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Ending TAVIS

Background

In 2005, 52 of 78 homicides in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, were people shot dead. Even though many of the 2005 shooting deaths did not occur during the summer of 2005, like the shooting death of Jane Creba referenced below, some people called Toronto's 2005 shooting deaths the Summer of the Gun, a term which still sticks today.

Most of these shootings deaths were attributed to gang violence though not all shooting death victims were gang members. At about 5pm on December 26, 2005, 14 year old, Jane Glenn Creba, who was not a gang member, was shot and killed while shopping on the corner of Dundas and Yonge Streets when two sets of gang members exchanged gunfire.

In 2006, then Ontario premier, Dalton McGuinty, reacted to these homicides by offering the City of Toronto taxpayer money to create a new department of Toronto's police force called TAVIS: Toronto Anti-Violence Intervention Strategy. The funding was temporary but accepted by the City of Toronto and renewed annually by the Province of Ontario. In 2006, David Miller was Toronto's mayor.

McGuinty stepped up with 51 million CD in funding for a number of crime prevention programs, many of which, including TAVIS, were suggested by the United States Department of Justice (USDOJ), who after the Creba killing became interested in Toronto's plight. In fact, Toronto Police accepted training from the USDOJ in implementing crime fighting strategies the USDOJ suggested.

In 2011, after more shooting deaths in Toronto, McGuinty, who was still Ontario's premier, permanently funded TAVIS, an idea accepted by then Toronto mayor, the late Rob Ford.

Since inception, TAVIS's officers increase patrols when necessary in Toronto's high crimes areas. Since inception, TAVIS's officers, have arrested more than 22 000 people, averaging more than 2200 arrest per annum. Ontario's attorney general's office, the only people who would know the following information, has refused to answer my queries on the following.

  1. How many of these cases went to trial or are awaiting trial?

  2. How many of these cases resulted in charges being withdrawn by the crown prosecutor, tossed out of court by judges, or resulted in not guilty verdicts at trial?

  3. How many of these cases ended in plea bargains, guilty verdicts, and the convicted getting jail time?

It is impossible for me to judge how affective TAVIS has been in crime fighting without answers to the above queries.

Street Checks

Street checks, called carding by many Toronto citizens, allows police officers to stop people, even if they are not acting suspiciously or committing a crime and ask for their personal information including name, address, and telephone number. It is voluntary for people to hand over this information to police but police were not required to tell anyone they whose personal information they were asking for that the interaction was voluntary and the person could walk away.

In 2015, after an outcry by Ontario's citizens that street checks were racist because white police officers were constantly stopping and performing street checks on black people, especially black men. Ontario's government instead of repealing the law on street checks, chose in 2015, only to ask police officers to disclose to anyone they were stopping that the interaction was voluntary, a move which allows racist white police officers to continue to stop black men without cause.

Over the years, TAVIS officers, have been criticized for performing street checks. Yet, Ontario's government only has to repeal the street checks law, but refuses to. Yet, all Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders has to do is suspend his officers from performing street checks as his predecessor, William Blair, did.

Since 2011, Kathleen Wynne, has become Ontario's premier. In 2015, Wynne's government announced cutting TAVIS's annual funding from 5 million CD to 2.63 million CD.

Transformational Task Force

In 2014, John Tory, became Toronto's mayor. Tory appointed Mark Saunders Toronto police chief and Andy Pringle head of Toronto's Police Services Board. In 2016, Pringle and Saunders appointed the Transformational Task Force (TTF) to investigate both cost cutting and modernizing Toronto's police force.

  1. So how many people appointed to the TTF are experts on crime fighting and prevention, policing, live in high crime neighborhoods, or live in Rexdale where two high crime streets, Jamestown and Tandridge Crescents exist?

  2. How can Toronto's citizens trust the TTF's recommendations if their members have none to minimal expertise on crime fighting and prevention, policing, nor live in any of the neighborhoods named in the previous query?

  3. What public consultations has the TTF conducted so Toronto's citizens can have their say on the type of police force they want? Why is John Tory not promising public consultations before the TTF's recommendations are implemented?

  4. If TAVIS receives less funding from Ontario's government, why can't TAVIS exist with less members and without having to perform street checks?

  5. Why has the TTF not researched how much money officers performing street checks or attempting to is costing the City of Toronto since officers must be paid while performing their duty?

TTF's Preliminary Recommendations

On June 16, 2016, released a preliminary report recommending disbanding TAVIS and redeploying police officers who currently work at TAVIS to other police departments or divisions. This means TAVIS officers despised for performing street checks will remain on the Toronto's police force and be allowed to continue performing street checks.

  1. Why exactly has the TTF recommended disbanding TAVIS if it is not to prevent street checks?

  2. Is it simply to save Ontario's government 2.63 million CD in annual funding?

  3. Was saving Ontario's government money apart of the TTF's mandate?

The TTF's preliminary report does not discuss why TAVIS officers, and indeed all Toronto police officers, should simply stop performing or attempting to perform street checks, one of the reasons Toronto's black community despises Toronto's police force, including TAVIS. Since Toronto's police force, TAVIS included, worked under William Blair without performing street checks the cost saving and effectiveness of Toronto's police force, TAVIS included, is known. So why did the TTF not use the information before recommending disbanding TAVIS?


Toronto Police Beatings & Shootings

Over the years, Toronto police officers have killed a number of men, most of them black. In many cases, which includes shootings of women, the police officers who did the shootings were not even charged with crimes.

Many of these killings were committed by the Toronto Police Emergency Task Force (ETF), more popularly known in my neighborhood as the Toronto Police Elite Terrorist Force. The TTF has chosen not to shut down the ETF and dismiss its officers from Toronto's police force even though ETF officers obviously live by "see black, kill black".

The TTF has chosen not to dismiss from Toronto's police force David Cavanagh and Mike McCormack who each laughed when a foolish white judge whose racism has never been questioned at a preliminary hearing threw out charges laid against Cavanagh over Cavanagh's killing of Eric Osawe, a black man.

The TTF has not recommended the dismissal of Toronto police officers who stood by and watched other officers shoot and kill people. That list includes Const. Iris Fleckeisen, who stood by and watched her partner, James Forcillo, pour eight bullets into Sammy Yatim, killing Yatim, and then, testifying on Forcillo's behalf, at Forcillo's trial. Why is the TTF saying it is a police officer's job to stand by and watch a person being brutally killed by other police officers?

The TTF does not recommend the dismissal of officers from 23 division who in 2015 beat up a guy named Bolla who was not in commission of a crime nor wanted for a crime. Mayor John Tory, Chief Mark Saunders, 23 Division and Toronto's police force each refuse to name the officers who carried out the beating which was videotaped. When Bolla's family tried filing a criminal complaint, 23 Division police officers told the family to "get out" of their division. Nobody is investigating the incident in order to lay criminal charges against the officers. This has now resulted in 5 million CD lawsuit. This is not the only beating conducted by Toronto police officers. Yet the TTF has not asked for officers who beat people up to be dismissed.

Mike McCormack

Reported above was Mike McCormack laughter after charges against David Cavanagh for killing Eric Osawe were thrown out.

Mike McCormack, along with wife, his brother, William, and Mike's former Toronto Police Association board member, Rick McIntosh, have all been charge with crimes. Mike McCormack has been < a href="http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/take-a-good-look-at-constable-who-wants-tohead-police-association/article1345843" target="_blank">convicted.

Mike McCormack believed James Forcillo would be exonerated in Sammy Yatim's killing. Global News has removed the audio and video of McCormack's prediction, but not the headline. Peter Baurti, the lawyer hired by Mike McCormack as the Toronto Police Association lawyer, and who represented Forcillo at Forcillo's trial for killing Yatim, wanted to tell jurors Yatim was trying to commit "suicide by cop" at the moment Forcillo killed Yatim. The trial judge, Edward Then, did allow jurors to hear this crap. Forcillo was convicted of killing Sammy Yatim but is still being paid his fully salary and benefits to protect and serve the City of Toronto. Why has the TTF not recommended dismissing officers who have been convicted.

Mike McCormack also criticized Alok Mukherjee when Mukherjee headed the Toronto Police Services Board (TPSB) after Mukherjee posted on a social media page a truthful statement that American police officers have killed more people than DAESH and Ebola. Mukherjee has since resigned from the TPSB, and McCormack gets to stay on Toronto's police force for criticizing Mukherjee for being truthful.

DAESH's operatives in Canada have killed Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent and Corporal Nathan Cirillo. An ex-Canadian soldier, John Gallagher was killed in Syria while fighting DAESH. That means DAESH has, thus far, killed three Canadians. Toronto police have killed more than three Canadians, and definitely, more than three black Canadians. When it comes to killing Canadians, Toronto police have, thus far, outdone DAESH, and McCormack has had nothing to say about that.

No Canadian has died due to the recent Ebola outbreak.

Why has the TTF not recommended dismissing McCormack given what has been presented above about the guy or recommended dismissing officers who hire Baurti as their lawyer since Baurti does not care about Sammy Yatim and how many other victims of Toronto police action including violent action?

Final Report

Ending TAVIS is one of 24 recommendations made by the TTF and the TPSB at a later date will decide to accept or refuse the recommendation. Will this decision occur after public consultation?

The TTF's final report is due during the fall of 2016 with no timetable for if and when the TTF's recommended changes will be implemented and how much money will be saved by implementing the TTF's recommendations.

Letter

Mukherjee

Background

Though this article listing Rexdale shootings was published by the Toronto Star on July 9, 2015, many of the shootings listed occurred before John Tory took office as Toronto's mayor in December 2014. Since Toronto police began investigations soon after each of these shootings and homicides, police statistics would have been available on each. Yet, Tory took office as Toronto's mayor setting not solving gun crimes as his priority, but by Tory's own words, housing, traffic, and transit.

Since Tory became Toronto's mayor, the following shooting deaths have occurred on or near Jamestown Crescent, a City of Toronto Community Housing enclave on the southern edge of Ward 1 in Rexdale. Ward 1's councillor, Vincent Crisanti, who is only a symbolic deputy mayor of Toronto, does nothing more than follow Tory around and never tells us what hos own ideas to stop shooting deaths are.

March 2015 - Donald Beckles

Was shot dead by an assailant while smoking a cigarette outside the community housing townhouse Beckles lived in. Security camera video shows the killer, a black man, running up to Beckles and shooting Beckles dead. However, the camera's images do not clearly show the shooter's face making the murderer's identification by this video impossible. Mayor John Tory has reacted to the Bobb murders in Jamestown (explained below) by adding more security cameras. But the Beckles homicide shows this might be useless and a waste of taxpayer money.

July 2015 - Lucent Ross

Lucent Ross is the only one of the three above listed cases where arrests have occurred. The matter is before the courts. Canada's Youth Criminal Justice Act disallows the public naming of anyone who is to stand trial in this case.

May 2016 - Candice Rochelle Bobb and her son, Kyrie

None of the above named shooting victims were street gang members. Donald Beckles and Lucent Ross were each residents of Jamestown Crescent a the time of their killings. Bobb was a Brampton resident who was seated in a car parked at a curb on John Garland Boulevard near Jamestown Crescent when she was shot and killed while pregnant with her son, Kyrie. Many people who have nothing to do with gangs have been shot and killed simply because they happened to be around shots being fired. Tory visited Jamestown after the Bobb and Ross shootings but not Beckles.

Other than visiting Jamestown, Tory did nothing.

The above are not the only shooting deaths in Toronto since Tory became mayor. Gun murders, excluding shooting deaths by Toronto police officers which would inflate the statistic if included, are over the first four months of 2016 up Mayor John Tory's initial reaction to a gun amnesty was unsurprisingly "lukewarm" since John Tory has membership in the Conservative Party (a.k.a. Progressive Conservative Party) who believe a loaded gun should be in every killer's hand.

Mammoliti's motion failed to get enough support to be debated and voted on by Toronto's mayor and its city councillors.

On June 28, 2016, 20 days after Mammoliti presented his motion to city council, an unusually lethargic pace for a crisis, the mayor's executive committee, comprised of city councillors appointed by Mayor John Tory, meets to discuss, debate, and vote on, a guns for 200CD grocery gift certificate exchange. Meanwhile, how many more people will be killed or maimed by bullets? Why are voters, media, and other city councillors, not calling Mayor John Tory and his executive committee out on this leisurely reaction to a crisis?

Mammoliti is not on the executive committee. The following people are having been appointed by Tory. None represent Ward 1 where shooting deaths have occurred. Nor are any of these councillors' portfolios involve weapons or ordnances.

8 men + 4 women, including Mayor John Tory, comprise Toronto's executive committee. Shameful, John Tory would use his position as Toronto's mayor to allow city councilors whose wards have not seen shooting murders in 2016, as is the case with many of the executive committee's city councilors, to vote on a gun amnesty.

Why are none of the executive committee members from northwestern Toronto, i.e., Wards: 1, 2, & 7, where a number of shooting deaths have happened?

How did John Tory appoint an executive committee without a city councilor west of Frank DiGiorgio in Ward 12?

Why is nobody calling John Tory out, not the voters, not the media, not other city councilors, on the above two queries?

Listed below are councillors currently seated on the executive committee, none of whose portfolios involve gun violence as you will notice. Just click the links below and you should be able to email these councilors.

Anna Bilbao, Community Housing

Cesar Palacio, Licensing & Standards

David Shiner, Planning & Growth

Frank DiGeorgio

Gary Crawford, budget director

James Pasternak, Community Development & Recreation

Jaye Robinson, Public Works & Infrastructure

John Tory, Mayor

Mary-Margaret McMahon

Michael Thompson, Economic Development & Growth

Michelle Berardinetti, Parks & Environment

Paul Ainslie, Government management

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ISBN: 978-0-9809727-8-8

Copyright © PJ Morris 2016 - 2017