A man alleges that he was beaten by the police, and the photograph accompanying the article would suggest that there are merits to his allegations. The fact that he was in breach of his probation and the the man's arm length criminal record will be factors in the investigation. I do know the man in question, but I don't know anything about the events of that night other than what I have read in the newspaper article. I will wait for the SIU to conclude their investigation before forming any opinions on this particular matter.
But I do know this;
The Quinte West O.P.P. (Ontario Provincial Police) detachment have a lot of trouble dealing with the public. I have quite a bit of first hand experience with them. I can sympathize with them to a degree, Trenton is a pretty tough town to police. This, however, is no excuse for the way they behave and the methods they employ, they are supposed to be a professional police force.
The Quinte West O.P.P. will often ask people to identify themselves with no reason. I suspect that they do this so that they can run the person's name and see if there are any outstanding warrants. We are not a police state, and this should not be a method used for policing. It might be a successful method of collaring criminals, but it infringes on the rights of people going about their own business.
The attitudes of the officers vary, but there are a few who are sneering, belligerent, rude and act like bullies. When there is absolutely no reason for me to provide identification, I don't. I make a point of it. Their response is no better than bullies in a schoolyard. They will walk right up to me, face to face and come within centimetres of chest bumping me backwards. I have been called a "scrawny bastard" by one (who was talking with another officer and thought I wasn't within earshot). I have been pushed to the ground, handcuffed unnecesarily, had an officer put his knee in my back while I'm on the ground, frogmarched to a police car, been berated, belittled, and lied to by these same men and women who my taxpayer's dollars are going towards protecting me. (Oh yeah, a middle aged guy in a shirt and tie standing outside his own house smoking a cigarette matches the description of someone who was seen looking into parked cars with the intention of breaking into them). The buggers have ruined two of my favourite shirts.
I was once at a court case involving a friend of mine where an O.P.P. officer from the Quinte West detachment had botched some paperwork and then lied on the stand (in front of a judge) about it. That's a very serious allegation, but I can back it up, so I'm not worried about making it.
I personally have been asked for identification at least fifteen times in the last three years while walking down the street minding my own business. I reiterate, Canada is not a police state. Unless they have reason to believe I have comitted a crime, or they catch me in the act of one, I have no legal obligation to provide them with identification. I suppose the fact that I walk with a limp gives them reason to think I'm inebriated.
The kicker is, if they asked politely, I'd probably just tell them who I am and give them my driver's license. They don't though. They have such a lack of respect for the public and have such a sneering attitude that I have no desire to comply with their demands. The way they handle themselves will guarantee that incidents will occur. I suspect that there are a few officers who actually want this to happen so that they can get physical with people. They treat people like criminals before they have any evidence to prove that they are. I suspect that they assume that any one who isn't cooperating with their demands must have something to hide. The absolute lack of civility and manners in the officers' approach will create a lot of bad situations out of nothing.
2011 was not a great year for the Quinte West O.P.P., there has been a lawsuit brought against them, an officer who was charged with criminal harassment committed suicide, and another SIU investigation cleared some officers of wrongdoing. We are starting to see a lot of smoke, so it's time that the fire was addressed.
The Quinte West O.P.P. behave like a street gang on steroids. Frankly, I do not have confidence in them policing my community any more. We, as a community deserve much better.