Toronto's police Chief Bill Blair opens his mouth, and mindless and dangerous nonsense pours out. He should be replaced.
1) In relation to reports of police physically assaulting reporters, he said he'll defend all of the officers' actions. All? No matter what? [LINK]
(To Blair) That's not your job. Your job is to keep an open mind, and fully cooperate with the investigations. And if wrong-doing is indicated, your job is to throw the bad apples off the force and assist with the criminal prosecution of them. That's your job. That's what you're paid to do.
(To Blair) You're supposed to say, "I am proud of the members of the force and I believe that we did a good job during the G8/G20. If mistakes were made, then we will face those and learn from them. And if serious wrong-doing occurred, then we will take or support appropriate consequences against those members. We are a proud force and we will not whitewash errors or illegal actions by our members." That's what you're supposed to say.
(To Blair) Not just mindlessly defend all of police actions. That's whitewashing and should result in you being fired and perhaps (if you aid a coverup) criminally charged.
2) When asked Tuesday if there actually was a five-metre rule given the ministry's clarification, Chief Bill Blair smiled and said, "No, but I was trying to keep the criminals out." [LINK]
How many people were illegally arrested (and assaulted) for crossing the non-existent 5m boundary? Let the lawsuits begin. And a systematic violation of basic rights should be a criminal offense.
The relationship between these reports and tasers is that the law enforcement community often claim that they have a sufficiently developed organizational maturity and high ethical standards such that they can be trusted with portable electrotorture devices.
The implications of Braidwood, and Blair's mouth, prove that we're a long way from that nirvana.
History teaches us that this sort of law enforcement attitude is a far greater threat (in the long run) to fundamental rights and freedoms than those criminal elements that break windows and cause riots.
Don't get me wrong, the rioting anarchists should be hit with the full force of the legal system (not including gratuitous official assault). Several years (years!) in jail for the worst of them would be perfectly appropriate. I have zero sympathy for them.
But these comments by Blair are what would be expected in a corrupt, third-world, backwater police state.
I can't see how Blair could emerge unscathed from the dark and frightening shadow of these statements.
UPDATE: Several bolog hits arriving from Google searches including search terms such as "Toronto Police Chief Fired" and "Bill Blair Should Be Fired". I guess it's not just me that is shocked and surprised by his reported comments.
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