Police Harassing Pro-Lifers at Ground-Zero Get Off With a “Reminder”

You will recall that Cy Winters and Donald Bruneau were harassed by the police at Ground-Zero a few weeks back, including destruction of property on Mr. Bruneau’s camera. I complained to the Mayor and the Chief of Police. Today I got a reply from someone named Mike P. Sanford (see below). Bottom line: they admit that some conduct was improper, but the officers in question will merely be “reminded” of the proper guidelines and policies to be followed in such circumstances.

In other words, they’re off the hook. No justice.

But it gets worse: Mr. Sanford accidentally included all the recipients of the email in the “To” field instead of the “Bcc” field. The email was sent to only 31 people. That tells me that only 31 people complained by email. If you remove John and I, that leaves only 29 other people, some of which aren’t even in Ottawa. That’s really pathetic. Folks, apathy will infallibly bear fruits of persecution. We need to do better than this. Cy, Donald and the unborn deserve a lot better. We let them down.

 

Good Morning:

Thank you for taking the time to send your comments about the protests that had occurred at 65 Bank Street.

The Ottawa Police Service (OPS) monitors hundreds of events and protests in the National Capital Region on an annual basis. Each of these events and protests has their unique set of circumstances. The role of police officers remains the same in each of these.  OPS members are there to keep the peace and ensure a safe and secure protest for all involved inclusive of those who may be impacted.

We recognize that there are differing perspectives on issues that may be the subject of any particular protest or demonstration. When warranted, the OPS will enforce the laws. The application of laws as it relates to protests must be carefully considered, ensuring that the enforcement is not in contravention of Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

The Ottawa Police Service is mindful of an individual’s right to freedom of peaceful assembly and of expression however must constantly weigh this against ensuring the safety and security of all those involved or impacted by a protest.

After reviewing our recent attendance in response to citizen initiated requests, we have determined some of our actions were not consistent with OPS policies. The OPS has reminded all officers of the applicable guidelines and policies for these types of responses.

Once again, thank you for your note. I trust this note has answered your inquiry.

3 thoughts on “Police Harassing Pro-Lifers at Ground-Zero Get Off With a “Reminder”

  1. Good on you, John, for the reminder that we have to keep writing, and keep standing up for moral principals.
    Never surrender, not one inch…..they don’t call us the Church Militant for nothing!

  2. Hi John:
    Everyone will be pleased to know that your efforts and those of Brian Lilley of the Sun Media have resulted in no further police visits to me at the 65 Bank St. abortuary protest site since Wednesday, April 3, 2013. The harassment has stopped so that now it is established that protesters have their legal Charter Right to Freedom of Expression on any sidewalk in Ottawa. I simply kept telling the police that I, alone, am not a collection of people. The Ottawa demonstration by-law restrictions apply to a collection of people as stated in their definition. Toward the end, the police said that a pair of people constitutes a collection of people. This narrow, restrictive interpretation of the by-law has yet to be challenged. I see a need to challenge this because protesters feel safer in pairs. I’ve never heard of a collection ever being only two of anything. It certainly doesn’t fit the dictionary definition of a collection. A collection is several of anything, a group, like a stamp or coin collection, so that even three might be successfully challenged as not being within the spirit of the demonstration By-law. It doesn’t fit the intent of the by-law either, which is for crowd control for safety and free passage of other pedestrians, definitely not to restrict Charter Rights to Freedom of Expression. A lawyer needs to look into this.
    Once again John, thanks, to you and Brian especially, for your successful efforts on behalf of all pro-life vigilers and protesters.
    Cy Winter.

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