Sunday, September 16, 2007

Police Brutality on the Rise in Toronto: African-American Photojournalist Faces Hearing After Being Beaten

Police Brutality on the rise in Toronto .

Toronto police force needs cleanup: veteran officer:

Here's one of the latest cases:

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Jason Bogle Law Office


TORONTO, CANADA...October 16, 2006, at approximately 1:40 pm after checking out of the Econolodge Hotel (335 Jarvis Street) and while in the process of hailing a taxi, Black Americans Tonye Allen and his fiancee, Ann Brown, were assaulted by several Downtown Toronto policemen from the 51st division. Mr. Allen, who did not resist, was beaten and pepper sprayed several times while handcuffed and in police custody. Ms. Brown was choked, shoved, and threatened with arrest as well.

Mr. Allen was never told why he was being detained. The arresting police refused to tell Ms. Brown where they were taking Mr. Allen. After locating the correct police station, Ms. Brown spoke with a "Det. Moyer," who said he "hadn't decided" what he was going to charge Mr. Allen with. Ultimately, Mr. Allen was charged with assault of two policemen and resisting arrest, times two.

In bail court, Mr. Allen and Ms. Brown were called "terrorists." After Ms. Brown posted cash bail of $1,000, Mr. Allen's passport was taken by "Det. Moyer."

Mr. Allen was unarmed. He had never been arrested. He had no criminal history. He has no history of drug/alcohol abuse or psychiatric problems.

Mr. Allen and Ms. Brown are seeking publicity and legal references to help fight these false charges.

Mr. Allen is a photojournalist who works professionally under the name "TRILOBITE." His work has appeared in: Essence, Vibe, The Village Voice, Rolling Stone, LA Weekly , and The Source Magazine. He has worked for Sony Music, PolyGram Records, Def Jam Records, and Interscope Records, among others.

Ms. Brown is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in Essence, Black Enterprise, Upscale Magazine, The Source , and various other publications.

Mr. Allen and Ms. Brown were in Toronto on their way to South Africa.

Mr. Allen sustained the following injuries:
Head abrasions and bruises
Ear abrasions and bruises
Possible concussion
Right eye: deep cut on eyelid
Black left/right eyes
Damaged left eye, loss of sight (previous 20-20+ vision)
Left ear loss of hearing
Lip bruised
Dislocated jaw
Abrasions/bruises on right cheek
Right and left shoulders contusions and bruises
Left wrist: deep cuts, ligature marks, nerve damage
Right wrist: cuts, ligature marks, nerve damage
Left and right hands: abrasions, nerve damage
Right ring finger dislocated
Bruised ribs
Abrasions on torso
Bruised thoracic vertebrae
Left and right knees: abrasions and bruises

*This is not a full medical assessment/photos taken 10-20-06.

Toronto police force needs cleanup: veteran officer

Friday, May 5, 2006 | 1:15 PM ET
CBC News

A veteran Toronto police officer says he supports a call by defence lawyers for a public inquiry into the Toronto police force because the force is rife with systemic corruption.

In an interview with CBC Radio News and the Toronto Sun, Sgt. Jim Cassells said police brass have covered up, refused to investigate or buried cases of alleged police brutality, public complaints and internal corruption for years.

Sgt. Jim Cassells was charged last month with misconduct after speaking with a reporter. (CBC)

"I'm an experienced person, I've got 30 years on the job, and I've seen some fiddle faddle go on."

Cassells, a police officer for the past 29 years and a key investigator on an RCMP-led special task force into the city drug squad, was charged with one count of misconduct last month under the Police Services Act after he talked to a Toronto Star reporter.

Cassells said he has watched police supervisors turn a blind eye to many cases involving officers. Known for being outspoken, Cassells has had the tough job of investigating other officers and said he felt it was time to speak out even though he knows he risks losing his job.

He said he has seen "numerous cases minimized, for simple terms swept under the carpet," and "complaints against police not being processed" and "allegations of assault not being investigated fully."

In addition to a public inquiry, he said an arm's-length review is needed of how the Toronto police force investigates wrongdoing within its own ranks.

Cassells said he detailed many of his concerns to the superintendent of the force's professional standards branch. He said he also complained to former chief Julian Fantino and John Neilly, the RCMP chief superintendent who headed the drug squad probe.

"You know, I told Chief Fantino, I told Supt. Neilly that I wasn't happy with my experience at the special task force. I told them in writing. I refused an award given to every member of the special task force by the chief."

Cassells said no one ever followed up on his complaints, not the professional standards branch, which is charged with internal investigations, and not the chief.

But Cassells would not divulge details about specific cases and declined to talk about the investigation into the drug squad, saying he does not want to put ongoing prosecutions at risk.

Toronto police internal prosecutors have charged Cassells with misconduct, claiming he is alleged to have communicated some information about the police force to the media without proper authority.

Cassells said he is looking forward to a disciplinary hearing next week.

"I'm not looking to avoid a prosecution under the Police Services Act. In fact, I welcome it as an opportunity to say it publicly. And if I'm wrong, I'm wrong. I'm not going to be a person who, after retirement, comes out with all kinds of stories and allegations. I'm not that kind of policeman."

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