Law Union of Ontario rebukes Toronto Police Association for dishonestly and illegally condemning the chair of the TPSB
Toronto – 9 December 2014 – The Law Union of Ontario is calling on Michael McCormack and the Toronto Police Association to publicly apologize for dishonestly and illegally condemning the chair of the Toronto Police Services Board over a Facebook post. These attacks threaten to set back progress in community-police relations by years.
Dr. Mukherjee re-posted a flyer that was critical of the the frequency with which Americans are killed by police officers in that country. Eric Garner and Michael Brown are just two recent high profile examples. The Toronto Police Association suggests the message in the poster in some way reflects on policing in Toronto. “The Toronto Police should be disassociating themselves from the kinds of fatal and racist police practices that take place in some jurisdictions south of the border, rather than finding common bond with those practices,” said Vilko Zbogar on behalf of the Law Union of Ontario’s Policing Committee.
This morning, the Law Union of Ontario sent a letter to Michael McCormack putting him on notice that the Police Services Act prohibits police officers from engaging in unauthorized political activity. “Lobbying the mayor and the premier to replace a civilian overseer of the police force is a political activity and it is illegal,” said Law Union lawyer Paul Copeland.
“Dr. Mukherjee has been working to reduce the size of the police budget,” added Law Union lawyer Bob Kellermann. “The Toronto Police Association has a vested interest in wanting to undermine him for that reason. In addition the Police Services Board under Dr. Mukherjee’s leadership has been progressively reforming policing, such as by instituting a new carding policy. Police have not been receptive to these changes.”
Mayor John Tory campaigned on a promise of building better police-community relations. “Unfortunately, by aligning himself with the Toronto Police Association’s attack on the chair of the Toronto Police Services Board, Mayor Tory risks undermining the progress that the Board has been making to build public confidence in the police,” stated Paul Copeland.
Paul Copeland, 416-964-8126
Bob Kellermann, 416-966-9406
Vilko Zbogar, 416-855-6710