SIU charges Toronto officer in Adam Nobody beating, as poll shows confidence in police slipping
Breaking news today as the SIU—the body looking into police behaviour during the G20—announces it has finally, after the second attempt, managed to find an example of lawbreaking among the cops. Constable Babak Andalib-Goortani is being charged with assault with a weapon and will appear in court January 24, 2011. This is all a result of the now-infamous assault on Adam Nobody, whose case is one of the more obviously questionable ones to come out of that weekend.
Apparently, something about the random nature of police violence has turned Canadians against their boys in blue. According to an EKOS poll commissioned by the CBC, confidence in law enforcement remains high nationwide, but it’s slipping in places with recent scandals about police and the use of force.
In Toronto, 28 per cent of respondents said their trust has decreased. In Ottawa, despite a smaller sample size of only 86 people surveyed, there were some differences showing higher levels of distrust.
“It really struck a chord in Ottawa — the abuses of the young makeup artist that was detained and really mishandled badly in terms of how things worked when she got to the jail,” said Frank Graves.
He was referring to the case of Stacey Bonds, who is suing police for $1.2 million after her violent detention and strip-search was captured on jailhouse video.
The sample sizes for individual cities are pretty small, so it would be dangerous to draw clear lessons from this poll. But let’s anyway: it sure seems likely that when confronted with video evidence of police exceeding their powers and dishing out violence that doesn’t appear justified, many (though not most) are less inclined to cut the police some slack.
Maybe the news of Andalib-Goortani’s charge will start to lift Toronto’s opinion of the police, or at least their capacity for controlling themselves. It’s hardly a clean slate for the cops, and we’d love to see somebody other than a ground-level policeman get seriously investigated for the G20 mess, but it’s a start.
• SIU: Toronto Police Service Police Officer Charged [Marketwire]
• Public faith in local police still high: EKOS [CBC News]
6 thoughts on “SIU charges Toronto officer in Adam Nobody beating, as poll shows confidence in police slipping”
White Toronto is finally getting a taste of what has been happening in Jane/Finch, Flemo and Thorncliffe Park for years. Cops are thugs…they are the biggest gang in Toronto. Only when white kids taste the boot does it become news worthy.
In no way is this an instance of the police controlling themselves.
This is an instance of the independent police-oversight board charging a cop with wrongdoing.
I find it interesting that CBC’s headline basically insinuates that trust in police remains strong (“Public faith in local police still high”) while Toronto Life’s headline says “as poll shows confidence in police slipping”. Just sayin.
Both the Toronto Police and the OPP refer to themselves as paramilitary organizations. This can only lead to a culture of viewing the general public, as well as criminals, as groups differing from law enforcement. It makes me wonder, therefore, who they “serve and protect” first. Their organizations? Their bosses?
What we need is a culture change. Easy for me to say, but who is up to the task?
One wonders if it is ignorance or bias that leaned this story to a “a few cops screwed up but the public trusts them” slant. Nobody I know that has been reading the news or was witness to any of the disgusting and typical police action has faith in the police. Like any union the members fear little about job loss and know they can get away with near murder. Beat someone up at your bank job never work in the industry again. Beat someone up as a cop you are looking at time off.
I’m a young black male who grew up in subsidized housing..we lived through g20s through out my entire adolecent years & it was never news worthy (in fact, i was made 2 believe i brought unwanted police attention upon myself by ‘looking like a thug’). Just like Jane Creba, it has 2 happen to middle class white people before it becomes an issue.
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