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Over False Charges by Toronto - police & Crown
Proof that fighting it out
not letting them get the upper hand with you by way of fear
impatience, is not only worth while but best for Canada.
Opening statements and background regarding the events and false charges against me.
Side-show FantinO shows his true face - how I confronted the Chief of Toronto police and
asked him to come clean on unlawful actions by Toronto police.
The Letter to Editor that I wrote about the above.
The Toronto Police Accountability Coalition, posted the following - "in a press release issued by the Toronto Police, a senior officer apologised for police behaviour at a demonstration, and a new policy on mass arrests was issued by the Chief."
The transcript of my charges being withdrawn and the judge noting in so many words,
he hopes the Toronto police will never again shame us as they did.
It is not very often that you hear the judge saying they hopes not to see further cases of this nature, that violated our civil liberties - Hopefully there won't be another opportunity to test it. This was in response to my lawyer expressing his disappointment that the matter would not be dealt with in Court. A feeling I very much shared - "it's unfortunate from my perspective, and as well somewhat from Mr. Barber's perspective, that this case isn't going to trial because it did involve a new technique of crowd control that the police were employing that raised issues with civil liberties which would have been central to Mr. Barber's defence on the obstruct and ultimately on the assault police charge. Unfortunately, no court, to my understanding, has ruled on the legality or propriety of those issues. And as a result, the withdrawal of this charge, there will be no decision of that sort in this case."
This is the kind of case that is usually lost because it is based on no other evidence then the word of the police against mine. As the Crown withdrew such an easy case to win, you really have to ask why? The facts are simple but hard for most people to understand as I took a moral stand, a hero's stand against injustice. There are many such people around us but the media rarely reports us, as it calls into question the conduct of the police, the Crown, the Courts and government in general in a very fundamental fashion.
The setting - it was Oct. 16th, 2001 and governments were still in the gripe of the 9/11 fears and their police forces were making a play for as much power as they could grab. The Ontario Common front had planned a demonstration in Toronto for months ahead of the unfortunate events of Sept. 11, 2001, so it was decided to go ahead regardless. The Chief of Toronto police was Julian Fantino, who took full advantage of the political atmosphere being thick with fear mongering to put in place a new plan to deal with the up coming demonstration, that he was sure to bring an end to Law, Order and Civilization as he knew it! This plan was to turn off the highest laws in Canada - the Charter Rights, like a light switch. The very laws that mark the high point of our Democracy, that tens of thousands of Canadians have given their lives for - he was just going to flush and not even bother to tell the rest of us what was going on (or not going on as case would be).
The Toronto police decided they would grant themselves the power of bullies and search anyone they wanted to. If they dared to question such unlawful action and if some poor unfortunate were to suggest they had Rights - they were arrested on false charges to teach them a lesson. It was the “Mass Arrest policy” in play and I was one of those poor unfortunates. I was walking down the street, minding my own business when a Toronto cop grabbed my backpack, told me he was going to search me, I noted that was illegal and was then swarmed by cops, they jumped on my joins so bad I had to be taken to the hospital.
I learned from talking to lawyers that the biggest joke going was that the police attack whomever they care to and then, they are charged with assaulting the police! I was falsely charged with assaulting a police officer and obstruct a police officer. Normally in a case like this, with no other evidence but the word of those involved, the natural prejudice of the Court would be to side with the police. However, these were not normal times and I knew that getting the documents would prove that the Toronto police were in the wrong, not me. So I would not rest or take the easy way out till true justice prevailed.
The Crown was fast to offer people charged with multiple charges of assaulting police officers and possession of weapons, with signing peace bonds! The charges sound very serious indeed but they were not dealt with like the Crown even believe the Toronto police. Like myself, those who held out, trying to get the facts, for the public to became aware, are the real hero's of Oct. 16, 2001.
It took me more than 2 years and had to go through 3 lawyers to find the fourth who would actually do as I instructed and make going after the police records for what happened that day, the top priority. Once the Crown saw that there was a lawyer who was not a push over and would be going for the key evidence - case dismissed! Just goes to show the Crown knew the actions of the Toronto police were unlawful (from the very start!), and they were just trying to play the game of Court hopefully long enough for the Defence to give up and go away. Do not forget, the Crown is wasting taxpayers money playing these games and the Toronto police have been sued successful over this brain dead course of action. Worse yet, Side-show FantinO was not held accountable for his actions and has gone on to become head of the O.P.P. He plays fascist leader with the Toronto police and we pay all the bills - God only knows what he will end up doing at the Ontario Provincial police!
Side-show FantinO shows his true face at the Mar. 4 / 03
town hall meeting held by Toronto’s police Chief.
- Yes sir
Don B. - Yes Mr. Barber, I have a question for the Chief. Actually it was hearting to see you coming out here having these town hall meetings, we know that they did start because of questions of accountability towards the public and what-not. It is glad to see you did come out and hold them. But I am here hoping that you will be able to help a number of people as it is in your power to do so.
It was widely reported back in Oct., 2001 that the police dept. had come up with a new procedure to deal with demonstration and what-not, which whole handedly suspended peoples Civil Liberates, Charter Rights, involved mass searches and that this policy had never been approved by anyone other than the police, never went before a judicial body, has never been presented to the public for a review and as tax payers. There is a certain obligation to report to the public. And I am sure some people would be interested to know under what circumstances the police in particular Toronto police would actually suspend, without notice, your Charter Rights & your Civil Rights, which are actually the highest laws in the land.
I hope you have zero tolerance on this because what happened was that your police Dept., your officers once they were told the law doesn't apply any more, went out and there were assaults on people who refused to be searched, for just, randomly searched. I know one person who was standing right on a street corner and when they refused a search, was attacked and they had done nothing wrong what-so-ever.
So I am hoping be able to help us out here because it was widely reported and I think it was called 8G, the documentation on this and there are some people who are still in the process of coming before the courts on this matter and this would be instrumental in their defence, simple because it would provide a motivation for why the police did what did to these people and I am really hoping, that tonight, you be able to say that in the name of justice, in the name of public accountability you will provide these documentation not just lawyers but to the public so that we can be reassured as to what exactly happened that day, because I know at the time and media and the police itself did note there were new procedures and that there were great questions about it but we have yet to see the actually documentation, to actually be able to comment on it.
So I am really hoping that tonight you will say, yes, you will put these documents up for the public review and the defence of innocence people and that you don't support the acts of your officers that day that were quite over the legal limit I would have to say, quite unlawful ...
Fantino - (Cut me off) Are you representing any particular group sir?
Don B. - I representing ...
Fantino - (Cuts me off again) behalf of any group?
Don B. - No I am not, I am speaking behalf taxpayers and individuals that have been unjustly charged and what-not. The thing is, that if you say yes that you will provide these documents that is all I want to hear, tonight.
Fantino - Well first of all I don't know what documents you are speaking of ...
Don B. - (I cut in), Project 8G!
Fantino - I take great exception to your allegation the we have deprived any body of their Rights and Freedoms and so fore and that. If you are enquiring about our response to Civil disobedience we, we will enforce the law of the law, if the people are before the courts they will have to answer to that and let the courts decide that is what democracy is all about sir.
Don B. - It was a preemptive strike by the police and democracy is about accountability ...
Fantino - (talks over me), it was a clear attempt for us to preserve the peace when there was anarchy and other attempts to destroy property, in fact that did happen and we will keep on doing that sir, we will protect the rights of law abiding citizens any time, any where, under any circumstances
Wild clapping by foolish Canadians who don't understand what Fantino has just said & done.
That nights town hall meeting was not reported in the Toronto Star, or another media for that matter and there was cameras there. I wonder if the Chief has ever considered that some if not all property damage was the results of cops police state actions toward protesters?
Letter to Editor that has been sent out - Side-show FantinO shows his true face.
At the Mar. 4/03, Town Hall meeting held by Toronto police important questions were asked and non-answers given by police Chief Julian FantinO. The purpose of these meetings was suppose to be making the police more accountable to the public and community concerns but these meetings have clearly been perverted to - all hail the police chief! People kissing up for his good graces and asking for future favors.
The hard question put to the Chief was a request to make public, police documents regarding their suspension of Canadians Civil and Charter Rights (the highest law in Canada), without any outside approval in response to a demonstration Oct. 2001. It was clearly noted that; a preemptive strike was carried out by Toronto police by way of mass unlawful searches and many people who refused were assaulted by police, this resulted in innocent people who had done no wrong being falsely charged and as their cases were still to come up the release of these documents would aid in their defence, that in a democracy taxpayers have right to review such police actions.
In a display of the very same indifference to the pain and suffering that Toronto police have been responsible for, that these meetings were to help reduce, Side-show FantinO jumps on his white horse and rambles on about how he doesn't know what I was talking about (twice told Project 8G) and that he takes great exception to the "allegation" (it was widely reported that it happened), the police "deprived any body of their Rights and Freedoms". If this was a matter of concern for him then he would have asked questions to understand the issue, how he could aid the falsely accessed and bring bullying police officers to justice. Was that not the whole purpose of these meetings? He ends his sound bite with how his force will protect the rights of law abiding citizens any time and they will do it again. Guess he is saying in order to protect our rights, his police force has to destroy them first! And he wonders why the Toronto police have such a creditably gap with the public.
I could not correct FantinO's misinterpretation of the question due to clapping by foolish Canadians who do not understand what FantinO has just said & done as well as the general hostility toward those who do not praise the cops. The results of his methods at these meetings is clear, a sea of white faces and hair and people saying they want more of the same that his force has been dishing out. Thought I was in Germany, 1930's for a monument. By the way, someone should make a FOI request for the cost of the small army that FantinO's side-shows costs taxpayers.
Request that my name not be printed for fear of police retaliation but an e-mail address is provided, firstname.lastname@example.org. If you can note it & looking for witness to events Oct. 16 2001, people who were unlawfully searched, have pictures or video of same and people being attacked by the police, to aid in up coming trials.
From the - Toronto Police Accountability Bulletin No. 13, September 2004
This bulletin is published monthly by the Toronto Police Accountability Coalition, a group of individuals and organizations in Toronto interested in police policies and procedures, and in making police more accountable to the community they are committed to serving. Our website is http://www.tpac.ca
1. Police and Demonstrations: Complaint Validated;
In August, in a press release issued by the Toronto Police, a senior officer apologised for police behaviour at a demonstration, and a new policy on mass arrests was issued by the Chief. The press release itself is an extra-ordinary document, admitting a practice of preventative detention by police of some participants in a public demonstration; incarceration in a police van for up to nine hours before demonstrators were released without charge; dismissal by police of the complaint filed by one of those arrested; and finally a negotiated settlement of the appeal to the Ontario Civilian Commission on Police Services and an apology by senior Toronto officers.
Here is the press release as posted on the Toronto Police Service website in early August (since removed from that website.)
`In the matter of a hearing concerning an allegation of misconduct against Inspector Tony Crawford, directed by the Ontario Civilian Commission on Police Services, And, in the matter of the agreed resolution of the allegation of misconduct against Inspector Tony Crawford, which agreement has been reached by all parties,
`The parties hereby agree, on consent, and request that the tribunal dismiss the allegation of misconduct against Inspector Tony Crawford. The parties agree to the following statement of facts that summarizes the circumstances that lead to the allegation of misconduct arising from a protest that occurred in downtown Toronto on October 16, 2001:
`1. Four public complainants, John Milton, Sarah Kardash, Adam Chaleff-Freudenthaler (16 years of age at the time) and Joshua Barndt (15 years of age at the time) were detained at the demonstration and confined in a police wagon for periods of between six to almost nine hours.(Note 1) Sarah Kardash was detained in the police wagon the longest time. [Note 1: Pursuant to section 110(3) of the Youth Criminal Justice Act, Adam Chaleff-Freuenthaler and Joshua Barndt both waive their rights to non-publication of their identities. As such all information contained in this document may be published.]
`2. The conditions of detention in the police wagon were extremely uncomfortable due to the confined space, poor ventilation, excessive temperature, poor lighting, and lack of washroom facilities.
`3. All of the public complainants were handcuffed with their hands behind their back for the entire period of detention, apart from John Milton who had his handcuffs changed to being cuffed in front of him as a result of his arms being in spasm for approximately half an hour.
`4. The complainants were not provided with any food or water or with the opportunity to use a washroom, although Joshua Barndt and Sarah Kardash requested to do so repeatedly. As a consequence of Sarah Kardash being denied the ability to use a washroom, she was forced to urinate on the floor of the police wagon, which required the assistance of another female detainee.
`5. All complainants were ultimately released unconditionally from various police stations without being charged with any offence.
`6. In planning for the police management of the demonstration, the Toronto Police Service did not adequately anticipate or address the possibility that persons would be detained in police wagons for excessive periods of time. The Service did not adequately plan for the supervision of the management of persons detained in police wagons in order to avoid the possibility of excessive detention.
`7. In light of the inadequate planning and supervision, the parties agree that the complainants were detained for an excessive length of time and under unacceptable conditions in the circumstances.
`On October 16, 2001 a demonstration took place in downtown Toronto. In planning to police this event the Toronto Police Service drew in officers from surrounding police services. In all some 550 officers were deployed over a period of 16 hours. Forty arrests were made, although not all led to the laying of criminal charges.
`Several months after this event four members of the public filed formal complaints about the treatment they received in the hours leading up to the demonstration. The complaints included concerns regarding the manner in which they were detained in a police prisoner transportation wagon. The citizens were detained in the wagon for periods of between 6 to almost 9 hours. Police wagons are not designed for detention for these periods of time.
`The complaints were investigated and marked as "unsubstantiated" by the Toronto Police Service. The complainants sought a review of this decision by the Ontario Civilian Commission on Police Services, who ordered a hearing against Inspector Tony Crawford. Inspector Crawford had been the incident commander at the demonstration.
`The complaints have not gone unnoticed and the Toronto Police Service has now significantly changed the way it does business in relation to the detention, management and supervision of persons arrested at demonstrations and other similar events.
`The Toronto Police Service now has a Mass Arrest policy that addresses the issue of supervision and accountability for the treatment of detained persons. Washroom facilities are now provided for the use of detained persons prior to transportation to a police station. Additionally, Court Services has written a Unit specific policy placing the onus for prisoner management and care on Court Services personnel in charge of prisoner transportation vehicles. These new measures directly address the issues raised by the public complainants and will, it is hoped, prevent a re-occurrence of the unacceptable situation encountered by them on October 16, 2001.
`What occurred to the public complainants is not acceptable: it is not in line with the priorities of the Toronto Police Service. The Toronto Police Service acknowledges that management of these detained persons on October 16, 2001, could have and should have been addressed more adequately and it sincerely regrets that the complainants were detained in this manner.
`The Toronto Police Service takes full responsibility for those events and offers its sincere apology to each of the complainants for the fact that they were treated in such a manner as to force them to endure unacceptable conditions on October 16, 2001.'
It has proven impossible to obtain a copy of the “Mass Arrest policy” referred to in the press release, since according to Police Board officials it is a “service procedure” issued by the chief without reference to the Board, and considered confidential by the Police Service. Does the procedure assume that police will engage in `preventative’ arrests, a practise which has dubious legal authority when someone intends to participate in a peaceful demonstration?
[ One of my goals of taking my case to Court was to ensure that the “Mass Arrest policy” and its supporting documents would be entered into the Courts records for all to access.]
ONTARIO COURT OF JUSTICE
HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN
BEFORE THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE R. SCHNEIDER
ON MARCH 31, 2004, AT TORONTO.
COUNSEL FOR THE CROWN K. HART, MS.
COUNSEL FOR THE ACCUSED PETER COPELAND, ESQ.
MS. HART: Good morning, Your Honour. It's Kelly Hart, for the record.
THE COURT: Good morning.
MS. HART: I'm appearing on the Barber matter.
THE COURT: Barber. All right.
MR. COPELAND: Good morning, Your Honour. For the record, it's Peter Copeland.
THE COURT: Mr. Copeland.
MR. COPELAND: I'm appearing for Mr. Barber. There is a designation of counsel and the Crown has elected.
THE COURT: All right.
MS. HART: Your Honour, this is a case that arises, commonly known as an OCAP protest. 
THE COURT: Oh, yes.
MS. HART: From 2001. Clearly it's quite dated at this stage. I've indicated to my friend that I'm withdrawing the
charge on this date. There's just a few things that I'd like to put on the record.
THE COURT: Sure.
MS. HART: I've been assigned for about two weeks to the case. It's given me the opportunity -- that is, assigned as the
trial Crown. It's given me the opportunity to not only consult with other colleagues who have dealt with
similar cases arising out of the same protest, but also their positions based on withdrawals that we'd had
on other, again, similar cases. And taking that into account, and also in the interest of parity, I've
determined at this time that it's not in the interest to proceed this matter. So, I will withdraw
THE COURT: Okay.
MS. HART: My friend may have a few comments also to put on the record.
MR. COPELAND: Yes, I do, Your Honour. From my understanding of the issues in this case, it's unfortunate from my
perspective, and as well somewhat from Mr. Barber's perspective, that this case isn't going to trial
because it did involve a new technique of crowd control that the police were employing that raised issues
with civil liberties which would have been central to Mr. Barber's defence on the obstruct and ultimately
on the assault police charge. Unfortunately, no court, to my understanding, has ruled on the legality or
propriety of those issues. And as a result, the withdrawal of this charge, there will be no decision of that
sort in this case.
THE COURT: Hopefully there won't be another opportunity to test it. very much. Anyway, thank you
MS. HART: Thank you, Your Honour.
THE COURT: The charge is withdrawn.
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[COMMENTS BY DON B. -
 - In fact, it was presented as an Ontario Common Front demonstration but the Crown always tries to make it sound far
worse or fearful, to use or try to create a prejudice, in their writing of history - their way.