Are Canadian cops following illegal orders?

This is a frightening thought indeed!

But, from Caledonia – where a police officer is reported ti have broken down in tears at the shame of following an obviously illegal order, as she followed it and  arrested a man who’s only crime was that he tried to go h0me…while his home was in an area illegally occupied by Native protesters, to this incident reported by a citizen-journalist, the blogger Lumpy, Grumpy and Frumpy:

“There exist in Toronto today legally enforced no-go zones for Zionists.

The location and boundaries of these Zionist-free zones are defined at the whim of anti-Zionists and enforced by police.

What had I done? I stood near (but not too close) to a gathering of anti-Israel people. I photographed them as they held their signs and candles on a public sidewalk in a public display of protest which was advertised publicly. I had spoken only when spoken to and then not with any profanity or threats. I did not have any signs, logos, buttons or flags on my person. I did not chant or sing or say anything political. I had called for the police when I felt threatened.

Now, throughout this whole thing, a freelance reporter stood nearby with his large camera and no one stopped him from recording anything and no one made him leave. I was threatened with arrest and made to leave because I was identified as a Zionist whose mere presence was so upsetting that I was guilty of a criminal offense.

Read it and weep! I did…

Thanks to BCF for bringing it to my attention!

9 Responses to “Are Canadian cops following illegal orders?”

  1. Josephine Says:

    Thanks for the link, Xanthippa.

    I think the “Breach of the Peace” might very well be a one-size-fits-all trump card.

    Someone’s feelings were upset that I was standing there — uh oh, feelings crime in process! — and all of my rights went out the window.

  2. Lieutenant Calculus Says:

    After some thinking, one of the things that tick me off with this type of story is that is the violation of civilization principles (I really need to find a catchy phrase for it.) We are responsible for our own actions and choices. This plays out time and again in both legal (criminals as defined by their actions are to be condemned/punished) and economic (earning/keeping the fruits of one’s labour).

    However, in stories such as this group A has convinced the law enforcement that they are not responsible for their (group A) actions, and the law enforcement has agreed that group A will not be responsible for their actions, which in my eyes make the law enforcement complicit. This is a civilization principle violation, with some corruption thrown in for good measure. Unacceptable.

    Xanthippa says:

    Yes, I agree with you fully.

    That is why I am raising the issue of holding individual police officers responsible for following orders which, as you have expressed much better than I had, start out from the default point that ‘group A’ is not to be held responsible for its actions, and therefore anyone who comes close enough to them to precipitate any action from said ‘group A’ will be held responsible for ‘disturbing the peace’ through becoming victimized by that ‘group A’.

    In my never-humble-opinion, such orders are illegal. And, any police officer who follows them ought to be prosecuted for following illegal orders!

    Yes, it is tough on the individual police officers: standing up to their superiors is not easy. But, upholding laws IS the path in life they had chosen – therefore, they must be held up to that standard! No state may oppress its citizens unless the agents of the state (like individual police officers) become complicit in this oppression and carry out the actual acts of oppression….

    • CodeSlinger Says:

      Lieutenant Calculus

      The catchy phrase you’re looking for is “unalienable rights.”

      • Lieutenant Calculus Says:

        Codeslinger,

        It’s catchy, but I don’t think it quite captures it for I am not referring to rights, but rather the ?principles/values/axioms behind them. I do not see rights as standing alone in a vacuum; they come from somewhere and stand on a ?backdrop/background/foundation of ?principles/values/axioms. Whether they are derived from them or are emergent, I don’t know, but it is food for thought for another day. Hmm, perhaps two different classes or directions based upon derivation or emergence–but I digress.

        (Apologies for the embedded ‘?’. Often times I am unsure of the correct or best or appropriate word so I start cycling through words that are close to what I want to convey.)

      • CodeSlinger Says:

        Lieutenant Calculus:

        The rights of man are derived from the nature of man. Society has value only to the extent that it improves the individual’s ability to do what he could already do without it. Things like feed himself, defend himself, benefit from his own actions, and do as he pleases.

        Those rights cannot be infringed without endangering the individual’s life or reducing its worth to the individual. That is why the rights of man are what they are, and why they are unalienable.

        The only valid limit on those rights is set by the need to balance them evenly against the equal rights of other individuals. Every act of will that violates this balance is a crime, the severity of a crime is the degree to which is violates this balance, and whatever does not violate this balance is not a crime.

        The state has no rights at all, not even the right to exist. Its existence is conditional on faithfully performing its only legitimate function, which is to safeguard the rights of all individuals.

        That is all that needs to be said about the rights of man. Every other aspect of a just society follows from it by reason tempered with compassion.

      • Lieutenant Calculus Says:

        Codeslinger,

        Thank you for your latest post on this thread! Not only has it made things clearer to me, you’ve also persuaded me that it is a better angle at which to look at things.

  3. CodeSlinger Says:

    Xanthippa:

    Cops are trained to follow orders. If they were ordered to shoot you, most of them would. Especially if they were “briefed” first to give them ways of rationalizing it. Since rejecting such rationalizations means getting “kicked off the force,” they are strongly motivated to accept them.

    In recruitment, candidates who show a tendency to think independently are weeded out. Subsequent training and assimilation into the force are designed to stamp out any remaining trace. As a result, independent thinking is even less common in the police force than in the general public. By a long shot.

    That’s why it worries me that they are required to carry weapons, and I’m prohibited from doing likewise.

    Xanthippa says:

    Yes. Same here.

    But none of this means that we can stop pointing out what ‘ought to’ be happening…

  4. balbulican Says:

    I’ve read about a dozen regurgitations of this silliness on several blogs now, and I’m struck by the fact that all of you seem to accept the word of “Citizen-Journalist” Frumpy at absolute face value. Now, this is someone who makes a habit out of going to vigils and other events by groups she despises, taking pictures, provoking a reaction, then racing home and crying martyrdom on her blog. And that’s okay: everyone should have a hobby, and this one gets her out in the air, and a bit of exercise.

    However, Frumpy is not a journalist: she is a propagandist. It’s fashionable among jaded bloggers to pretend there’s no distinction. Nonsense.

    What actually happened? A progagandist went out for the umpteenth time and harrassed a group of people holding what she herself describes as a quiet vigil. She was confronted by someone who resented her intrusion, and appeared to recognize her as a repeat disruptor. She asked a cop to chastise them. The cop instead asked her to remove herself to a distance of 25 meters. Bingo! Time to race home and blog.

    We’re calling it Fauxtrage.

    Xanthippa says:

    You are correct in saying that I am only taking her word for it, and that I don’t really know what happened in that incident. Point taken.

    However, the pattern of behaviour of the police which I am lamenting is not limited to this one incident – and certainly has been observed and well documented in other instances. If you need examples, you need not look further than Caledonia and the treatment the Brown family received at the hands of the OPP. Christina Blizzard had covered the trial, which was just settled ‘out of court’…

    The OPP failed to respond to frantic 9-1-1 calls from citizens, frightened and trapped in their homes which were NEAR (not on) land that ‘Native protesters’ (as they were referred to in the media) claimed ought to belong to them. The ‘Native Braves’ terrorized – quite intentionally – the residents, damaged their property, limited their freedom of movement (only permitted them to go to, or out of, their homes when the ‘Braves’ permitted, etc.). And, when Mr. Brown tried to go home – where his terrified wife was alone – at a time when the ‘Braves’ decided not to permit him to, the OPP arrested Mr. Brown!!!

    The court testimony included statements that the OPP officer arresting Mr. Brown apologized – and was in tears as she did so – for having to arrest him as she carried out the order to do so. Rather than arresting those people who were breaking the law, but who were armed and in a large group, the OPP chose to arrest their victim!!!

    That is not right. No matter how you slice it, that is not right.

    And ‘Caledonia’ is NOT the only place this sort of thing is happening: police officers arrest/restrict the citizen(s) who are not breaking the law out of fear of ‘provoking’ a militant ‘protected’ group (it would look bad on camera if the police were to take action against this specific religious or ethnic minority…). This has been happening more and more over the last few years.

    And that is not upholding the laws of our land!

    Rather, it is oppressing the law-abiding citizens because it is easier than to force militants to obey the law! And, in the case of the Brown family in Caledonia, it appears to be ‘race-based policing’: members of one race were held to different standards than members of another race, instead of being treated equally under the law.

    This should not be that hard a concept: police should uphold our laws and treat each and every citizen equally.

    Not take ‘the easy way out’ or obey orders which put appearances of political correctness above the innate rights of the citizens they swore to protect.

    Therefore, Balbulican, I would like to re-focus my commentary: it is on this often reported, well documented, pattern of behaviour of the police and not any single incident which may or may not have been accurately reported.

  5. CodeSlinger Says:

    Xanthippa:

    Strangely, the Government of Canada does not seem to make the Criminal Code available on line, but I was able to find it on a page entitled Criminal Code, R.S.C. 1985, c. C-46 on the web site of the Canadian Legal Information Institute. Sections 30 and 31 reads as follows:

    Preventing breach of peace

    30. Every one who witnesses a breach of the peace is justified in interfering to prevent the continuance or renewal thereof and may detain any person who commits or is about to join in or to renew the breach of the peace, for the purpose of giving him into the custody of a peace officer, if he uses no more force than is reasonably necessary to prevent the continuance or renewal of the breach of the peace or than is reasonably proportioned to the danger to be apprehended from the continuance or renewal of the breach of the peace.

    Arrest for breach of peace

    31. (1) Every peace officer who witnesses a breach of the peace and every one who lawfully assists the peace officer is justified in arresting any person whom he finds committing the breach of the peace or who, on reasonable grounds, he believes is about to join in or renew the breach of the peace. [underline added]

    I also found a page entitled Information on Public Order – Demonstrators on the RCMP web site, which tells us:

    An arrest for breach of the peace, whether under the Criminal Code or the common law, does not result in a charge. The purpose of an arrest for breach of peace is to end the breach and restore order.

    So we have to admit that the cop acted within the law. It seems prudent: when faced with a gaggle of volatile Jewish and Muslim women who seem bent on scratching each others eyes out, the sensible thing to do is to separate them. And the most practical way to do that is to move the smaller group, especially when the smaller group consists of one lone female who seems to be a trouble maker.

    As a matter of principle, I don’t much like the idea of a law that empowers the police to prevent crimes they think are going to be committed in the future, except perhaps in cases of clear and present danger. In every other case, I think it should be written in stone that he police have no business getting involved in anybody’s private affairs unless a crime has been committed. Past tense.

    But then, this wasn’t a private affair. It was a rather public altercation that showed every sign of having the potential to escalate into violence. So, again, I can’t find really fault with the way the police officer conducted himself.

    One thing I thought was noteworthy about section 30 is that it refers to “every one” as compared to “every peace officer” in section 31. Which means, not only were the police justified in telling Josephine to back off, but any random passer by would have been justified in doing likewise! Surprise, surprise.

    But that wasn’t the real surprise. The real surprise was this: the phrase “breach of the peace” is not defined in the Criminal Code. In fact, I couldn’t find a definition anywhere that looked like it carried any legal weight. So I guess it is left up to the discretion of the individual.

    Now that was unexpected…


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