March 19, 2009
In what I believe will be a significant turning point in the battle against two tiered justice in Ontario, a nearly 2 year battle was won this week to have 2 OPP officers charged with Mischief for aiding Floyd Montour and Brian Skye in building a fence to keep the legal owner out of a construction site in Hagersville.
The event in question occurred on May 23, 2007 when 2 officers followed the instructions of illegal occupiers and assisted in the building of a barricade. I was at the scene and video taping at the time and have been attempting to see something done about it ever since.
I filed complaints with OCCPS in the summer of 2007 which were rejected on the grounds that I am not the owner of the property and as such had no right to complain. I appealed that decision without success, and in March of 2008 I began the process of laying criminal charges against them privately for Mischief.
During the first hearing, the Crown and the Justice of the Peace argued that as I am not the owner of the property and did not have him with me, I didn’t really know if he had authorized the barricade and my application was denied on those grounds.
To re open a private prosecution you must provide new evidence so I interviewed the owner of the property to find out if he had in fact authorized the OPP to act on his behalf by helping the occupiers build a fence. He indicated strongly that he had not and that they were not acting on his behalf or in his best interests.
At the second hearing, the Director of Crown Operations for the Central West Region, John Pearson showed up to argue against the charge by attacking my character and motives while ignoring the evidence presented, and as Justice of the Peace Waugh relied heavily on the Crown to guide her through this unusual hearing, she allowed Mr. Pearson’s myriad of possible defenses for the officers and his attempt to turn the proceedings into a trial of my motives and character to influence her decision.
Possible defenses including the motives of the person bringing the charge before the court are not allowed to be considered during a pre-enquette hearing, and as the Justice erred in her ruling, I decided to file in Superior Court for an Order of Mandamus to have a Judge review the decision of the lower court Justice. All of the evidence and relevant case law were presented to the Honorable Judge Marshall and despite the best efforts of Annemarie Carere who works directly under John Pearson; Judge Marshall ruled on January 12, 2009 that the lower Court justice did not have the discretion not to issue process on the charges based on the evidence I presented, and ordered that a new pre-enquette take place.
I learned this week that based on the ruling by Judge Marshall, a Justice has now certified the charges and OPP Constable Christopher Galeazza and Detective Sergeant Rick Fraracci have been ordered to appear in Cayuga Court on March 25, 2009 to face the criminal charge of Mischief.
I have often heard the argument that none of what is happening in Haldimand County is the fault of the front line officers because they are simply following orders, but I have never believed that to be an excuse. At the Nuremberg trials everyone claimed to just be following orders while carrying out the greatest injustice of all time.
I believe that this will be a significant turning point in our battle against injustice and race based policing in Ontario because until now front line officers have had nothing to lose by following illegal orders, and conscience alone has certainly not given them the guts to refuse. Now any officer on the front lines given an order to break the law can turn to their superiors and use what has happened here today as an example and an excuse to say no more.
I have little doubt that when these officers first appear in court, John Pearson will show up to dismiss the charges just as he did when I charged a Haldimand councillor with assault, and when Gary McHale charged Floyd and Ruby Montour with extortion, mischief, and intimidation.
Nothing the Crown does now can change the fact that the precedent has been set and CANACE members have established that we can and will lay criminal charges against Natives, Government officials, and even OPP officers.
As a result of this victory, the crown has notified us this week that they no longer intend to oppose a request for a new hearing into having charges laid against a Native who we have witnessed repeatedly assaulting police officers. Hopefully this is a sign of the beginning of the return of law and order to areas of Ontario under siege by Native organized crime & apathetic OPP brass.Jeff Parkinson Jeff@CaledoniaWakeupCall.com