From the Toronto Star: "Police forces across Ontario are thumbing their noses at the provincial agency that investigates cops, refusing to cooperate with or even respond to the Special Investigations Unit, documents obtained by the Toronto Star show.
"A trail of letters written by SIU director Ian Scott to the province's chiefs of police show his mounting frustration at not being able to hold officers accountable."
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Pull up a chair and grab a barf-bag, and listen to a story about Ontario's Special Investigations Unit.
The ole SIU is a toothless sham set up to lull Ontarians into believing there is accountability among police.
Like any other profession, police have plenty of good employees and some bad ones.
Unfortunately, with police, they carry guns and have badges that are pretty much stay-out-of-jail cards. So, when a bad cop emerges, it's in everyone's interest to get him off the force.
Everyone's interest except other bad cops, that is. And their enablers.
When these numbers are added together, the population of people you wouldn't want wearing badges, carrying guns or having the power of arrest, swells alarmingly.
As with any workplace, police have lots of enablers. It's as though the resident moron is some medieval talisman everyone innately wants to protect, thinking it will bring good luck.
These enablers include corrupt higher-ups, career bunglers (who struggle to get their shoes on the proper feet each morning), apathetic "who gives a shit?" types and the tiniest population of all: the blissfully unaware.
In some ways, dealing with the enablers is far more difficult than dealing with the actual bad cops.
Enablers are like a quicksand made out of snot; like wrestling with a retarded gorilla; like running up an icy hill in bare feet.
It's a thankless, maddening, painful task that almost always ends in tears.
In a democracy, there might be recourse. Unfortunately, Canada is a bureaucracy, so there is no recourse.
When the SIU rodeo clowns show up to "investigate" reports of bad police officers, the guys in charge of the department in question tear up their requests for information, and basically disregard their lethargic, laughable attempts at "investigating."
At best, the SIU goes into a department, sees a bunch of people they went to Cop School with, have a few laughs, and whatever trouble brought the SIU to town is cause for everyone to hit a sports bar for beer and chicken wings.
At worst, there are no friendly reunions and the SIU's feelings are hurt when information requests are ignored.
Life's not easy for a toothless agency! Least of all in the Bureaucratic Outback of Canada.
So, what are we talking about here? Cops with too many parking tickets? Cops who showed up late to work a few times? Cops with late library books?
How bad can it be?
This bad: "In one case, after a police officer ran a stop sign and caused a collision that injured a truck driver and killed a fellow officer, the SIU found the police force's actions 'rife with conduct issues.'"
What's the best part of all? Good cops are becoming disillusioned, frustrated and sometimes looking at other career tracks.
And where is the Conservative Party of Canada -- the self-deputized arbiters of "law and order" in this bureaucracy -- when there really is a need for a little law and a lot of order?
They're off pushing for mandatory minimum sentences that will clog up prisons they're pushing to have built.
The closest thing we'll probably ever see to actual reform of investigation of police wrongdoing is a YouTube video of Stephen Harper wearing a police uniform, singing "Stop! (In the Name of Love)".
I'll hand it to the guy. He's not much of a prime minister, but he can sing.