Postal Code
    Tel No.


    Steve Harper - Prime Minister of Canada,,
    Michael Ignatieff – Leader of the Liberal Party,,
    Gilles Duceppe - Leader of the Bloc Québécois,,
    Jack Layton - Leader of the New Democratic Party,,
    Elizabeth May - Leader of the Green Party of Canada,,
    Marjory LeBreton - Leader of the government in the Senate,,
    Dalton McGuinty - Premier of Ontario,,
    Rob Ford - Mayor of Toronto,


    G20 Trials and the War on Activism
    It is no coincidence the people facing the most serious charges with the most restrictive bail conditions are among the most effective organizers in this country. They are precisely the people who build bridges across traditionally separate communities and constituencies, finding common ground where there was often antipathy before.