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What Are the Different Types of Invoices?

If youare a freelancer, contractor, or business owner, you know how crucial it is to...

The Solution to Creating Recurring Invoices

Having a regular flow of monthly income can be helpful, especially in certain seasons where...

Best Invoice App for Freelancers

As a freelancer, the way you manage your business impacts your career. Success is not...

How to Make An Invoice

Youave set up a business and gained customers patronizing your products. And now you have...

Best Invoice App for Contractors

Getting paid for the hard work youave done feels greataespecially when you get compensated for...

What Information Should Be On A Standard Invoice?

While invoicing may not be the most exciting part of a business, itas crucial to...

How Do I Charge Taxes Using the Invoice Generator?

Charging taxes using invoice generator is easy and simple with Sparks Invoice Maker. We built...

Invoice on the Go: Top 5 Reasons to Use an App

If youare a brick-and-mortar retailer, eCommerce owner, or freelancer, you probably have noticed how todayas...

Top 10 Reasons Spark Is the Best Free Invoice Generator

Invoice generators are power tools when it comes to managing your business. Thanks to them,...

Why You Need An Invoice Generator & Invoice Maker for Small Business

Invoices are crucial for entrepreneurs to get paid for the goods or services they offer....

Walmart's Deals for Days event is still running after Amazon Prime Day's conclusion - here are the 17 best deals still kicking

Walmart's Deals for Days event competes with Amazon's Prime Day but outlasts it by a full day. Here are the best deals from the sale's final day.

What's next in the voting rights fight after congressional Democrats' big democracy bill failed in the Senate

Democrats in the Senate are regrouping on their strategy while lawmakers in Texas are poised for another showdown over voting rights.

A famous NYC restaurant owner said he let waiters have a glass of wine before their shift, and found tips went up 5%

Balthazar waitstaff can have a full glass of rosA(c), as a treat, famed restaurateur Keith McNally said.

Individuals are far more confident in their investments than professionals and are predicting almost 15% long-term returns, Natixis survey shows

Topping the list of investor worries globally was market volatility, followed by a lagging recovery and inflation.

The top Delta variant symptoms reported in the UK are a runny nose and headache - because most people affected are very young or partially vaccinated

"I don't think we can be too complacent, particularly in areas of the US that have high non-vaccination rates," UK epidemiologist Tim Spector said.

Tim Cook, Jamie Dimon, and other CEOs say employees should return to the office because it boosts creativity. Experts say that's a 'fairy tale.'

Prior research shows open-layout offices had 70% fewer face-to-face interactions, and new tools and practices make remote working more effective.

FTX partners with MLB to become the first crypto exchange sponsor in professional sports

Starting on July 13, cryptocurrency exchange FTX will also be the first company to sponsor a patch on umpires' uniforms.

Joe Manchin appears close to making up his mind. Here's what he wants in an infrastructure plan.

The influential moderate Democrat wants to roll back Trump's "unfair" tax cuts and he supports completely paying for a multitrillion-dollar package.

How to change your Netflix password, even if you don't know your current one

You can change your Netflix password using the website or mobile app, or reset it so a special code is sent to your email or phone.

Goldman Sachs bought into the meteoric rise of a Danish biotech stock that became a meme last week - then sold

The bank held a greater than 5% stake on June 16, before dropping below that threshold the next day.

Kamala Harris will travel to the US-Mexico border on Friday

"If Governor Abbott and I weren't going there next week, she would have never gone!" Trump said in response to the news on Wednesday.

Hungary's authoritarian leader won't attend soccer game against Germany amid spat over his anti-LGBTQ law

German soccer clubs plan to illuminate their stadiums with rainbow colors during the Germany-Hungary game as a sign of protest against the law.

Lumber continues to skid below $900 with the commodity in free-fall from May highs

Lumber prices are now trading nearly 50% below their May 10 peak of $1,711 per thousand board feet.

Elizabeth Warren and Chuck Schumer are leading an effort to give student-loan borrowers another 6 months of relief

Student-loan borrowers will have to start paying again in October, and Democrats warn that "could create a significant drag on our economic recovery."

A startup offering to take tourists to space in a ship lifted by an enormous balloon is selling tickets for $125,000 a ride

The luxury six-hour roundtrip flight will include plush reclining seats, anti-glare windows for photography, and livestream-capable WiFi.

Lego debuted its first bricks made from recycled plastic bottles in an effort to build toys with more sustainable materials

Lego said that a typical one-liter plastic bottle has enough raw material to make 10 of its 2-by-4 iconic toy bricks.

Meet the millennial dubbed the leader of 'hipster antitrust' who got appointed to police Big Tech largely off just one scholarly paper inspired by a trip to the grocery store

Lina Khan studied law at Yale and wrote a critical paper on Amazon in 2017. Now, she's leading the US agency empowered to break Big Tech apart.

How the American consumer may be saving the economy by spending less - and keeping inflation at bay

Americans are -A smartly -A balking at the soaring prices of used cars and homes. This shift could be what keeps the US from an inflationary crisis.

The best hotels in Destin and Fort Walton Beach for oceanfront romance, family fun, or a nature-filled getaway

Destin and Fort Walton Beach, Florida are known for gorgeous white sand beaches, emerald waters, and great hotels. Here are the best places to stay.

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The Automation Boom is Coming. Will the Internet Be Ready?

We live in anA increasingly connectedA world. Itas estimated that there will be aboutA 260 millionA internet-connected devices in the U.S. by 2020, and the next wave of these devices will push our data demand even further. NewA Bluetooth advancements, for instance, enable devices to perform within a range thatas four times greater, twice the speed, and eight times the […]

The post The Automation Boom is Coming. Will the Internet Be Ready? appeared first on ReadWrite.


These Teen AI Entrepreneurs Will Amaze You

Starting a business is not an easy decision to make. Building a company requires work and money as well, and time. The resources of time, work, and money mean you will have to make sacrifices to start your business. It takes someone who has a lot of passion and confidence to establish a startup. These […]

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What You Need to Know to Use Drones for Your Wedding

The popularity of wedding drone photography is constantly rising. It’s not surprising because these flying machines can take really amazing photos and videos. But many people still arenat sure about the necessity of aerial photography at weddings or different events. We’ve gathered for you the most important information you need to know about drones if […]

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Trade Secrets Claimed by Prolacta to Steal Foundersa Company a Again

Elana Medo has dedicated many decades of her life to making motheras milk available to premature babies. Now a questionable trade secret lawsuit threatens to destroy her lifeas work and leave preterm infants without access to life-saving milk. The cost of a Corporation Stealing from an Individual has been the loss of human lives — […]

The post Trade Secrets Claimed by Prolacta to Steal Founders’ Company – Again appeared first on ReadWrite.


Achieving Paperless Operations and Document Automation with AI and ML

Paper is an essential commodity for office operations. Most conventional offices rely on paper for completing the simplest tasks. Even after digitization, the dream of a completely paperless office is far from reality. Humans are used to a standard form of note-taking and documentation. Here is how to achieve paperless operations and document automation with […]

The post Achieving Paperless Operations and Document Automation with AI and ML appeared first on ReadWrite.


Secret to Getting Leads with Digital Marketing Technology

Nowadays most companies are doing SEO, PPC, and Content Marketing. Yet sometimes the company’s are not getting the leads they need. Some businesses get leads — but not quality leads, or they don’t get the leads that fit their expectations. The main reason a company doesn’t get the leads they need is that they are […]

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Successful Scaling: How to Grow Without Tumbling Back Down

aBreathing would be delightful,a the director of products told me in our kickoff. His startup was growing fast. It had a bunch of new funding, the pressure was on to ship, and the team was underwater. I was there to help and take the pressure off so they could breathe. “Let’s begin to think strategically […]

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WIB Vulnerability: Sim-Card that Allows Hackers to Takeover Phones

In the past, weave all witnessed sim-jacking attacks that allow a hacker to impersonate the targeted victim to steal the phone number. Hackers can gain access to unauthorized information related to the victim using the vulnerability, ‘SimJacker’ was that vulnerability. Recently thereas a similar vulnerability that has popped up, which uses the same SMS-technology to […]

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6 Industries Blockchain Technology Will Revolutionize

In line with new evolving computer technologies, a lot of issues previously found complicated are now seen as an easygoing task, for example, e-commerce, contactless payment, secured online transactions, and ride-hailing. All thanks to blockchain, a new technology that massively revitalized all-around sectors, equipping the financial industry with enhanced solutions with less or no additional […]

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4 Unique Growth Tactics for 2020

Marketing tactics change constantly. Each year new tactics become more impactful, and old ones fade into obscurity.A Sticking to the same tactics is stale for your current customers and potential customers, too.A Instead of just running the same growth tactics for years on end, itas time to make a switch in 2020.A Here are four unique growth tactics […]

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7 Keynote Leadership Speakers Bringing Fresh Insights to Their Industries

Narrowing your list of options to speakers within your industry is a great way to ensure your keynote session will pack a punch.

The post 7 Keynote Leadership Speakers Bringing Fresh Insights to Their Industries appeared first on ReadWrite.


How Founders and CEOs Can Raise Early Checks (With Pavel Cherkashin)

Iam excited to speak with Pavel Cherkashin in todayas episode of the How To CEO podcast!. Pavel is a co-founder and managing partner at Mindrock Capital. Pavel is also a managing partner at GVA Capital. I spoke with him about what founders and CEOs need to know about raising early checks. When Should Founders Try […]

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Marketing Automation and Customer Service: How are they Connected?

Did you know that, on average, 51% of companies are currently using marketing automation, and more than half of B2B companies (58%) plan to adopt the technology? The statistic may be mind-boggling, but it is very much justified.A Companies and marketers are always in search of ways that make things easy and convenient for them. Automating […]

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Why You Need to Consider IoT in Improving Customer Experience

Assuredly, IoT (Internet of Things) has the potential to improve customer experience. The rapid expansion of technology has impacted businesses in many ways. Besides, IoT enables data sharing, inventory management, security, and increased efficiency and productivity.A But, what is IoT? Well, in simple words, IoT is the network of interconnected devices that embedded with sensors, software, […]

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How to Ensure Your Data is Providing Trustworthy Insights

For building owners and managers, data is the fuel behind their smart building operations. Leveraging the surplus of data that is readily available to them, owners and managers are making informed decisions for their facility that can create long-term performance enhancements and help them achieve goals such as improved efficiency and occupant comfort. Here is […]

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Need of Feedback Software for Ministry of Army and Defense

In any business or organization, the customer is the king. Anything and everything starts with the customer and ends with them. And so, it is necessary to have a satisfied customer base for increased brand loyalty and trust. For this very reason, almost all businesses today rely on technology. The technology helps companies to interact […]

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The Challenges and Opportunities for Automation in the Real Estate Industry

According to Ascend2, 71% of businesses use marketing automation. The benefits of marketing automation are significant across all industries, including real estate. Even better, marketing isn’t the only process that real estate agents can automate in their business.A Managing a real estate business can be time-consuming. Numerous, repetitive tasks can prevent agents from maximizing their […]

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7 Common Negotiation Mistakes to Avoid at all Costs

Many often consider negotiation an arduous task, as it involves having conversations with people, where both parties are doing their best to protect personal interests. Going over negotiations while maintaining relationships remains relevant to businesses and investments. It hardly comes easy to conclude a negotiation that keeps both parties happy, while overlooking small processes may […]

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4 High-Potential Sectors for AI and ML Startup Success

Today, the explosion of development in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) technology has created a market for which it appears there’s no limit. No matter the industry, if you name a reasonably-sized (or larger) company, there’s a good chance that they’re investing in AI and ML technology as a cornerstone of their strategic […]

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How to do Keyword Research for SEO

Keyword research is the backbone of your online presence. Itas common knowledge that this practice determines your rankings and visibility in the organic search.A However, the way keyword research is done has changed over time. Today, using Googleas Keyword Planner to find phrases with a high search volume and optimizing your site for them is not […]

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June News from the Library of Congress

News from the Library of Congress

Celebrating Juneteenth, Pride Month, & More!


Take the Library of Congress Survey

Over the past year, like you, the Library of Congress has adjusted, recalibrated and learned. We want to continue to learn from you about what more we can do. As a friend of the Library of Congress, your feedback is critical to us as we look to the future. The Library of Congress is your library and we want to build plans based on YOU.

Please take a moment to complete the survey and share more about how you’ve engaged with the Library, what we can do better, and what more you want to see from us. No matter where you are in the country (or world!), or how you’ve connected with the Library before – we want your feedback.

Take the survey: https://wh.snapsurveys.com/s.asp?k=162090351735&src=1

The survey will close in 10 days, so please take 10 minutes to complete it now. We look forward to sharing the insights we learn and, most importantly, using your feedback to chart the path forward.

Thanks for your time!

Carla Hayden
Librarian of Congress


Late May News from the Library of Congress

News from the Library of Congress

Library to Reopen Four Reading Rooms June 2


Library of Congress Announces Grant Opportunity to Enhance Teaching with Primary Sources

Funds Available for Educational Organizations to Create Curricula, Programming or Conduct Research

The Library of Congress today announced fiscal year 2022 Teaching with Primary Sources (TPS) grant opportunities for organizations that seek to incorporate Library of Congress resources into educational programs and materials for learners representing diverse professions and communities.

The application deadline is May 28, 2021. For more information about the application requirements and selection criteria, see the “Teaching with Primary Sources Funding Opportunity 2021” on the Teaching with Primary Sources Partner Program webpage.


April News from the Library of Congress

News from the Library of Congress

April is National Poetry Month


Celebrating Women's History Month

News from the Library of Congress

Celebrating Women's History Month


Celebrating Black History Month

News from the Library of Congress

Celebrating Black History Month


Help the Library of Congress Labs Team Learn How to Support Our Users

The Library of Congress’ Labs team wants to learn more about new segments of users who aren’t yet connected to our digital collections and services. 

We are specifically seeking people who use digital resources like history photos, books, documents, newspapers, music, video, maps, data or websites but don't use Library of Congress materials for the following activities. 

Formal and informal education -  K-12 teachers, guides or tutors that might use digital resources to build activities,  lesson plans, or educational games or experiences.  

Activism and community leadership - People, clergy, organizers or activists who might use digital library-like resources to inform awareness of a community, or cause, its history and relationships.

Data journalism, communications or media work -These people might use digital library-like resources and data to produce articles, visualizations, or media for general audience. People who produce data-driven stories are of particular interest.

Undergraduate creative / art studies - These people might use digital library-like resources as inspirational material or as content or material that they may re-mix or re-make through their creative work.

With the selected participants, we will carry out 1-on-1 interviews (not to exceed an hour). All work will be conducted remotely over video chat. The schedule for the interviews will be based on what works best for the participants. 

Can you connect us with anyone in your network who may want to participate? Feel free to forward this message or direct folks to this sign up form: via the online application (https://forms.gle/xiaB8Swp9VR9xL1j8). Any questions can be sent directly to me, Abbey Potter at abpo@loc.gov.  

Thank you very much for helping us make this connection! We will share the outcomes of this research publicly and it will help shape future directions of our work. 


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NASA Still Trying to Revive Hubble Telescope After Memory Swap Fails

NASA reports it has made several attempts to switch to backup memory modules, but it hasn't worked. The team is now exploring the possibility that the issue is more severe, but we won't know the damage until the investigation is further along.

The post NASA Still Trying to Revive Hubble Telescope After Memory Swap Fails appeared first on ExtremeTech.


No New Version of Windows Can Turn Back the Clock, and Microsoft Doesnat Want To

Microsoft will unveil Windows 11 on Thursday, but the company isn't likely looking to reboot its operating system -- and it doesn't need to.

The post No New Version of Windows Can Turn Back the Clock, and Microsoft Doesn’t Want To appeared first on ExtremeTech.


Report: German State of Bavaria May Partner With Intel to Build Chip Factory

Intel may build a foundry in Bavaria as part of an effort to secure new semiconductor manufacturing capacity for the European continent.

The post Report: German State of Bavaria May Partner With Intel to Build Chip Factory appeared first on ExtremeTech.


Tesla Built a Supercomputer to Develop Camera-Only Self-Driving Tech

Tesla is talking about what it sees as the next leap in autonomous driving that could do away with lidar and radar, leaving self-driving cars to get around with regular optical cameras only.A

The post Tesla Built a Supercomputer to Develop Camera-Only Self-Driving Tech appeared first on ExtremeTech.


ET Prime Day Deals: Deals on PCs, Robot Vacuums, Tablets, Smartphones, and Almost Everything Else

Amazon's Prime Day sales event is finally here and there are now deals available on just everything you can imagine. Many computers, TVs, robot vacuums are available with hundreds of dollars knocked off the retail price, and that's just scratching the surface of what's available.

The post ET Prime Day Deals: Deals on PCs, Robot Vacuums, Tablets, Smartphones, and Almost Everything Else appeared first on ExtremeTech.


GPU Prices Fall in China Following Government Mining Crackdown

PC gamers have been suffering under the weight of the GPU shortage for the last year, but there's some hope on the horizon. China has effectively banned cryptocurrency, and whether or not you think that's good for Bitcoin, it's great for GPU prices.

The post GPU Prices Fall in China Following Government Mining Crackdown appeared first on ExtremeTech.


Far Beyond the Stars: Improving Motion, Image Quality in the DS9 Upscale Project

It's been nine months since Joel Hruska's last Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Upscale Project update. The new encode method he debuts here offers better motion and improved image quality relative to what was possible last year.

The post Far Beyond the Stars: Improving Motion, Image Quality in the DS9 Upscale Project appeared first on ExtremeTech.


15 Awesome Deals That Are Actually Better Than Amazonas Prime Day Sale

Upgrade your home or your life with these must-have tech deals, on sale at prices better than Amazon for a limited time only. Check out these 15 deals below to snag a bargain.

The post 15 Awesome Deals That Are Actually Better Than Amazon’s Prime Day Sale appeared first on ExtremeTech.


Adobe Begins a Much-Needed Overhaul of Premiere Proas UI

Adobe's breakthrough mobile video editor, Premiere Rush, showed that the company could pack the power of Premiere into a simpler UI. Now they've taken what they learned and have started on the process of overhauling the Premiere Pro interface to make it more intuitive, and more efficient for the user.

The post Adobe Begins a Much-Needed Overhaul of Premiere Pro’s UI appeared first on ExtremeTech.


Dark Matter Could Solve the Mystery of Supermassive Black Hole Formation

This work is all based on simulations, but we might have the means to verify Yu's work experimentally before long.A

The post Dark Matter Could Solve the Mystery of Supermassive Black Hole Formation appeared first on ExtremeTech.


Are the police receiving adequate training on mental illness

On February 3, 2012, a Toronto police officer shot and killed Michael Eligon, who was believed to be mentally ill. Eligon was admitted to Toronto East General Hospital on January 31, 2012 for a mental assessment and was supposed to be picked up by his foster mother on February 3, 2012. He walked out of the hospital in his hospital gown and walked around the neighbourhood looking confused and disoriented. He also had two pairs of scissors he took from a convenience store nearby. He attempted to enter into a number of homes and a few people called the police. The police arrived and an officer shot at Eligon three times when they finally found him, with one of the shots hitting and killing Eligon.

This was a complete shock to the neighbourhood and brought an array of questions regarding the police and the adequacy of the training they receive on dealing with people who have a mental illness. Neighbours raised their concerns since these incidents keep occurring, as exemplified by the cases of Charlie McGillivary and Sylvia Klibingaitis that happened last year.

Charles McGillivary was unable to speak due to a childhood accident and communicated through sign language with his mother and used a handful of words only she could understand. He collapsed and died while being arrested by police. They mistakenly took him for another suspect and due to his large frame and the fact that he couldnat speak, they took him down while arresting him. McGillivary fell into medical distress and was later pronounced dead at the hospital. He was walking with his mother when this occurred and the police wouldnat listen to her pleas that he was mentally ill and couldnat speak.

Sylvia Klibingaitis struggled with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and psychotic delusions. She had apeak anxietya during the weeks prior to her death, and she made a 9-1-1 call for help during a mental crisis. She told the operator that she had a knife and that she was going to commit a crime. According to the S Investigations Unit (SIU), Klibingaitis burst out the front door with a large knife in her right hand when a police officer approached her home. The officer backed away from the house toward the curb. As she followed him toward the curb with knife in hand, he pulled his gun from its holster and repeatedly yelled, aPut the knife down!a She refused and moved closer. The officer fired three times. One bullet hit the garage door and another struck her in the chest, killing her.

The SIU was contacted in both cases, and in both cases the police officers were cleared of any wrongdoing.

It seems that front-line police officers are coming into more contact with people who have mental health issues, but they receive very little mental health support and training. On the Canadian Mental Health Association website, it states that a study by the London Police Department showed that between 1998 and 2001, the number of hours uniformed police spent dealing with people with serious mental illness doubled from 5,000 to 10,000. The same study showed that calls involving people with mental illness took up to $3.7 million of the $43-million London Police Department budget in 2001. The study also showed that the increase in calls was for minor nuisance crimes or no crime at all, and that violent crime among people with serious mental illness was actually decreasing.

In a resolution passed in June 2003, the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police recognized that "the inadequate funding of community mental health services has resulted in vulnerable individuals being at risk of increased contact with the police and increased involvement in the criminal justice system."

Deputy Chief Michael Federico said all Toronto officers are given mental-health training each year when they have two days of use-of-force training. It includes instruction on how to calm situations down verbally and realistic role-play scenarios that mimic responding to someone with a mental illness. Additional training varies by specific job and the year, he said. Police in Halifax and York Region have adopted an intensive 40-hour training program, developed in Memphis, Tennessee. The program takes officers to a mental-health ward and gives them extra verbal techniques.

Mr. Pritchard, a retired co-director of Christian Peacemaker Teams is calling for existing crisis teams, which pair a mental-health professional with an officer, to be available throughout the city, 24 hours a day. As of now, they are available in 10 of 17 policing divisions for 10 hours a day. In Hamilton and other jurisdictions, such teams are available at all hours.

This leaves us asking a lot of questions regarding how equipped the police are in handling situations that involve the mentally ill. An important aspect to think about is the way in which those with mental health issues are viewed by others and if they may automatically be viewed as violent by the police. It begs the question of whether this is an issue of inadequate support and training, or a bias on the part of the police when it comes to handling interactions with those who are mentally ill. Many people believe that the police are treating people with mental illness like criminals and that something needs to be done in order to prevent further needless deaths of mentally ill people at the hands of the police.

It is important to prevent the criminalization of the mentally ill, which seems to be a big issue. A report by the Canadian Mental Health Association, BC Division, estimates that the percentage of mentally disordered offenders currently in jails and prisons range from 15 to 40%. This is a serious problem that needs to be genuinely addressed by the police. What solutions do you suggest for improving the ways in which police handle situations concerning people with a mental illness? Is more training required or should police receive more educational awareness regarding mental health matters, or both? As interactions between the police and the mentally ill increases, we will see if our concerns are going to be adequately addressed or not.

Posted by Ada Vrana (Windsor Law I)

Windsor Police Officers found not guilty of discreditable conduct in investigation of Dr. Abouhassan case

Two Windsor police officers Paul Bridgeman and Patrick Keane have been found not guilty of charges of discreditable conduct in connection to a complaint made by Windsor resident Dr. Tyceer Abouhassan. Charged under the Police Act, the two Staff Sergeants were accused of trying to broker a deal with Dr. Abouhassan to drop charges laid against the doctor in exchange for him to drop charges laid against a Windsor detective resulting from an altercation.

Though charges were eventually dropped against Dr. Abouhassan, Det. David Van Buskirk is set to go on trial this June following an outside agency charging him with excessive use of force, discreditable conduct, unlawful arrest and deceit for making a false record.

Adjudicator Morris Elbers, a retired OPP superintendent, oversaw the Police Act hearing and concluded the prosecutionas case against the two Staff Sergeants failed to meet athe standard of clear and convincing evidence to make a finding of guilta.

The adjudicatoras 12-page decision stated that the investigation launched by the Office of the Independent Police Review Director relied largely on the testimony of Abouhassanas lawyer, and on the notes of those involved. Elbers commented that the lack of any notation by officer Keane on a meeting with Abouhassanas lawyer was adistressinga, and described officer Bridgemanas notes as being adismala. Elbers further commented that Abhouhassanas lawyer admitted to omissions made, and that the lawyer aconcluded that all the meetings with the officers were ethicala.

In response to the case, the adjudicator stated that Windsor Police should put in place policies to guarantee this does not happen again, and suggested requiring police of superintendent rank or higher be present during meetings between police and defence lawyers. He stressed the importance of properly recording such meetings, a procedure necessary ato preserve the integrity of the investigation and the transparency of the organization.a

Elbers further suggested Windsor Police take aa hands-off approach when a member of their service is charged criminallya, and stated the department ashould be enacting policy to prevent this situation from arising again.a

Acting Windsor police Chief Al Frederick stated that the department atakes all allegations of police misconduct very seriouslya, however he expressed that he was pleased with the adjudicatoras decision.

The allegations against the two Staff Sergeants stems from an altercation between Dr. Abouhassan and Det. Van Buskirk outside the Jackson Park Medical Centre on April 22, 2010. Abouhassan has filed a $14.2-million claim against the Windsor Police, claiming he was beaten and seriously injured by Van Buskirk as a result of mistaken identity and was then wrongfully charged by Windsor Police in an alleged attempt to protect their own officers.

Posted by Ben Dillon (Windsor Law I)

New Rules for Web Surveillance under Bill C-51

The Conservative government has introduced a law that will increase police power in monitoring Internet-surfing of Canadians. Bill C-51, titled aan Act to enact the Investigating and Preventing Electronic Communications Act and to amend the Criminal Code and others Actsa, would require Internet Service providers (ISPs) to install and use equipment allowing the police easier access in monitoring and viewing stored Internet-surfing history of their clients. Under Bill C-51 the police would have the power to have ISPs collect and preserve Internet surfing data for anyone suspected to be engaged in criminal activity without requiring a warrant.

Bill C-51 will also allow police to more easily activate cellphone tracking mechanisms to track the whereabouts of suspected criminals. While cellphone tracking of suspected terrorists can currently be performed for up to 60 days, the new law would allow police to track suspected terrorists for up to one year.

Public Safety Spokesperson Julie Carmichael claims that the new measures are aimed to bring our laws into the 21st century, and will provide police with the tools needed to do their job. She wrote: aRather than making things easier for child pornographers and organized criminals, we call on all Canadians to support these balanced measuresa. She stated Bill C-51 follows policies adopted by Sweden, the United States, Australia and Germany, and claimed the Bill astrikes an appropriate balance between the investigative powers used to protect public safety and the necessity to safeguard the privacy of Canadiansa.

Many advocates of Internet-privacy - including the privacy Commissioner of Canada, have expressed fear over the Billas impact on civil liberties, and have warned the government not to adopt the bill on the grounds that it would lead to serious infringements of civil liberties. Opponents of the Bill have claimed that the new laws would allow police to obtain personal information on suspects at any time without first obtaining a warrant, while the current law allows police to bypass warrants only in emergency situations.

In response to the proposed Bill, the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police (CACP) claimed the law will be difficult to justify, stating they acould not find a sufficient quantity of credible examplesa for an older version of the legislation.

In defence of Bill C-51, Public Safety Minister Vic Toews stated that opponents of the Bill were aputting the rights of the child pornographers and organized crime ahead of the rights of law-abiding citizensa. In response to Toewsa, federal Privacy Commissioner said in a recent letter to Toews that she sees no valid arguments to justify legislating these new surveillance powers over the Internet. In 2009, then Public Safety Minister Pete Van Loan cited kidnapping where police had to wait 36 hours to obtain a warrant as evidence of the need for Bill C-51. However in rebuttal, digital policy expert Michael Geist revealed that the incident did not involve any requests to ISPs by police for customer data.

Posted by Ben Dillon (Windsor Law I)

Can Racial Profiling be Eradicated in Montreal?

A couple months ago, a Quebec Superior Court ordered a new trial for Joel Debellefeuille, who refused to show identification when stopped by Montreal police. The police report pointed out areasonsa for the stop including the fact that the car belonged to a man by the name of Debellefeuille but the person they had stopped was a black man who did not acorrespond at first sight to the ownera. The report also stated that Debellefeuille sounded like a Quebecois family name and not a name of another origin. Finally, the intercepting officer specifically wrote that the primary reason he stopped Debellefeuille was because of his race.

Cases like this one - coupled with the fact that in the first half of 2011 they received 10 complaints against the Montreal police force for racial profiling a caused the Quebec Human Rights Commission to create a report with 93 recommendations to address racial profiling and discrimination in Quebec.

As a result, Mayor GA(c)rald Tremblay and Montreal police chief Marc Parent have outlined a azero tolerancea policy surrounding racial profiling with the goal of having a better understanding of vulnerable groups in society. The proposal calls for equal access to jobs, housing and social programs as well as monetary aid from the Province to help fight poverty and the resulting issues that arise from it. The Mayor also stresses the responsibility that the public has in making Montreal a more tolerant community. At a press conference on the new initiative, Mayor Tremblay spoke of Montreal as an example of multiculturalism and stressed that, aProfiling in any shape or form is unacceptablea.

However, there is valid concern that the plan, press conferences and statements, however well intentioned, will end up simply being symbolic and ignoring both the root causes of profiling while also failing to provide consequences for when it occurs. For instance, Fo Niemi, director of the Centre for Research Action on Race Relations commented on the policy stating that, aThe real skepticism lies in the position of the Police Brotherhood Union on racial and social profiling, and how it will work with the police management team to equip all officers with better management skills to police a diverse city. To date, the position is not clearly articulated where the plan of action is concerned.a

Niemi says that two recommendations specifically would have an immediate impact. First, that Montreal police revise the tactics being used by their anti-gang unit, which, he says, has been known to target young black men as being suspected of being gang members. The second is that Montreal police alter their policies regarding incivilities, which can include any public conduct deemed to be uncivil such as talking loudly, jaywalking or spitting in the street. The willingness of police to stop and fine people for these actions give them the leeway to go after a broad range of people as they choose.

The effectiveness of the azero tolerancea policy will depend on willingness at all levels of policing to keep an open mind and implement true changes that are meant to reach the root cause, not to quell negative press. What seems to be lacking are any concrete plans on how these police officers will be trained to think different about minority populations. Do these elected officials truly believe that years of inherent biases can be eradicated simply by stating that they are inappropriate? What would the most important changes be in trying to rid policing of racial bias and profiling? Similarly, what would the appropriate penalties even be for officers that participate in profiling, whether intentional or not?

Posted by Melissa Crowley (Windsor Law II)

Police Dogs and Excessive Force

Christopher Evans is now suing the Vancouver Police Department (VPD) as a result of injuries he sustained from what he alleges to be aexcessive use of a police doga. In June of 2011, Mr. Evans had smashed a window on a bus and subsequently fled the scene on his skateboard. He was then pursued by a police force and a police-dog. Mr. Evans was acaughta by the dog that bit him so severely that the artery in his leg was nearly hit and Mr. Evans needed almost 100 staples to be closed.

Background a Police Dogs

The Vancouver Police Departmentas Dog Squad has been in operation since 1959 and it is the oldest municipal dog squad in Canada. Dogs and dog-handlers go through extensive training that starts when the dog is young in order to train the dog well, and to formulate a abonda and comfort-level between the dog and dog-handler. There are two circumstances in which a police-dog will be used on a suspect: (1) When the dog-handling police officers believe that a criminal offence has been committed and (2) When the dog-handling police officers feel that the use of force ais needed to apprehend the suspecta.

Observations

The main issue involving police dogs is whether using them constitutes excessive force, and if so, when can using a dog be justified? Police dogs are well-trained and can readily be thought of as any other weapon used by a police officer. As stated in the article, Professor Stan Coren of the University of British Columbia explained that aa dog can kill a person in less than 30 secondsa. This was quite possible in the case involving Mr. Evans where: had the dog bit through to the artery in his leg, Mr. Evans could have bled out in moments.

Police dogs are employed in situations where a suspect needs to be apprehended. In the case of Mr. Evans, it seems fair that a police dog was used as Mr. Evans had the advantage of his skateboard while fleeing. However, what is of particular concern is what the dog was trained to do after it had apprehended the suspect. Are dogs being trained to employ excessive force on suspects that the dog determines to be a threat? Or, was it merely because Mr. Evans continued to resist that the dog persisted in attacking him? What is noted in the article is that dogs are trained to stop attacking if the suspect goes aslacka. However, is it really that easy to go aslacka when being pursued by a potentially deadly animal?

Of particular concern is the safety of the public at large and the ability to control a police dog, particularly a police dog that goes aroguea. Granted, police dogs in force are selectively chosen and trained well. However, anything is possible when there is no control over the dog that may areada a situation incorrectly and attack anyway. If a deadly attack were to occur, can it simply be concluded that the dog went rogue? Or, was more need to be done when training and controlling the dog? Some may see how it is possible that a dog can be used as a ascapegoata for police officers who, rather than using force themselves, rely on the dog to do it for them. An attack by a dog would face less public outcry than an attack by a police officer. Further, very few, if any articles have emerged where a police dog has killed a suspect. Likewise, little negative feedback has surfaced regarding the use of police dogs, even in situations where they attack suspects severely.

On the flip side, the use of police dogs has become a helpful tool to the police. Dogs are used in an array of activities including: finding missing persons; detecting explosives; searching for narcotics, drugs and alcohol; crowd control and several others. Dogs have significantly keener sensory abilities than humans and can conduct searches and chases much faster than humans. In many regards, a dog is an extremely intelligent and useful weapon when trained properly and employed correctly by police.

Like any weapon or force employed by police, however, there will always be some controversy. As a result of this case, an inquiry into the Dog Squad has begun by Pivot Legal Society lawyer Douglas King. Mr. King claims that the dogs should only be used when all other arrest tactics have been exhausted. This is understandable given the sheer strength and potential viciousness of the dog. However, in the case of Mr. Evans, it was not necessarily a question of why a dog was used, but rather, how the dog was trained, particularly after it caught a suspect. In the meantime, it will be interesting to see what transpires from this lawsuit and whether training and tactics will be proactively altered in order to better ensure the safety of the public from police dogs.

Posted by Audrey Wong (Windsor Law I)

RCMP Training Postponed Amid Racial Profiling and Abuse Findings

On January 27, the RCMP scrapped a program to send hundreds of police officers to Arizona for drug recognition training after learning that a recent U.S. Department of Justice Report found areasonable cause to believea that the Maricopa County Sheriffas Office had engaged in a practice of misconduct that violated the U.S. Constitution and Civil Rights Act, 1964. The Report, at page 2, also indicates that the violations are to such an extent that the DOJ is prepared to commence civil proceedings against the Sheriffas Office if it does not comply with a federal judicial process to reform the detachmentas practices immediately.

The DOJ found cause to believe that violations occurred in the following areas: 1. Discriminatory practices including unlawful stops, detentions and arrests of Latinos; 2. Unlawful retaliation against individuals exercising their First Amendment right to criticize MCSOas policies or practices, including but not limited to practices relating to its discriminatory treatment of Latinos; and 3. Discriminatory jail practices against Latino inmates with limited English proficiency by punishing them and denying them critical services.

The Justice Department found a number of long-standing and entrenched systemic deficiencies that caused or contributed to these patterns of unlawful conduct, including: 1. Failure to implement policies guiding deputies on lawful policing practices; 2. Allowing specialized units to engage in unconstitutional practices; 3. Inadequate training and supervision; 4. An ineffective disciplinary, oversight and accountability system; and 5. A lack of sufficient external oversight and accountability.

In addition to these formal pattern or practice findings, the investigation uncovered additional areas of serious concern, including: 1. Use of excessive force; 2. Police practices that have the effect of significantly compromising MCSOas ability to adequately protect Latino residents; and 3. Failure to adequately investigate allegations of sexual assaults.

The Report is drawing concern in Canada because the Maricopa County police detachment has partnered with the RCMP for years, with Maricopa officers instructing in Canada and RCMP officers doing afield certificationa at the countyas jail. That field work has included having RCMP officers, from both municipal and provincial forces, practice drug recognition training on individuals arrested for allegedly driving while impaired. Although Deputy Commissioner Doug Lang cancelled the partnership with Maricopa within days of being alerted to the Report by the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association, noting that it brings ainto questiona certain police practices in Maricopa County.

But some are speculating that the implications span wider than Maricopa County and may impact criminal investigations and cases that are already before Canadian courts, as the Maricopa Sheriffas Office is said to be responsible for training upwards of 85 percent of all drug-recognition experts in North America. As a result, B.C. Civil Liberties Association Executive Director David Eby has called on the RCMP to conduct a retroactive review to determine if the training RCMP officers have received over the years is reliable and complies with Canadian societal norms and constitutional standards.

According to the Montreal Gazette, RCMP Inspector Allan Lucier responded by saying that although the drug recognition materials the RCMP uses were developed in the United States, they have been modified to ensure they conform to Canadian laws.

Mericopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio has called the investigation and attempted reforms politically orchestrated and an ainvitation to illegalsa. Arpaio is also currently under fire for his officeas failure to properly investigate more than 400 sex crimes, which has also prompted calls for his resignation. The Justice Department has given Arpaio 60 days to reach a court enforceable agreement to reform policing practices and systemic deficiencies at the Mericopa detachment.

Posted by Jeremy Tatum (Windsor Law III)


Ottawa Police Association Considering Equipping Officers with Cameras

In response to growing concern over the use of racial profiling and excessive force within the Ottawa Police Service, the Ottawa Sun reports that the new president of the Ottawa Police Association, Matt Skof, believes that this misperception would be dispelled if officers were outfitted with small personalized cameras recording their interactions with citizens.

Skof denies that racial profiling exists amongst Ottawa police but contends that the measure is nevertheless necessary to protect officers, result in cost-saving for the City of Ottawa, and restore public confidence in the police. This comes in the wake of several high-profile civil claims against Ottawa Police for racial profiling and police brutality. In the cases of ChadAiken, Stacy Bonds, TerryDelay and RoxanneCarr, video recordings show Ottawa police using what is being argued amounts to excessive force and unconstitutional search techniques.

In June 2011, the Ottawa Police Service approved a newpolicy aimed at preventing and responding to officers engaging in racial profiling and discriminatory treatment. The police was drafted with the assistance of LEAP.

Posted by Jeremy Tatum (Windsor Law III)

Improving Transparency and Accountability

With Project Accountability, acting Chief Al Frederick has demonstrated that he is prepared to respond to the public demands for accountability and transparency following allegations of police misconduct including the vicious beating of a local doctor and attempts to cover it up.

The blueprint for change and its 27 recommendations should lead to significant change in both culture and procedure. In particular, the adoption of the more liberal definition of "serious harm" which triggers the duty to report incidents to the SIU, enhanced training, new conflict of interest rules, organizational review and a comprehensive external policy review that will be conducted by the OIPRD are all salutary measures. The acting chief has shown strong leadership and should be considered as a viable candidate to be the next chief.

However, other actors in the justice system such as judges, Crown attorneys and defence lawyers also play an important role and must respond appropriately to police misconduct.

If, for example, the police believe that Crown attorneys will not report their misconduct or that judges will not make findings of misconduct or denounce it through appropriate sentences, any efforts by police administration will be thwarted.

Any blueprint for change must include these key actors.

It must also be acknowledged that there are human rights issues facing the WPS that need to be remedied. For example, unconstitutional strip search practices, allegations of discrimination, and the recruitment, retention and promotion of female, racialized and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender officers.

Former chief Gary Smith was a leader in his commitment to changing the human rights culture of the WPS. He partnered with many organizations including the Ontario Human Rights Commission, Windsor Law's LEAP (Law Enforcement Accountability Project) and EGALE (Equality for Gays and Lesbians Everywhere) to bring about change. He faced resistance to these initiatives and there is likely a change-resistant faction happy to see him gone.

So in addition to Project Accountability, here are some additional ideas that could form part of the blueprint for greater accountability and transparency:

* Commit to the human rights audit by the Ontario Human Rights Commission of practices and procedures initiated by former chief Smith, and implement the commission recommendations.

* Investigate the feasibility of a policy requiring all officers on duty and in the field (including officers employed by private organizations like bars) to wear a camera installed on their uniform. Technology now serves as the greatest engine of accountability as we saw with both the David Van Buskirk and Brad Snyder cases. The camera will protect officers from unwarranted accusations as well as to capture misconduct. It will also protect officers from abuse and violence as individuals will know that they are being videotaped. The head of the Ottawa Police Association has recently recommended that Ottawa implement a similar measure.

* Request that a Crown attor-ney be assigned to vet all cases involving police-initiated charges such as assault police, resist arrest, cause disturbance arising out of interactions with accused. The chief should be notified of any case where the Crown believes that the officer has used these kinds of offences to shield their misconduct and the charges should be withdrawn.

* Require the Crown Attorney's Office to notify the chief of any case where there is a judicial determination that an officer has engaged in misconduct or has provided false evidence. The chief should be required to notify the Police Services Board of all such communications from the Crown and how the matter has been dealt with. The Toronto Police Services Board is considering a similar policy.

And finally, the Windsor Police Services Board should consider moving its meetings out of the police station to more publicly accessible and friendly locations. Members of the public are much more likely to attend in these circumstances. And to gauge the concerns of the public and effectiveness of any reforms initiated, it should invite yearly deputations from community groups, experts and other interested individuals to provide information about issues surrounding the delivery of services.

Windsorites are proud of their police service. It has a strong record in crime reduction, building community relationships and moving the service forward to meet the challenges it faces.

With Project Accountability and consideration of these recommendations, it should not be long until public trust is restored.

David M. Tanovich is a professor of law at the University of Windsor and academic director of the Law Enforcement Accountability Project (LEAP).

New Leadership, New Initiatives for Windsor Police

On December 23, 2011, Windsor Police Chief Gary Smith announced his retirement from the force. His decision to retire came amid numerous allegations of brutality and misconduct by Windsor police officers, public outcry over accountability for the actions of police officers, and heavy criticism of Smith for his handling of recent allegations of police misconduct. As of the date of Smithas retirement, the Windsor Police Service was facing $72-million in lawsuits, with thirty cases alleging police brutality. Since 2006, mainly through out of court settlements, Windsor Police has paid over $820,000 of taxpayersa money to victims for malicious prosecution, wrongful arrest, and assault lawsuits. Public discontent with the actions of many officers and the Serviceas handling of allegations of police misconduct has been palpable.

Several high profile cases, including a $14.2-million lawsuit against the Windsor Police Service by Dr. Tyceer Abouhassan, have led to a shaken public confidence in the cityas police. Dr. Abouhassan alleges he suffered a beating at the hands of Det. David Van Buskirk, and was subsequently charged with assault in what his lawyer has called a cover-up by police to protect an officer. Det. Kent McMillan is charged with discreditable conduct for failing to conduct a fair and impartial investigation of the incident involving Dr. Abouhassan and is also charged with deceit for filing a false report in the case. Regarding the publicas outrage at the Windsor Police Serviceas recent alleged action, lawyer Andrew McKay, who currently represents Det. Van Buskirk, contends that police are merely visible targets for these allegations and that misconduct is found in every field of work.

This view that Windsor Police are merely more exposed in the public eye than others is not widely shared. Windsor Mayor Eddie Francis has joined public discontent, and has stated that the frequency in which Windsor Police vehicles are involved in crashes has caught his attention. In an interview with the Windsor Star, Windsor Law Professor David Tanovich stated that even judges are increasingly speaking out against police officers.
Since Smithas resignation, acting police Chief Al Frederick appears to be taking steps toward the right direction. Since his role as acting Chief, he has been outspoken over the need for change within the Windsor Police Service. In a news conference, he bluntly stated that in terms of transparency and accountability for Windsor Police, the astatus quo is not the path forward for the Windsor Police Servicea. He went on to say the Windsor Police Service will no longer athumb its nosea at the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), amid recent accusations by Ontario Ombudsman Andre Marin that the Windsor Police Service has both delayed and failed to report numerous incidents involving police misconduct. Frederick has additionally responded to four SIU letteras originally ignored by former Chief Gary Smith, but stated that Windsor Police Serviceas failure to report certain incidents were a result of a difference in the Police Serviceas definition of aserious injurya from the SIU.

Frederick has furthermore introduced Project Accountability, a 27-measure initiative including enhanced police training, new rules regarding conflict of interests, organizational and external policy reviews conducted by the Office of the Independent Police Review Director, and a more liberal definition of the term aserious harma. The initiative also includes plans to move the professional standards branch out of Windsor Police Headquarters. In an interview, Frederick stated that moving the branch, which is in charge of investigating public complaints, was made in an effort to reduce the public perception of intimidation of those reporting complaints.

Frederickas promises of change have so far appeared genuine, and as he stated, many of the 27 measures have already been implemented. It will be interesting to see whether these steps in the right direction lead to the kind of transparent and accountable police force the public desires. But, as Professor Tanovich noted in a recent op ed in the Windsor Star, other actors in the justice system, including judges, Crown attorneys and defence lawyers, also play a crucial role in properly addressing police transparency and accountability, and should thus be considered in any plans to bring about change.

Posted by Benjamin Dillon (Windsor Law I)

Eviction aggression in the United States potential forewarning for Canadian Movements

In recent weeks it seems that members of the aOccupya movement have overstayed their welcomes and evictions have begun to be carried out. November 15 saw police officers evicting the resisting protestors situated in Zuccotti Park in New York City. There were some reports of arrests numbering approximately 70 and others of officers tear gassing, handcuffing, and dragging people by their hair from the site. Opinions are split about the appropriateness of these actions, the scope of the right to peaceful protest, and whether or not the occupiers should have been forced out to begin with.

The more troubling news however, has come in recent days with information about violent evictions and large-scale pepper spraying incidents. For example, on November 18th police were called to the University of Californiaas Davis campus, making arrests and using pepper spray in the process. The spray however, was not used to control unruly participants, but was sprayed directly in the faces of 10 to 15 participants that were sitting submissively in a row on the ground. One woman was subsequently taken to the hospital to be treated for chemical burns as a result. Videos that captured the events outraged and antagonized protestors amongst the movements. One such video can be found at the following link.
http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/11/19/video-of-police-pepper-spraying-u-c-davis-students-provokes-outrage

This begs the question - what will happen in Canada? Occupy movements here have already experienced evictions as well. If protestors are legally evicted and refuse to leave, should police officers be allowed to take similar action to that which was taken in California? Will protestors and police officers alike be particularly on edge because of the memories of G20? Do protestors have the right to be on the defensive and should police officers proceed with added caution?

Posted by Melissa Crowley (Windsor Law II)

Google Denies Request to Take Down Police-Brutality Video

Google has recently revealed that it has refused the request of a U.S. law enforcement agency to remove a YouTube video that contains acts of police brutality. Although Google did not disclose information about the enforcement agencyas request to remove this video, it recently revealed in its Transparency Report how similar requests have been increasing in recent months.

Googleas most recent TransparencyReport cited the following with respect to a petitioned video:

We received a request from a local law enforcement agency to remove YouTube videos of police brutality, which we did not remove. Separately, we received requests from a different local law enforcement agency for removal of videos allegedly defaming law enforcement officials. We did not comply with those requests, which we have categorized in this Report as defamation requests.

In the report, Google stated that the request to remove content was one of thousands made by governments around the world, including requests from the Government of Canada. Google stated that there have been 16 requests by the Government of Canada for the removal of content from Google services in the past year, 44% of which Google either removed fully or partially. It additionally reported that amid increased government requests to remove content, Google continues to follow its company policy of hosting content, including videos containing police brutality, unless presented with judicial rulings for the removal of specific content.

Googleas decision not to remove content containing police brutality may be particularly relevant today, as the recent Occupy protests across North America have produced a growing number of online videos of police violence toward protestors. A video surfaced recently that showed former Marine Scott Olsen being carried away from an OccupyOakland protest after being struck in the head by a tear gas canister, which left him in critical condition. Footage of this incident posted on YouTube has in part led to rallying of the Occupy Wall Street for greater police accountability in dealing with the protestors.

As the Occupy movement spreads across Canada, Googleas decision to host videos of police interactions with protestors may prove instrumental in promoting police accountability and transparency during these growing protests. It will be interesting to see whether Google will maintain their policy of hosting sensitive content as government requests for their removal continue to increase. It will also be interesting to see whether the Canadian parliament and/or judiciary addresses this issue in the future, and whether law will be enacted to facilitate the removal of content including police brutality.
Posted by Ben Dillon (Windsor Law I)

Case Highlights the Need to Break the aCode of Silencea Amongst Police Officers

Justice Nancy Backhouse, of the Ontario Superior Court, recently had strong words about the unconstitutional search and inaccurate testimony of police constable Ido Sukman during an application to exclude physical evidence of drug possession in R v Le, 2011 ONSC 6276. Notably, Justice Backhouse accepted the contradicting evidence of Sukmanas partner, P.C. Yang, in finding a deliberate breach of the accusedas Charter rights athat cannot be tolerated because the police conduct brings the administration of justice into disreputea.

After evaluating the contradictory evidence of P.C. Sukman and P.C. Yang, Justice Backhouse critically commented that aP.C. Sukmanas evidence does not make any sense. I had grave concerns about his evidence as he testified. His version of the facts strikes me as highly improbable and inconsistent with the usual practice.a

Unfortunately, the position taken by the Crown in this case was that the version of events given by P.C. Yang should be found unreliable and rejected. Justice Backhouse disagreed, instead finding that P.C. Yangas evidence provided confirmation on key factual points in the case: the reason the accused was stopped was not because of his tail lights, but because P.C. Sukman believed that the owner of the vehicle was probably engaged in illicit drug activity, that P.C. Yang was able to see that there was nothing on the passenger seat of the accusedas vehicle, and that P.C. Sukman searched the accusedas vehicle before any drugs or drug paraphernalia were found.

There are two major issues of concern in the circumstances of this case: the illegal searches of Leas vehicle and person, and the untruthful evidence given by a police officer. The illegal search is an issue individual to this case, for which the remedy was the judicial exclusion of the evidence. However, the inaccurate testimony engenders different accountability issues, and while a court can offer strong words, and charges may follow in rare cases, the underlying systemic problems have not been addressed.

When a search has been found to be unlawful, the court has both a test to measure the conduct, and a remedy to ensure that the unlawful search does not taint the trial. This case, however, reveals symptoms of a larger and more systemic problem. By accepting the contradictory evidence of P.C. Yang and so strongly pointing out the improbabilities of P.C. Sukmanas evidence, Justice Backhouse essentially held P.C. Sukmanas evidence to be false. This is the aspect of the case that has sparked media response. Toronto newspapers noted the case under headings such as aJudge Finds Cop Falsified Evidencea (http://thetorontopost.com/news/judge-finds-cop-falsified-evidence/) and commentary websites bore headlines such as aCanada Judge Tosses Case, Rules Police Made Facts Upa (http://www.officer.com/news/10443994/canada-judge-tosses-case-rules-police-made-facts-up). The problem of false evidence and the need for police officers to report on each other in such situations raises concerns with police culture and accountability.

The testimony given by P.C. Yang played an essential part in bringing the inaccurate testimony of P.C. Sukman to light. The willingness and ability to report and contradict dishonest behavior by other officers is an important function of accountability, yet it is not behavior that has typically been associated with police culture. This begs the question: in cases where the accusedas rights have been breached and inaccurate facts have been used to support the evidence, can the justice system and the public trust that officers will report on or give testimony contradictory to that of another officer? Reports on police culture suggest that such action would likely be met with resistance and discouragement from other members of the police force.

One such report, generated from the combined initiatives of the RCMP Research and Evaluation Branch and the Community, Contract and Aboriginal Policing Services Directorate (http://dsp-psd.pwgsc.gc.ca/Collection/PS64-27-2006E.pdf) talks about athe Blue Code of Silencea embedded in police subculture, along with the pressure not to breach it. The report states that athe code of silence...it is argued, is a part of police socialization [and] imposes negative consequences for those who break ita (page 7 of the report). In a sample of police officers in the United States, questions relating to the code of silence found that 64.7% of officers who report incidents of misconduct are likely to be given the cold shoulder by fellow officers (page 8 of the report). One U.S. report notes that police culture is not only characterized by silence about misconduct, but also aunquestioned loyalty to other officersa (page 12 of the report). Because this code of silence was broken in R. v. Le, crucial findings were made with regard to unlawful police conduct in obtaining evidence against a member of the public.

There is also something troubling about the Crownas decision in this case, in the face of conflicting police accounts, to urge the court to accept the testimony that would bolster its own case and entirely reject the sworn testimony of another police officer that would support finding an unreasonable search and inaccurate testimony. Such a position would seem to be at odds with the role of the Crown to be an impartial Minister of Justice.

Would some effort in fact-checking and investigation on the part of the Crown have resolved or shed light on the truth behind some of the evidentiary inconsistencies? With regard to the issue of police misconduct and the surrounding culture of silence, the question becomes: beyond strong words, excluding evidence or staying charges, do the courts have a remedy at their disposal to discourage dishonest behavior on the part of the police, or in any way change the culture that enables it?

Posted by Laura Burkitt (Windsor Law III)

Windsor Mayor Concerned About Police Brutality Lawsuit and Claims of a Cover-Up

This week the Windsor Star reported that Windsor Mayor Eddie Francis has publicly expressed his concerns about the integrity and accountability of the Windsor Police Force in response to allegations that officers attempted to cover up the brutal assault of local doctor Tyceer Abouhassan. When asked about the allegations contained in a $14.2 million lawsuit filed in the Superior Court on September 29, Mayor Francis replied, aI am not happya and aI would share the fact that I do have concernsa. Abouhassan claims that on April 22, 2010, he was minding his own business while jogging from the train station to the Jackson Park Medical Centre in Windsor when he was approached by a man that later turned out to be Det. David Van Buskirk. The officer was not dressed in uniform and at no time identified himself as a police officer.

After accusing Abouhassan of harassing a young girl in the park, Van Buskirk apparently proceeded to break Abouhassanas nose, detach his retina and give the doctor a concussion. The Statement of Claim states that when Abouhassan regained consciousness, he overheard Van Buskirk reporting that an officer had been assaulted and requesting a prisoner transport vehicle and ambulance. Van Buskirk then searched Abouhassanas back-pack and continued to detain the doctor before an ambulance arrived to transport him to the emergency room at Hotel Dieu Grace Hospital.

The lawsuit asserts that after Van Buskirk realized his mistake about the culpritas identity, he knowingly provided a false occurrence report to justify the illegal assault, detention and search of Dr. Abouhassan and that other officers backed up Van Buskirkas claim that Abouhassan attacked him first. However, video surveillance and eye-witness accounts corroborated Abouhassanas description. Additionally, two Windsor Police Officers, Det. Sgt. Patrick Keane and Det. Sgt. Paul Bridgeman, contacted Abouhassanas criminal lawyer on separate occasions in an attempt to broker a deal to withdraw the assault charge against Abouhassan if he did not file a formal complaint with the Office of the Independent Police Review Director (OIPRD) or pursue criminal charges against Van Buskirk. After Abouhassan refused the two offers to broker a deal, an Information was sworn against him by Det. Kent McMillan.

The Statement of Claim reports that Abouhassan subsequently filed complaints with the OIPRD alleging misconduct on the part of Van Buskirk, Bridgeman and Keane, and that ultimately the OIPRD made findings against Van Buskirk for discreditable conduct, excessive use of force and unlawful arrest and deceit under the Police Services Act. McMillan was found to have committed discreditable conduct and deceit, and Bridgeman discreditable conduct and neglect of duty.

Mayor Francis, who heads the Police Services Board, indicated amany people are forming their opinions and are concerneda about what occurred. However, the Mayor could not comment more than that until the matter makes its way through the courts.

Van Buskirk was charged criminally with assault causing bodily harm and public mischief. Meanwhile, the charges against Abouhassan were stayed by the Crown on June 15, 2010. Police Chief Gary Smith, who is also named in the lawsuit, said on Thursday that the Force ahas been as open and honest as possiblea since the allegations arose. While he too is concerned about the Forceas reputation in light of these events, the Chief urged the public not to lose confidence in or pass judgment on the rest of the police service abased on the actions of somea.

Posted by Jeremy Tatum (Windsor Law III)

Police Too Quick To Taser?

On April 7, 2011, an eleven year-old boy was tasered by Prince George (BC) RCMP following his suspected involvement in the stabbing of a 37 year-old man at a group home. Immediately following the incident, little was known or released about what prompted the police to taser the boy. Six months later, it was discovered that the boy in fact suffered from a heart condition, bipolar disorder and hearing impairment. During the incident, the RCMP was negotiating with the boy to come out. The boy appeared in a second-story window with what appeared to be a knife. He ran the object along his sweatshirt, arms and hands. The RCMP then witnessed the boy make cross-like gestures, which stood as a last straw for the RCMP before they decided to taser him when he came out. The boy negotiated for some clothes and when he came out, he was tasered. It was later seen that the boy did not have a knife in his hands, but rather, a pen.

At first glance, it seems that the RCMP were out-negotiated by an 11 year-old boy who faced mental health problems. Rather than calmly or alternatively trying to negotiate with the boy, or perhaps find out more about his situation, the RCMP resorted quickly to using a taser. It is understandable that the RCMP were trying to protect the boy from himself and from themselves. However, by using a taser so quickly, they failed to consider the potentially fatal side effects, in particular on the boyas heart condition. The RCMP also failed to verify whether the boy in fact was holding a weapon at all before deciding to taser him. It begs the question of whether this 11 year-old boy really posed a threat to the RCMP at all.

Given the boyas mental health condition, of notable interest would be to look into whether the RCMP has been provided with adequate training in handling situations of this nature. It is possible that the RCMP misinterpreted the boyas signals or the boy was unable to comprehend the RCMP officersa demands. Would this then be sufficient grounds for the RCMP officers to resort to tasering the 11 year-old boy? It is tough to see in any situation involving an 11 year-old why the RCMP would resort to tasering. It is even more compelling in this situation where the boy faced several mental health disorders.

An investigation was launched into the conduct of the Prince George RCMP officers involved. In charge of the investigation was the West Vancouver Police Department (WVPD), headed by Chief Constable Peter Lepine, a former RCMP officer. Of particular concern here is who is acting as a check on the power of the RCMP? From what it seems, the WVPD is not an entirely independent unit, and thus cannot really provide an aobjectivea inquiry into the RCMP. The issue of tasering is already contentious a can the RCMP be held truly accountable for their actions if investigated by the WVPD?

In the end, it was declared by the WVPD that the conduct of the Prince George RCMP did not violate the Criminal Code. However, few details of how this decision was made were given. Consequently, how can we as the public be satisfied with the results of this investigation? Although the initial story caused mass public discourse and debate, the results of the inquiry into the RCMP has seemed to go undetected. The detailed considerations that went into the WVPD investigation were not made transparent to the public. The length of time between when the incident occurred, and when more details were provided (6 months later) seems entirely unreasonable and did not allow for the public to remain informed.

It is also important to note that separate investigations by independent groups were also launched, including that of the Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP, and one by well-known BC Representative for Child and Youth, Mary Turpel-Lafond working alongside the BC Ministry of Child and Family Development. Results of these investigations have yet to be released but perhaps when they are, they will shed a more objective light on the situation.

Posted by Audrey Wong (Windsor Law)

Police Autism Database a Step in the Right Direction

The Windsor police have partnered with Autism Services Inc. to create an online registry that will help give quick access to detailed information about how to deal with individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) during emergencies. It is modeled after the registry that was created in Ottawa in 2010 and is to be updated annually in order to keep the information current.

People living with an ASD develop differently from others in the areas of motor, language, cognitive and social skills. Each person with an ASD is unique and will have different abilities but often there are problems communicating and ritualistic actions involved with an ASD. This means that police officers may encounter someone displaying erratic, repetitive behaviour that seemingly refuses to listen or communicate with them. This has caused huge problems in how these officers choose to handle the situation, especially if they do not recognize these as signs of autism. With the creation of the registry, residents that live within the Windsor policing jurisdiction can fill out forms that can be used to inform police how their child communicates, what their particular triggers are, and how best to approach them in order to get them to co-operate.
This is particularly important for use with the number of children with ASD that wander off and need police assistance but it is also important given situations that have been seen in the media lately. In August of this year, Toronto police became involved with a situation with a 9-year old boy with ASD in a daycare centre because he had become uncontrollable in a classroom. After ordering the boy to lie down on the ground, which he complied with, they handcuffed him until he calmed down. Many saw this as a highly inappropriate response. Given the fact that children with autism remember patterns so precisely, a damaging interaction with police like this can traumatize them and affect any interactions with police officers in the future. It is uncertain whether a registry would have helped in the situation. Likely, even more in depth training is required for police officers in dealing with people with ASD and other similar disorders.

In light of these events, should every police service be required to have an Autism Registry? Is this enough or should there be more detailed mandatory training involved?

Posted by Melissa Crowley (Windsor Law II)

Windsor Police Service Strip Search Practice aTroublesa Court

Ten years ago the Supreme Court of Canada overturned the drug conviction of Ian Golden and set out constitutional limits and guidelines on the ability of the police to strip search suspects. Last week, Justice Renee Pomerance, of the Windsor Superior Court of Justice, heard adisturbinga evidence that Windsor Police are strip searching approximately 50 percent of those arrested on drug charges. However, no records are kept of the number of searches where no evidence is found and so it is hard to know the actual number and who is most likely to be searched and under what circumstances. This troubled Justice Pomerance as well as the fact that there is no prior authorization from a senior officer practice.

In R. v. Golden, the Court confirmed that reasonable and probable grounds to arrest do not ipso facto confer automatic authority for the police to carry out a strip search. Further,
99 In light of the serious infringement of privacy and personal dignity that is an inevitable consequence of a strip search, such searches are only constitutionally valid at common law where they are conducted as an incident to a lawful arrest for the purpose of discovering weapons in the detaineeas possession or evidence related to the reason for the arrest. [a|] [P]olice must establish reasonable and probable grounds justifying the strip search in addition to reasonable and probable grounds justifying the arrest. Where these preconditions to conducting a strip search incident to arrest are met, it is also necessary that the strip search be conducted in a manner that does not infringe s. 8 of the Charter.

114 Where the circumstances of a search require the seizure of material located in or near a body cavity, the individual being searched should be given the opportunity to remove the material himself or the advice and assistance of a trained medical professional should be sought to ensure that the material can be safely removed. In this case, the plastic wrap was located between the appellantas buttocks. The police had no way of knowing whether it was physically lodged inside him in such a way that it could not be safely retrieved without medical intervention. Nevertheless, the arresting officers undertook to remove the package themselves, through physical coercion and forceful probing and tugging at the package, and by instructing the appellant to alet it outa and to arelaxa. The risk this presented to the appellantas health was made more acute by the fact that after the appellant accidentally defecated [a|]
116 We particularly disagree with the suggestion that an arrested personas non-cooperation and resistance necessarily entitles police to engage in behaviour that disregards or compromises his or her physical and psychological integrity and safety. If the general approach articulated in this case is not followed, such that the search is unreasonable, there is no requirement that anyone cooperate with the violation of his or her Charter rights. Any application of force or violence must be both necessary and proportional in the specific circumstances. In this case, the appellantas refusal to relinquish the evidence does not justify or mitigate the fact that he was strip searched in a public place, and in a manner that showed considerable disregard for his dignity and his physical integrity, despite the absence of reasonable and probable grounds or exigent circumstances.
Justice Pomerance was presiding over the Charter application of Bart Muller to exclude evidence, including 39.5 grams of crack, 23.7 grams of cocaine and 12 oxycondone tablets hidden in his buttocks, from his trial for three counts of possession for the purpose of trafficking.

While the court ultimately found the evidence against Muller admissible because the police had reasonable grounds to strip search a for example, they were acting on the tips of two informants, money and paraphernalia were found on or close to Muller, and he was evasive with police, Justice Pomerance observed that the officersa failure to provide privacy and dignity was by "no means triviala. Contrary to the guidelines in Golden, Muller was entirely naked, in less than private conditions and not given the opportunity to voluntarily remove the baggie when strip searched at the police station.

However, Muller was not the only individual strip searched as a result of the police investigation. After Windsor Police obtained a warrant to search the Detroit Street apartment Muller was said to be occupying, three men and a woman visiting the property were taken into custody and strip searched. All were released without charges after no evidence was found on their person. Yet, as defence counsel discovered after requesting disclosure, no record of the strip searches could be found. A Windsor police officer had permitted the police video to be destroyed.

Justice Pomerance noted that the illegal searches of these citizens and failure to keep records of the incidents was both adisturbinga and aunacceptablea. Moreover, it gives the appearance that a adisproportionate number of strip searches are being carried out by the Windsor Police Servicea. Consequently, the court recommended that the Windsor Police Service revise its training procedures and strip search policy to conform to constitutional standards.

Windsor Mayor Eddie Francis indicated in an interview with The Windsor Star that he atake[s] the comments made by the court very seriouslya, and that he and the Windsor Police Services Board awill raise those issues and ask for a response.a

Of course, Windsor is not the only jurisdiction with evidence or reports indicating that the number of strip searches by police is sharply increasing. According to the Toronto Star, Toronto Police Serviceas own statistics reveal that at least 60 percent of the 50,000 arrested in 2010 were strip searched, which represents a spike of 28 percent since 2001 where almost 21, 000 more arrests were made. Chief Bill Blair attributes the apparent influx to more detailed accounting of strip searches, and maintains that every situation is assessed on a case-by-case basis. Yet, the same statistics report that the Toronto police came up empty-handed in 70 percent of the strip searches performed in 2010.

Some, including John Sewell of the Toronto Police Accountability Coalition, intimate that the high percentage of searches and empty results suggests that ainherently humiliating and degradinga searches (Golden at paras. 89-90) are becoming routine and being done to abelittlea and ahumiliatea people, not for investigative purposes. Sewell suggests that if police are trained to and spend more time conducting better pat down or frisk searches to see if someone is hiding something in his or her underwear, there would be less need to proceed to level three strip and cavity searches. The Toronto Police Services Board has asked Chief Blair to prepare a report on the forceas policies and practices on searches and how they could be improved.

The recent high profile cases of Stacy Bonds, Sean Salvati, and David McPhail have also called into question police accountability and suggested that strip searches are being used to humiliate and intimidate. In March, Ontarioas Special Investigations Unit charged Sergeant Steve Desjourdy with sexual assault in connection with the cellblock strip search of Stacy Bonds.

McPhailas case made headlines in June when Justice June Maresca threw out breathalyzer evidence obtained after McPhail was arrested for driving while impaired by alcohol and over-80, and unnecessarily strip searched. The explanation a police officer offered to the court for the strip search was that a cell phone was found in McPhailas shoe and there might be something else secreted on him. Again, no records were kept of the search, and no approval to strip search McPhail was sought from a staff sergeant. Ultimately, Justice Maresca found that the police conduct aboth in conducting the strip search and in attempting to hide it at triala made the seriousness of the state conduct and impact on the accuseda Charter protected rights aespecially egregiousa. After the evidence was excluded, McPhail was acquitted. A spokesperson for the Peel Police Service stated that the force will alook intoa the courtas findings of misconduct.

In spite of widespread calls for increased police training and reporting when it comes to conducting searches and the ensuing litigation that the taxpayer is left on the hook for ten years after guidelines were issued to the police and public, what should be done to streamline compliance and police accountability?

Posted by Jeremy Tatum (Windsor Law III)

Crown Withdraws Charges After Court Raises Concerns About Racial Profiling


Two victims of what one judge described as racial profiling are relieved that the Ottawa Crown Attorneyas Office exercised its discretion in withdrawing all charges during a preliminary hearing on June 23.

Jordan Noel, 22, and Loik St-Louis, 24, were stopped on Rideau and Waller streets in August 2010 while driving Noelas motheras Cadillac. According to St-Louis, the officer in charge, Constable Robin Ferrie, never advised the pair why they were being stopped or detained.

Provincial Court Judge Dianne Nicholas heard from Cst. Ferrie that the Cadillac was part of a random spot check under the Highway Traffic Act, but, when pressed by Justice Nicholas why he called for backup, Ferrie noted that the men were in a high drug area and alerted the officeras suspicion because they did not make eye contact with him as Ferrie drove by. Yet later in cross-examination Ferrie conceded that his investigation notes made no mention that not looking at him is what raised the officeras suspicion. Instead, the notes indicated that asuspicious males in a vehicle in a high drug areaa and atwo young males driving a Cadillaca were the reason for the stop.

Ferrie went on to testify that Noel nervously explained the vehicle belonged to his mother and, according to Ferrie, too promptly handed over his license and registration, casting further suspicion in the officeras mind that the vehicle might be stolen.

However, Justice Nicholas was quick to question that line of reasoning asking, ahow many white women do you stop in the market just because theyare driving a car? How many in the last month?a Ferrie was unable to provide the court with any estimate or example.

Moreover, aBecause two black guys in a car donat look at you, youare calling for backup? [a|]Youare going to check whether he has permission from his mother to drive a car and two other police cars show up, like come on?a, asked Justice Nicholas. Ferrie noted that it turned out Noelas mother had not known her son had taken the vehicle.

While the two continued to be detained and Ferrie conversed with Noelas mother using the number Noel provided the officer, the two backup officers arrived on scene. One discovered five grams of crack cocaine, thirteen grams of marijuana, a drug scale and approximately $1,685 in cash during a search of the vehicle. All items were seized and taken into property. The two were arrested, taken into police custody and formally charged. The cash would later go missing in the police evidence room, though Noel and St-Louis were repaid earlier this week.

In the landmark decision in R. v. Brown, Morden J.A., for the Ontario Court of Appeal, critically observed at paras. 8 and 44 that:

The attitude underlying racial profiling is one that may be consciously or unconsciously held. That is the police officer need not be an overt racist. His or her conduct may be based on subconscious racial stereotyping. [a|] A racial profiling claim could rarely be proven by direct evidence. [a|] Accordingly, racial profiling [a|] must be done by inference drawn from circumstantial evidence.

The court went on to accept that a finding of racial profiling is capable of being supported where the evidence shows that the circumstances relating to a detention correspond to the phenomenon of racial profiling and provide a basis for the court to infer that the police officer is lying about why she or he singled out the accused person for attention.

With the charges facing Noel and St-Louis, although Justice Nicholas heard no direct evidence of racism on the part of Constable Ferrie, she inferred from the evidence before the court that it sounded like the two had been racially profiled.

Following the lunch recess when both parties returned to court, the prosecutor announced the Crown would be withdrawing all charges. aI think thatas an appropriate use of your discretiona, replied Justice Nicholas.

Of note, the Crown Policy Manual requires that when considering whether or not to continue the prosecution of a charge, Crown counsel must determine if there is a reasonable prospect of conviction and, if so, whether it is in the public interest to continue or discontinue the prosecution

It would seem that having been alerted to some of the same concerns expressed by the court, Crown counsel was alive to his or her duty as a Minister of Justice to ensure that the criminal justice system operates fairly to all, including the accused, victims of crime and the public. (R. v. Boucher (1954), 110 C.C.C. 263 (S.C.C.); R. v. Cook (1997), 114 C.C.C. (3d) 481 (S.C.C.))

Posted by Jeremy Tatum (Windsor Law III)

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