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(en) Canada, Toronto, Media: Police Force made false arrest OCAP* activist wins damages - court rules making the bastards pay

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Sun, 26 Sep 2004 11:46:54 +0200 (CEST)

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The Toronto police force and one of its officers have been ordered to
pay $10,000 for falsely arresting and imprisoning Sue Collis, a former
organizer of the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty shortly after she
addressed an anti-homelessness rally at Christie Pits on June 1, 2001.
"She was an advocate for people who suffered injustices such as denial
of welfare payments," Deputy Judge Michael Mungovan ruled yesterday.
Collis had been arrested and jailed for 10 days for allegedly breaching
a bail condition interpreted by the police as not allowing her to carry
out any work for OCAP over her objections that this was not the case.

The condition had been imposed two days earlier following her release on
charges, later withdrawn, relating to the occupation of former Tory
finance minister Jim Flaherty's campaign office in Whitby.

She later took the force and Detective Steve Irwin to small claims
court, claiming that Irwin did not adequately follow up on information
she gave him that she had been allowed to carry on her work for OCAP
under the terms of her release.

Collis claimed the maximum amount of damages that can be ordered in
small claims court on the basis that she had been arrested even though
she had informed those present at the rally — including the many
officers present — that she was expressly permitted to carry on her work
under the release, and that she had told this directly to Irwin, an
intelligence officer, shortly after her arrest.

Mungovan rejected Irwin's defence that he had reasonably relied on
information provided to him by Durham police Detective Mark Price before
directing other officers to make the arrest.

"He used one source of information, and that was Detective Price. Yet
that is just not good enough in a democracy where the rule of law ...
must prevail," Mungovan said in a powerfully worded 36-page decision
released yesterday.

Mungovan also ordered the Durham Region force and Price to pay damages
to Collis.
* [Ed. Note: OCAP is antiauthoritarian anticapitalist
direct action social struggle initiative.]

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