"Where else would you go when you have an ax to grind?"

Sunday, July 04, 2010

The Toronto Prison experiment

A lengthy account of what it was like to get swept up by the Toronto riot police and jailed in abysmal conditions for no reason at all. Read it and weep.  I especially recommend parts 11,12 and 13 -- and I hope someone or a group of someones catch up with "Special Constable Milrod" and few of the other sadistic disgraces to the law enforcement community someday soon.

 "A young guy on the new officer shift, with reddish hair and a goatee seems ready for a fight. He says to the guys in our cell “I want to see all you guys outside in the parking lot, then we’ll see what’s what. I’ll take you down.” Wow. He walks away laughing. I inform an actual Toronto Police Officer of what he said and his name. Next we saw Milrod, his nametag was gone and he didn’t look at us or speak to us. It’s on camera Milrod, with 30 witnesses."
From all I've read so far, this whole thing looks like the Stanford Prison Experiment writ large.

We keep reading about how the crowd of protesters should have taken control and stopped the actions of  the few vandals among them -- how about applying some of that reasoning to the police?
As discussed in the latest Maple Syrup Revolution podcast, this particular strategy is going to be a disaster the next time it is tried, because the next time a lot of people will resist being arrested for no reason and things are going to get bloody. Don't be surprised if there is a very expensive class action suit by the thousand or so people arrested and held caged and in cuffs for 20 to 40 hours, begging for water.
If you are not at least as outraged by the gross misconduct of sworn peace officers and political leaders as  you are by the misbehavior of a handful of asshole vandals, then you are part of the problem.

But Stephen Harper and the G20 leaders didn't have to be exposed to people shouting mean things at them, so I guess it was worth shredding the Charter of Rights and spending a billion dollars.


1 comment:

RBC Lorne said...

This is how it happens. You make a million shady arrangements, spend a billion dollars on them and tell the people only half of the truth one minute before you roll out with the “security measures”. Then, you realize that your arrangements were crap or someone asks you to make the rules more stringent on the fly. Your billion-dollar people panic, they silence your own voters and you hope nobody will remember afterwards. Then you point to something outrageous happening in another part of the world, claiming that’s hugely important (much more than some mislabeled malcontents) and before the mess is over, everybody is so confused they don’t know north from south.
If we cannot explain to our government soon enough how we want our security guarded and how we don’t, next time things will get even messier and the police will do whatever they please. Perhaps someone will manage to pass a law that police interventions during major summits are exempt from any liabilities. What a lovely image...