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Calgary police and Tasers: Why the city saw a 33% increase in use of conducted energy weapons

05 Mai 2016

That life-and-death reality is why it’s hard to find fault with Calgary police, despite a dramatic upsurge in the number of conducted energy weapon incidents in recent years, including a 33% increase in Taser use between 2014 and 2015.

The statistics, which shows officers pulling the trigger on the typically non-lethal electroshock weapons climbed by more than 60% since 2012, are part of the annual Calgary Police Service update to city council, a report explaining what cops have been up to in the past year.

B.C. Mountie surprised by settlement of her sexual harassment lawsuit

04 Mai 2016

VANCOUVER – A British Columbia Mountie whose sexual harassment lawsuit against the RCMP prompted similar cases across the country has reached an out-of court settlement with the force.

Cpl. Catherine Galliford, 49, said she was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder after going on sick leave in 2006 and was mentally prepared to face a court battle next year before being blindsided by the settlement.

‘Non-lethal’ police weapons like tear gas, rubber bullets cause severe injury and death: study

04 Mai 2016

TORONTO — “Non-lethal” weapons like rubber bullets and tear gas that are deployed by police around the globe to break up mass protests can cause severe injury, disability and death for the targets, according to an international study.

The study, written by the International Network of Civil Liberties Organizations (INCLO) and the Physicians for Human Rights, suggests the weapons are incorrectly used because of a lack of police training, weapons testing and regulation. The consequences outlined range from minor injuries, to blindness, paralysis and death.

Will old SIU reports see light of day?

03 Mai 2016

The retroactive release of all Special Investigations Unit directors’ reports — including censored details related to the death of Andrew Loku — looms as part of a new review of police oversight, Attorney General Madeleine Meilleur said Monday.

Under fire from critics outraged that only nine of 34 pages were made public from the SIU probe of Loku’s shooting by Toronto police last July, Meilleur said Monday that more information will be forthcoming.

Montreal police force still falls short on diversity, anti-racism activist says

03 Mai 2016

Despite efforts to diversify, Montreal's police force remains overwhelmingly white, according to its latest annual report.

Only 324 officers out of 4,586 in the police force are visible minorities, making up seven per cent of the total, the 2015 report says.

That's slightly up from five years ago, in 2011, when a total of 291 of 4,502 officers were minorities, for a total of 6.5 per cent.

Overall, visible minorities make up 32 per cent of the city's population, according to Statistics Canada.

Cop tried to download video evidence, says SIU’s Andrew Loku report

02 Mai 2016

After Andrew Loku was shot dead by a Toronto police officer, another Toronto cop “unduly” inserted himself into the investigation by “improperly” attempting to review and download surveillance video of the shooting, jeopardizing the credibility of the Special Investigations Unit probe, the watchdog’s director wrote in his report.

The revelation comes in the release of the civilian watchdog’s director’s report into the death of Loku, the 45-year-old man killed by an unnamed Toronto police officer last July.

Ontario launches police oversight review in wake of SIU report on Andrew Loku

02 Mai 2016

An Ontario judge has been tapped to lead a review of the province's police oversight agencies — a move the provincial Liberal government announced as it partially released a report into the fatal police shooting of Andrew Loku.

Attorney General Madeleine Meilleur said in a statement Friday that Appeal Court Justice Michael Tulloch will lead an independent review of Ontario's three police oversight agencies — the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), the Office of the Independent Police Review Director (OIPRD) and the Ontario Civilian Police Commission.

Katie Nelson’s Political Profiling Lawsuit Against Montreal Police Settled

30 Avril 2016

We can report that the lawsuit student protester Katie Nelson brought against the Montreal Police (SPVM), certain officers and the City of Montreal has been settled. That’s pretty much all we can report as Nelson isn’t allowed to discuss the terms of the settlement.

During the 2012 Quebec Student Protests (aka Maple Spring), Nelson amassed over $6000 in tickets including for things as banal as spitting on the street and swearing. Realizing that she was being specifically targeted by police and singled out for fines (some officers even referred to her by name), she decided to take the cops and the city to court for political profiling. We had a chance to speak with her in 2013 shortly after she launched the suit.

Kathleen Wynne to release Andrew Loku SIU report in ‘coming days’

29 Avril 2016

Premier Kathleen Wynne will ensure the release of the secret Special Investigations Unit report into the Toronto police shooting death of Andrew Loku within the next few days, the Star has learned.

“We support working with the director of the SIU to find a way to make the information in the Andrew Loku report public. And we expect that information to be made public in the coming days,” a government spokesman said Wednesday.

Secrecy continues on chief's report into Loku death

27 Avril 2016

The Toronto police board is refusing to say if Chief Mark Saunders submitted the results of an internal review of the fatal police shooting of Andrew Loku.

Such reviews are mandatory after every Special Investigations Unit probe — and the reports are made public, in whole or part, by at least three other Ontario police boards.

Pending an inquest, for which no date has been set, Saunders’ report is the only chance the public has to learn more about Loku’s death, a shooting that has provoked calls for more transparency about the civilian police watchdog’s investigations.

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