G20 shows how sorely we need better cops

There is never an excuse for a cop kneeling on a person’s head, beating an unoffensive person with a fist or club, or shooting teargas and plastic bullets into a non-resisting crowd. Those are felonies.

By Frank Touby –

Compared with Jackboot Julian Fantino, the law’n’order poseur who was our previous police chief, current Chief Bill Blair is a pretty good guy. Fantino turned our thin blue line into a black line with intimidating stormtrooper-colour uniforms. He scoffed at ground-level neighbourhood policing and wanted his troops ensconced in vehicles. The better to cluster at a scene, perhaps.

Sadly, Blair has fatal flaws that undermine his ability to serve the public ahead of his service to the men and women under him.

He muted his reaction to one of the worst offences a cop can commit: removing an ID badge or number to prevent being reported for wrongdoing. No cop who does that should be allowed to remain in police service anywhere in Canada, yet multitudes of Toronto police got away with it. For that reason alone, Blair must be replaced.

There is never an excuse for a cop kneeling on a person’s head, beating an unoffensive person with a fist or club, or shooting teargas and plastic bullets into a non-resisting crowd. Those are felonies. Felons don’t belong on the police force. Yet ex-cop union head Craig Bromell, who wrote a now-cancelled reality-based cop show (The Bridge on CTV), showed fictional Toronto cops committing murder and other heinous crimes. Brommell claims he took examples from his real life experiences.

Torontonians have a right to a professional police force and there is a too-large fraction of the force who are either amateurs or outright thugs.

The city needs a new regime in the police service and the board that oversees it. Considering the outrageous misbehaviour by so many police on our streets during the G20 there must be an overhaul of some personnel. And the Police Services Board, ineptly headed by Alok Mukherjee, must be overhauled. Despite the overwhelming abuses by police during G20, Mukherjee (like ditzy ex-mayor David Miller) immediately came out with praise for their actions. This all happened on his watch. He’s got to go.

Stephen Harper is a villain for holding the G20 here. Dalton McGuinty, maybe soon to be voted out, is a villain for permitting it to happen off federal lands and on our streets. Miller of course was just oblivious and happily permitted outside cops to police our streets. That’s strictly the job of our own cops.

Let’s get our city cops out of the black and back into police blue. They don’t need to look like stormtroopers to be intimidating when it’s required. Society endows awesome powers on all police. They can even affect the outcome of your entire life. That is intimidation enough. We don’t need them beating us up on our streets to get the point across.

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