Wednesday, November 17, 2010

What has to happen...

...before meaningful police reform occurs in this country? They've killed an unarmed and distraught man at YVR, assaulted and imprisoned a thousand Canadians marching in Toronto, shocked the elderly and babies, broken bones, and now the latest to come to light: an abitrary arrest and assault on a young woman guilty of no crime. Assaulted and left topless and terrified to the point of shitting herself in her cell. Why? For the "crime" of asking why she was stopped in the first place. \

Do the police have to massacre a cell full of drunks? Get caught gang raping a student?

My pissed-off-the-top-of-my-head solutions?

1. Change the legal and legistlative structure governing policing. Ban associations and unions. Yes, I mean break those organisations. The other major armed SERVICE in this country isn't unionised and does not have labour protections, why then should the police? If the cops don't like it, they are welcome to find other work. The rationale here is to break the systemic factors that lead to attitudes of impunity. Uniforms, weapons, legal authority, and the 'blue wall' contribute to an environment that protects the sadists and bullies rots the whole organisation.

Break that structure. At the minimum, legislate that certain forms of police misconduct must result in summary dismissal from policing and a ban from participation in law enforcement activity or groups for life. Change the Police Act and Criminal Code, and any other applicable laws. Create new statute if need be.

2. Break the relationship between Crown and police in cases involving police misconduct. Bring in Crown and/or from elsewhere in Canada or perhaps the Commonwealth for investigating and prosecuting criminal charges against given local police. Perhaps link these to independent police complaints commissions with authority and mandate to dismiss and charge police.

3. Set up an ombudservice with teeth for police themselves where their grievances can be aired and dealt with outside of chains of command and local group-culture. Give it the power to randomly or purposefully audit police forces and detachments throughout the country. Allow it to randomly access station and vehicle video.

4. Legislate an inflation/cost of living indexed universal pay and benefits scale for serving police to mitigate the impact of the loss of unions. Perhaps include rotations in and out of more difficult roles, like operational rotos in the military. Maybe include six month or year long paid sabbaticals.

This isn't a war on police, it's a reform. Good police are necessary, and we need to keep those ones over the bad.


liberal supporter said...

Obviously the police need to go on a training mission.

After losing the war in Afghanistan, our military is now going to have a training mission, and hopefully we will get some great training straight from the people who defeated us.

I thought it might be nice to send the defense procurement people as well, so they can see how, with less than the price of just ONE F-35, they could finance an armed force for 10 years that we were unable to defeat.

So perhaps some RCMP could go on the training course too. Then they could learn how to get away with murder, because they're getting caught too often.

The Mound of Sound said...

A good start? Introduce a 'zero tolerance' policy on police perjury. When they get caught giving demonstrably false evidence, straight off to a special prosecutor. No plea bargain. A straight up acquittal/conviction regime with a mandatory minimum sentence, say four years. On conviction immediate dismissal and forfeiture of all pension entitlement.

I believe it's their unspoken immunity on the perjury business that lies at the root of a lot of their other excesses. It sort of places them above the law. Eddie Greenspan wrote a book on this many years back. A worthwhile read.

Beijing York said...

Vic Toews should reserve those new prisons for the perpetrators of all these unprosecuted crimes.

I would like to know which Nova Scotian asshole police officer arrested a kid for throwing apples at a postman? RIP Ashley Smith.