Posts Tagged ‘Food for Thought’

RCMP ≠ PRO-FUNC

Posted: April 11, 2013 by tysonnesdoly in Uncategorized
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“The oppressed are allowed once every few years to decide which particular representatives of the oppressing class are to represent and repress them.”
― Karl Marx (Karl Marx Quotes)

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            North America is referred to as a “developed” nation compared to nations such as South Africa, Afghanistan and Russia (UN, 2011). However, I feel like this is something that we as Canadians have, directly or indirectly, taken advantage of. I believe we have an attitude that we are invulnerable to any type of large scale political repression. Unfortunately, this is exactly what happened for close to 30 years after the 50’s. During this time, the RCMP and the Canadian government put together a list labeled “PROFUNC,” which stood for, “Predominant Functionaries of the Communist party.” This list was to be used to detain all suspected communists supporters and ‘sympathizers,’ including their families, and hold them in any case of a ‘perceived’ national emergency. This list included approximately 16,000 supporters and 50,000 sympathizers***. The RCMP had conducted surveillance of these individuals and is alleged to have even been involved in forms of intimidation to the individuals and their families. To learn more on this subject click here.

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            This behaviour by the authorities is very obviously deviant as the allegations that justified the disregard for these people’s rights were solely based off of their ‘legal’ opposition to the current government. It is, however, difficult to focus on an individual form of police deviance to really understand it. A form of deviance that best describes this case is the “Ideological combatants” (Punch, 2009). The premise behind this form is that the political influence behind the police is the main driving force behind police actions. The fact that this initiative was authorized by the federal government supports the theory that it was an effort to take extreme measures to prevent a real democratic revolution. The responsibility of the deviance falls on not only the frontline officers, but of the organization and government structure as a whole. Obviously, the orders filter down from the top and end up at the constables who carried out the “beat work.” Just because the officers were ordered to conduct themselves in this way, doesn’t mean it was legally or morally justified. Take the “Nuremberg defense” used by Nazi soldiers after the holocaust, for example. Just because they were “taking orders,” doesn’t necessarily mean they are free from any type of responsibility (Eichmann). Police officers are held at a high standard of ethics regarding the discretion used and when it comes to violating the rights of individuals, politics has no place.

            The treatment of Capitalist opposition at the hands of the RCMP from the 1950’s to the 1980’s was a dark time in Canadian policing history. To understand this form of deviance, one must not follow blindly with the ideologies of the ruling class. The individuals affected by the PROFUNC initiative have the absolute right to freedom of speech and the right to think independently. We as Canadians must ensure that we do not take for granted the democratic rights available to us and must make sure to keep all levels of law enforcement and government accountable; as they are ultimately at the mercy of the public, not the other way around.

Bibliography

Eichmann, A. (n.d.). The Trial of Adolf Eichmann. Retrieved 2013, from Remember.org: http://www.remember.org/eichmann/ownwords.htm

Karl Marx Quotes. (n.d.). Retrieved 2013, from Good Reads: http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/54019-the-oppressed-are-allowed-once-every-few-years-to-decide

Punch, M. (2009). Police Corruption: Deviance, Accountability and Reform in Policing. London; New York: Routledge.

UN. (2011). Human Development Report. New York: UNDP.

At the glance of the cover of Gord Hill’s comic, I noticed that there are two groups of people rivaling each other. The left side of the cover appears to be a group of rebels and the right side of the cover appears to be a group of riot police. The comic had illustration the protestors wearing full black vandalizing cars, breaking glass windows, and stealing parts of mannequins from shops. The protestors were shown to resist the force of the police, throwing rocks at a group of cops. The comic also illustrated the police brutality that occurred in the G20 Toronto summit. The police were aggressive to the pacifist protesters and proceed to charge at them after the pacifist protestors finished singing Canada’s national anthem, “Oh Canada.” Mounted police were sent to the event, so that they can easily charge into the crowd and “catch the agitators.” Due to having felt humiliated for being unable to control the crowd decided to assault anyone whether they are the pacifist protestors or a citizen passing by. At the last page of the comic, we see more of police attacking the protestors as well as arresting someone because they found evidence that the person might be one of the vandals from the protest. The last page also showed a bunch of riot police cornering a group of people into one area, calling the technique “Kettle” and also grabbing prisoners from the crowd and putting them on an unmarked police van. The comic then explains that an old studio was used to as a prison to put the protestors in.

There are many things in the comic that got my mind thinking. Firstly, the comic seemed to show more of the police brutality than the protest. Isn’t the comic called Anti-Capitalist Resistance?  Secondly, there is some uninformed information in the comic such as the reason to attack the pacifist protestors. The only reason that was given to why they attacked the protestors is because they failed to control them, but before that they were already attacking the protest. Another unexplained information is the raiding of the university at the last page of the comic. The police raided the university, but there was no reason why they raided the building other than the information that is where the protests were staying.

Other than the uninformed information, the comic displayed the relation between the police and the public citizens. There were many arrests of protests during the G20 incident, but shouldn’t the police who committed brutality be accountable for their actions?

A Research on Police Brutality

Posted: March 16, 2013 by pdbasinang in Uncategorized
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A Research on Police Brutality

There are a lot of police who break the rules and become deviant for certain reasons. There are two different types of police that break the rules. There are cops who commit dirty acts for dirty ends and there are cops commit dirty acts for good ends. The police that commit dirty acts for dirty ends are classic corrupt police and the police that commit dirty acts for good ends are called “Dirty Harrys.” The term “Dirty Harry” came from a 1971 film called “Dirty Harry”.  The movie is about an inspector name Harry “Dirty Harry” Callahan who defied the rules in order to achieve his goal. The question that criminologists are looking for is what causes them to become corrupt and why do they want to act deviant? We cannot rely on the data on police brutality because some of the police brutalities that had occurred were not recorded in Canada.  Majority of the events that are considered “police brutality” are blamed upon the police. A police should know the limit of their actions for they are trained to do so. There are many police that have a difficult time handling situation because of bad co-operations with other people, which police calls them “assholes.”

I propose to do research on police brutality and the relation with its victim as well as the amount of force the police use in police brutality. The research on the relation between the police and the victim of brutality can hopefully reveal whether the majority of the brutality is caused because of uncooperative people, or the police just wanted to abuse their power. We may also need to research on those who made a complaint with the police as well as the police’s side of the story to gain more accurate numbers of who is the one that is uncooperative. As for the research in the amount of force is used in police brutality, we need to make sure that the physical force that is applied onto the person is recorded because there are some police who do not write it on their report. Not only do does the force have to be recorded, but it should be categorized as well. The type of force was used, such as physical force or equipment usage (gun, stun gun, etc.), must recorded in its category.  This research can help us understand what kind of force is commonly used during police brutality.

This project should be funded because not only will it show data of police brutality, but also the number of force used in police brutality in British Columbia and compare the two on which one is commonly used. The research will also show the number of who is mostly the cause of this “phenomenon”, the “Dirty Harry” police or the “assholes” citizens?

References

Klocklars, C. B. (1980). The Dirty Hairy Problem.  T. Newburn (ed.), Policing Key Readings. Devon: William Publishing, p. 581-595

Maanen, J. V. (2005). The Assholes. T. Newburn (ed.), Policing Key Readings. Devon: William Publishing, p. 280-296

For over 30 years the human rights watch group have been working  hard to protect human rights globally.  The Human Rights Watch according to the their website describe themselves as: “Human Rights Watch is one of the world’s leading independent organizations dedicated to defending and protecting human rights. By focusing international attention where human rights are violated, we give voice to the oppressed and hold oppressors accountable for their crimes. Our rigorous, objective investigations and strategic, targeted advocacy build intense pressure for action and raise the cost of human rights abuse.”  with focus on international cases, the humans right watch looks at individual countries and investigates any type of forms of abuse.  They are dedicated to helping the victims and they work to prevent  discrimination and bring offenders to justice.

The human rights watch looked into a case in British Columbia where a number of disappearances resulted in murders. The lack of due diligence from the police department is seen as a causal factor of not stopping the serial killer on time. Furthermore, the disappearances were of many indigenous individuals. the Aboriginal communities and the RCMP have had a rocky relationship since. There seems to be no trust and co-operation from either parties. WIth the aboriginal community feeling neglectaed, further proof is brought forth by women who were interviewed, stated that they were mistreated when under custody. “A number of women interviewed by Human Rights Watch researchers alleged that RCMP officers used excessive force in arresting them, mistreated them while they were in custody and, in some cases, physically or sexually assaulted them.” (Globe and Mail. 2013) Many of these women feared for there safety so there were no formal complaints made and no investigations were conducted. The RCMP have taken much scrutiny in this matter and continues to do so as this topic is a hot debate topic for human rights groups.

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Many of the comments made can be seen as ignorant and insensitive. People repeatedly speak of the aboriginal people as “Indians.” One person comments saying: “Heres a better question, tell us who doesnt have a dysfunctional relationship with the indians?”  Many don’t see these comments as abuse. If a aboriginal individual is reading these comments, they would be and i would expect them to be offended by the ignorance and the arrogance. Many of of the comments made suggest that the people reading the articles already have an idea of what the issue is. Understanding there is tension between the aboriginal community and the RCMP. Also in the comments, a number of sarcastic comments appear about how there have been a lot of investigations about the RCMP now, when it should have been done a long time ago.  This in turn shows the lack of compassion the community cares for the aboriginal people. Many of the comments actually suggest that the aboriginal community is to blame for the miss treatment. “Natives want to be perpetual victims. Period. They have no desire to do anything else other that whine and complain about how everyone doesn’t kiss their a$$es.” (The Globe and Mail, 2013). though others actually offer some solutions: “Maybe a simple solution is to hire more First Nations people as RCMP members.”  This is pure and utter ignorance and disregard for the community we all collectively live in.

My own comments would include a short small stab at all the ignorant people. i would acknowledge the fact that the RCMP is being investigated and that there will be answer as to what actually happened.There has been many investigations on the RCMP for abuse and mistreatment. The Human Rights Watch report shows that this relationship is and can be duplicated with any community. Though it is a different question whether there was a lack of due diligence because it coincides with the aboriginal community. I would suggest that the RCMP become better organized and they try to fix the dysfunctional relationships that are already in harms way. the only way we can have functioning collaborative community is, if we all create a sense of responsibility for each individual that belongs to any organizations. a community together is a strong community.

Resources:

#1.

Human Rights Watch. (2013). ABOUT US. Retrieved March 3, 2013, from:

http://www.hrw.org/about

#2.

The Globe and Mail. (2013). MISSING WOMEN Human rights group says RCMP, native relationship ‘dysfunctional’. . Retrieved March 5CM, 2013, from:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/human-rights-group-says-rcmp-native-relationship-dysfunctional/article8572404/

The Central Field Command drug squad, Team 3, squad officers accused of beating and robbing suspects of drugs and large sums of money. after doing so they are accused of falisfying official police records to cover up their wrong doings. The charges against John Schertzer, Ned Maodus, Joe Miched, Ray Pollard and Steve Correia date back to the late 1990s. The offenses range from conspiracy to obstruct justice, to theft, assault, perjury and extortion.  The investigation started in 1997 and has gone through the courts and a verdict was handed, and there is an appeal in the process.

RCMP Chief Superintendent John Neily, handed in his final report to chief Julian Fantino, who was Toronto’s police chief until 2005, In it, he wrote that the task force had found evidence of a “crime spree” by “rogue officers.” He then went on to say “that the real victim, while initially portrayed to be drug dealers who may have lost cash, was indeed the justice system and the police service because by means of the courts, affidavits, search warrants and so on were being utilized as tools for the potential gain of the suspects,” who were all police officers. (CBC)

Throughout the investigation, the much of the information and evidence collected was circumstantial and that many of those who say they were robbed would not be reliable witnesses even if they were willing to come forward at all.

  • Allegations that members of Toronto Central Field Command’s drug squad beat up informants, stole money from drug dealers, gave false testimony, falsified documents and faked search warrants.
  • Allegations that Toronto 52 Division’s plainclothes officers demanded cash from bars in the entertainment district in exchange for protection.
  • Allegations of an improper relationship between some officers and luxury car-leasing salesman and convicted criminal Jeffrey Geller, who died in 2004.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/background/torontopolice/index-old.html

This is a clear form of corruption. First engaging in criminal activity and using their trust from the public and also using authority for personal gains. This falls right into the conventional definition of Corruption – An officer knowingly doing or not doing something against his or her duty for some form of financial or material gain or promise of such gain.

According to the Typology 1 –  from the The Knapp Commission (1972) this fits right into the model of Mister average, which is described as being an officer who is laidback about the rules and have the idea that “Don’t fill out form. We can bend some rules.” this become dangerous very fast. an officer choosing to fill out certain incident reports and forms can easily make an investigators job extremely difficult. by not leaving a paper trail, it is hard to prosecute and understand what happened. this is a major challenge prosecutors are dealing with in this case. These “Crusaders” saw an opportunity and used it for their own gain.

In the second typology which deal with the categories of practice, we see that the officers are using a clear Corruption of Authority. By using their authority they  are getting  personal gain by virtue of their own powers. this includes using their job tools in order to conduct business and find drug dealers and isolate business opportunities for themselves.One of the most apperant categories of practice in the second typology would have to be Opportunistic Theft which is stealing from crooks. This was exactly what the police officers did. Beating up drug dealers and crooks and taking their profit and drugs in order to sell it them selves. The officers used excessive force, unlawful searches and seizures, and theft of cash and valuables which fits right into the typologies we have discussed thus far. The officers also used The Fix, which is when evidence is sabotaged, key witnesses are made unavailable. This also fits into one of the first typologies of Corruption of authority.

In the third Category of typologies, ‘externally driven’ is most prominent. We see that the squad enforces the law when it is convenient to their own personal gain. The officers made sure that the enemies are crushed and they are not opposed in any way.

These types of typologies only scratch the surface of what is currently going on in our policing system throughout the world. only corruption rings are brought to light when the officers slip up or when an agency makes it public. we must be open to the fact that there are many more cases such as this that occur and are far more complex that involve many officers. Though they are sworn to protect and serve us, we must also effectively watch and investigate them of them doing their job correctly and within a code of conduct.

References:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/story/2013/01/04/toronto-police-officers-sentencing.html

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/story/2012/01/13/police-corruption-trial.html

Corruption time line:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/story/2012/01/13/police-corruption-trial.html#timeline

On May 8, 2012, an article from the New York Times revealed that a group of Baltimore police officers were involved in a scheme to obtain money by leading the accident victims to the Majestic Body Shop in exchange for money. The officers have been running this scheme for about two years when an officer name Jhonn S. Corona made a deal with the owners of the shop, Hernan Mereno Mejia and Edwin Mejia. When an accident occurs, the police were suppose to call for medallion tow trucks that are authorized by the city, but instead they call the Mejia brothers who send non-medallion trucks. The reason why they initiated this plan is because it is simple and easy to earn money. As the scheme progressed from time to time, the numbers of officers involved increased as Jhonn recruited officers and the recruited officers recruited more. According to the case, there were about 59 officers involved in the scandal. Some of the officers would go to a point where they create an “accident” by damaging the cars and then leading them to the body shop. When the plan was compromised because of FBI investigations and a complaint from a towing company employee, the brothers and Jhonn pleaded guilty at the trial and received a sentence of 2 and half years along with about 30 officers.

According to Knapp Commissioner, there are three different types of typologies of police corruption. The first typology explains the types of officer, the second typology explains the categories/classification, and the third typology explains the level of deviance. In the first typology there are three different types of officers which are the grass-eaters, meat-eaters, and the birds. The grass-eaters are the officers who “did not look for graft or kickbacks but passively accepted them as natural perks that were spontaneously on offer” (Punch, 2009). The meat-eaters are the deviant officers who “set out to make deals either of mutual benefit to the parties involved or in aggressive forms of extortion” (Punch, 2009). The birds are the officers who do not want to get involved with the corruption, but at the same time do not do anything about it. If the typologies were to be applied to the group of officers in the Majestic Body Shop case, the officer would be meat-eaters because they were working with another party (the Meija brothers) and both benefit from the corruption. In the second typology there are 9 different categories. They are corruption of authority, kickbacks, opportunistic theft, shakedowns, protection of illegal activities, the fix, direct criminal activities, internal pay-off, and flaking & padding. The category that would fit for the Baltimore officers would be the kickbacks because kickbacks “gain for referring business to particular firms” (Punch, 2009). The final typology has three different levels: externally driven, within the police domain, and system failure. The Baltimore police corruption would be in the ‘within the police’ level under the category ‘volume or conventional corruption’, which is a “wider range of more serious practices such as bribery, kickbacks, and shakedowns” (Punch, 2009), because the scheme is involved with officers with kickbacks.

References:

Punch, M. (2009). Police corruption: Deviance, accountability and reform in policing. Cullompton, Devon: Willan Publishing.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/09/us/baltimore-police-corruption-case-tests-commissioner.html

http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2011-02-23/news/bs-md-towing-corruption-20110223_1_edwin-javier-mejia-majestic-auto-repair-shop-medallion-towers

http://baltimore.cbslocal.com/2011/02/23/baltimore-police-officers-arrested-as-part-of-federal-investigation/

In the case of NYPD officer Gilberto Valle and his partner Van Hise , I have found several typologies in which had lead both officers into court, with the FBI involved.

The Knapp Commission is known for having three distinct categories to describe the different classes of police officer corruption. In June 1970, Federal Judge Whitman Knapp began to do an investigation on the NYPD and concluded that there were police officers were breaking the law themselves for personal gain. He found out that police officers were unethical and instead of enforcing they law, officers would allow people to break the law, as long as the officers gained some sort of compensation or gain.

On January 24, 2013, an article was published in the Daily Mail in New York in which NYPD officer Gilberto Valle was nicknamed “Cannibal Cop”. Valle, a 28 year old officer was engaging in online chats with an individual whose user name was “Moody Blue” about how human flesh tasted and was planning how to prepare his next victim. Valle was debating on whether he wanted to put his targeted victim into the oven and baking her or cooking her on an open fire to extend her suffering. He had also been researching chemical formulas in which he could easily overtake his victims and kidnap them.

Gilberto Valle’s wife had found months of chats online in which Valle was engaged in fantasies of eating woman and children therefore she notified the FBI. Not only was Gilberto Valle charged with is charged with plotting to kidnap, torture, cook and eat at least 100 women and prosecutors, but his partner , Michael Van Hise also had charges laid against him. Hise was accused of trying to hire Valle for kidnapping a specific woman that he wanted to rape and kill. Hise was also taken to court because he was planning to use his stepdaughter as his personal sex slave, while sending pictures of his nieces online, offering them up for rape.

Maurice Punch separates police deviance into three categories; grass eaters, meat eaters and birds. Grass eaters are characterized as people who may accept bribes if given, but do not ask for them. The second category, meat eater, is when officers know of crimes being committed but do not penalize the individual as long as they make a cut from the funds. One example of this would be someone burning dvd’s and selling them in mass amounts. Although piracy is illegal, if the officer knows the individual is making a lot of money illegally, he may allow him or her to continue as long as the officer will receive a percentage every week.

I believe Valle would fit into is the meat eater category. This type of officer is one who takes advantage of their job and allows people to commit crimes as long as the officer gains money or materials. He allowed his online friend to continuously speak about the woman and children he claimed to be eating.

Along with the Knapp Comission, Barker and Roebuck created a list of eight ways police officers put their policing skills into practice. The one that stands out the most to me on Barker and Roebuck’s list is called “direct criminal activities”. This is when officers themselves, commit criminal activities. Valle allowed his online friend to engage in conversations which included kidnapping, raping, torturing and eating women and children. Not only did Valle allow his friend to speak about it, but Valle also engaged in planning to kill women using the police data base as a source to scope out victims. This is an example of Valle agreeing to commit a crime instead of stopping it. Along with committing direct criminal activities, Valle would also fall under the category of protecting illegal activities simply due to the fact that he had full knowledge that “Moody Blues” was constantly bragging about kidnapping and eating children, yet did not intend to arrest “ Moody Blues”. The prosecutor in this case, Mr. Randall Jackson, stated that Van Hise told an FBI agent that “he and Valle were ‘serious’ about their plans to kidnap and rape a woman “

Below is a direct quote from the conversations given to the court that the FBI had found on Valle’s computer. The FBI also found lists of women’s names under files saved as “Abducting and Killing ( victim name) : blue print.

“If we get someone..and we finish the meat early, would you go for another?’ wrote ‘Moody Blues’.

‘Yeah. think we would have to give it time though,’ replies Valle

‘Why? Go for a completely different type. I’d love to eat another child,’ countered ‘Moody Blues.’

Valle abused his power of authority as a police officer by looking up victims in the National Crime Database and accessing their confidential information. He targeted specific woman According to the court reports “Two of them claim to have been ‘stalked in an intimidating way’ by the police officer, who served in Harlem for six years”.

This case sets a good example of being a meat eater, because Valle did not arrest and charge “Moody Blues”, instead he gained a partner in which he could commit crimes with. He benefited from having “Moody Blues” around. It also shows that police are only human and sometimes make bad decisions, such as engaging in criminal activities themselves. Both Valle and Hise plead not guilty. The case will be heard in February.

ReferencesPunch, M. (2009). Police corruption: Deviance, accountability and reform in policing. Cullompton, Devon: Willan Publishing.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2236192/Wife-Gilberto-Valle–Cannibal-cop-accused-plotting-kidnap-wanted-girl-meat-Thanksgiving-dinner.html

http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/mind-accused-cannibal-article-1.1192701