Meet the people who supposedly keep cops accountable

Stan T. Lowe and his crew of ex-cops

They run B.C.’s Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner and
they wield power over the Independent Investigations Office too.
But they’re doing their best to serve the police, not the public

Since its inception, B.C.’s Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner
has been run by disreputable characters — Don Morrison, Dirk Ryneveld
and now Stan T. Lowe — who have all made big money covering up for cops. Continue reading

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A thought on transit police from The Bus Riders Union

Are the transit police making the transit system safer? Let’s look at the facts:Transit-Police-900x600
  • Transit police have assaulted transit riders, and they admit to tasering people for not paying their fares.
  • Transit police harass First Nations people and people of colour.
  • Transit police target fare checks against people who look poor.
  • Transit police have called Immigration on people they think are undocumented migrants. Because of this, many undocumented people will not ride transit because they are afraid of being deported.
  • Transit police admit that fare enforcement is their first priority, before the safety and well-being of transit riders.
  • Transit police issue $173 fines to people who can’t afford the transit fare.
  • Undercover transit police fine people who give their used tickets away to people who can’t afford the fare
The transit system belongs to all of us!

In 2006, TransLink spent $16.6 million to hire 84 transit police with full powers to arrest, detain and issue fines in and around Skytrain stations. Now there are 156 transit police, and TransLink plans to hire even more. Transit police have guns – which makes Metro Vancouver the first place in Canada with an armed police force.

The transit police say their job is to enforce fares, not protect our safety.

Women have been kicked off the bus and SkyTrain late at night because they don’t have enough money to pay the fare. This puts them at increased risk of assault.

TransLink likes to blame their budget shortage on ‘fare evaders’. This is poor-bashing. In 2007 TransLink lost $6.4 million dollars to fare evasion – less than half of what they spent on transit police. And ninety-seven percent of all rides are paid for! This shows that fare evasion is not a big problem.

Not paying your bus fare is the same as not paying the meter when you park your car. But car drivers with parking tickets are not called criminals. And parking tickets are only $46, which is a lot less than the $173 fine facing bus riders without a valid fare. Bus riders without a valid fare also face the threat of police violence.

People who can’t afford bus fare are treated like criminals. But our transit system belongs to everyone. We paid for it, and the government runs it.

The transit police admit that they have tasered people who did not have a valid fare. It’s no wonder that more and more people are afraid to ride the bus or skytrain because of the police. The fear is felt most intensely in communities of colour – where people also experience racial profiling from transit police.

Putting police on the bus is another step towards treating our transit system like a private business. It’s all part of privatization. Privatization means that private companies make money off of the transit system that we pay for.

Over the last five years fares have gone up forty percent! High fares are also caused by privatization. So are cuts to service. The money raised from service cuts and high fares is being used to build the Canada line. The Canada line is the largest privatization project in Canadian history, and it is going to cost over $2 billion dollars. That’s a lot more than ‘fare evasion’ ever cost the transit system.

What would a safe transit system be like?
  • Safety means being able to ride the bus with dignity, and room to sit down.
  • Safety means the bus is there for you when you need it – at all times of the day or night.
  • Safety means being able to afford to get on the bus.
  • Safety means being treated with respect, regardless of race, gender or income.

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Vancouver Police go “Beyond the Call”, Gang arrest a 100 pound woman…….

1238992_649837271696051_1460301578_nI took this photograph of a woman being arrested and taken away yesterday in front of the Sunrise Hotel on Hastings Street. She weighed probably well under 100 lbs and presumably was behaving erratically on the street. There are in fact two more officers in behind the scene who are not visible. She was terrified. At one point the officer in front pushed her head down and she screamed while the other officer in the back put cuffs on her. Is there any other way to help people with mental illnesses? Photo copyright Gabor Gasztonyi.

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Judge calls Abbotsford police ‘a place that time forgot’

By Jason Proctor, CBC News Posted: Dec 05, 2013

Paraplegic man suing City of Abbotsford after being subjected to degrading treatment by police..

The Abbotsford Police Department is reviewing its policies for interactions with disabled prisoners after a blistering B.C. Supreme Court judgment said that officers who arrested a paraplegic man subjected him to “inhumane,” “degrading” and “outrageous” treatment.

Ryan Austin Moonie launched a civil claim against the department this week for breaching his right to life, liberty and security under Section 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

In his notice of claim, Moonie cites a previously unpublished decision by B.C. Supreme Court Justice Kathleen Ker, who stayed 10 firearm and drug-related charges against him in April because of the force’s “blatant disregard” for his human dignity. Continue reading

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Vancouver homeless man alleges police brutality

CBC Oct 22, 2013hi-bc-131022-travis-dunford-1-week-after

A Downtown Eastside homeless man says Vancouver police threw him to the ground, punching and kicking his face, while arresting him for allegedly stealing a bicycle tire in Olympic Village in September.

Travis Dunford, 36, says he was arrested on Sept. 24, suspected of stealing a bicycle tire near the Tap & Barrel Pub.

Dunford, who admits committing petty theft to feed a heroin habit, alleges that, even after he was in handcuffs, with his face pushed to the ground, officers continued to kick him.

“I dropped the tire on the officer’s foot. Next thing I know, my face is on the ground like a cheese grater. They’re kicking me,” said Dunford.

The Pivot Legal Society has taken over the case, and is asking witnesses to come forward. Lawyer Douglas King said Dunford suffered more than just cuts and bruises.

“The most serious of his injuries is to the left eye, which was almost completely swollen shut, the day after this occurred,” said King.

“All of this suggest that a moderate degree of force was used against him.”

Vancouver Police Sgt. Randy Fincham said the incident occurred around 11:00 p.m. PT, when police confronted and attempted to take into custody a man suspected of stealing a bait bicycle they had set out.

“During that incident the person that was riding the bicycle, after refusing to follow police commands, fell … or was taken to the ground by police, where that person did sustain an injury,” said Fincham.

According to Fincham, paramedics attended the scene, and that person was taken to the hospital as a precaution.

Fincham also stated the injury was reported to the VPD Professional Standards Section, and the following day it was also reported to the Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner.

King said incidents like Dunfords don’t move forward because these complaints are investigated by police, instead of the independent office.

“Police have their own version of events. Without an independent system of investigation.. the only people who are successful are the ones with video footage or someone who can back up what they say.”

King estimates for every one caught on video, a dozen aren’t, which he said can lead to police brutality going unreported.

The Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner provides independent civilian oversight of complaints involving municipal police in B.C.

Without a witness, the case doesn’t qualify to be investigated by the independent investigation organization.

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Former Edmonton cop Derek Huff blows whistle on brutality, corruption

A former cop with an exemplary record is going public about what he calls corruption in Edmonton police ranks, after he tried internally to expose what he believes is organized brutality, but got no results.

“I stood up for what’s right, and I just got run out of the police service,” said Derek Huff, 37. “I still can’t even really believe it.”

Huff is a 10-year-veteran who resigned in February, three years after he said he and his partner watched — stunned — as three plainclothes officers viciously beat a handcuffed man while he was down.

“They basically had their knees on his back and were just punching and kicking him just as hard as they could …six fists just pummelling this guy … I could hear him screaming,” said Huff. Continue reading

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Former RCMP spokesman sued for alleged sexual assault

CBC News Posted: Aug 1, 2013

A former civilian member of the RCMP’s B.C. communication division is suing the force and a former top spokesman for alleged sexual assault.3718.timshields

In a claim filed today in B.C. Supreme Court, Atoya Montague alleges Insp. Tim Shields abused his position of authority over her to commit acts of sexual assault.

The governments of British Columbia and Canada are also named in the lawsuit.

Montague held a senior civilian position within the RCMP’s B.C. communications division, where she worked with Shields.

She alleges that in 2003 while driving to the B.C. Interior with Shields he made unwanted sexual advances toward her.

“While driving and in control of the vehicle, the defendant Shields, showed the plaintiff his erection through his jean shorts and made sexual advances towards the plaintiff, asking the plaintiff to have sex with him and advising her that he could easily pull over the car so that he could perform oral sex on her,” the lawsuit alleges.

Montague also claims Shields exposed himself to her in 2008 during a similar incident in a police car. Continue reading

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Trigger-Happy Cops – USA

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