Written by Ajamu Nangwaya
By Black Action Defense Committee
Having got a chance to review what is being proposed as the Community Engagement Policy of the Toronto Police Services Board and the Joint Statements of the Board and Police Chief William Blair.
I am absolutely appalled and horrified by some aspects of the content of these guidelines and by the events that have led to this revised, watered down version of the Policy, as well as some critical features of the current policy which have been omitted from this Draft Policy.
Essentially, The Board has taken upon itself to make constitutional law (a role that devolves to the Parliament of Canada under the Constitution), by giving the police the authority to stop and interrogate any person, without having reasonable and probable grounds for assuming that the individual has committed an offence, or are likely to commit an offence.
This is in definite violation of the Rights protected under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
This Policy therefore, constitutes an attempt to amend the Charter of Rights And Freedoms by the Police Services Board and the Chief of police, with the aid of an old retired Judge whose rulings should be researched.
It is incongruent with the charter, the Human Rights Code and the Police Services Act, all of which the policy purports to uphold.
Most of the language in the policy is from the regular police vernacular, including the new proposed name for the Policy, “Police Engagement” All of police activities are engagements, however, sometimes the engaged persons end up badly injured, and/or many of them end up dead.
Read more: http://pridenews.ca/2015/04/01/bad-c-blasts-police-board-on-its-community-engagement-policy/
Written by Ajamu Nangwaya
By PATRICK HUNTER
On his way out the door, the Chief of the Toronto Police Service (TPS) has essentially given the finger to the Black community. In spite of your protests and condemnations, Black community, the Toronto Police Service will continue to stop and record information about community members, and we have the power to do so.
Sure, there are updated guidelines to clarify when, how and why “community engagements” should take place. The police officer, or the “Service member”, has been given specific instructions as to what constitutes a community engagement so that the community member is clear that he or she is not being detained – including psychological detention. But, the Service member is not required to tell the community member that he or she has the right to end the “engagement” if he or she so chooses.
Now, it is possible that if there are witnesses around, and someone decides to end an engagement, he or she can do so without fear. What happens if that young person is encountered alone? As an older person, I would probably have the guts to ask if I were being detained. If the officer says no, I could, and would be within my rights to say that this engagement has ended and walk away. Can you imagine a younger person saying that without fear?
Read more: http://sharenews.com/chief-blair-gives-finger-to-the-black-community/