Court testimony exposes OPP propaganda

by Gary McHale - The Regional

April 29, 2009

The taxpayers in Haldimand will be happy to hear that the criminal case against me will cost over $1 Million dollars of your hard earned money while Commissioner Fantino admitted spending another $500,000 to ensure no Canadian Flag was put up across from the DCE. At a time when Hamilton courts are short by two judges the Crown's preliminary hearing into my case will take 17 days with court days in 2008, 2009 and 2010. The trial itself will take 3-4 months of continuous court time and most likely occur in 2011.

The Commissioner's court testimony borders on delusional paranoia. During his previous appearance he angrily stated from the witness stand to me, "I know you have my home under surveillance." One has to wonder what resources the Commissioner believes I have that I can have his home under surveillance? Last week his bizarre sense of reality was further displayed when he testified that, “But for you Caledonia would be a peaceful place.” 

Despite his obvious obsession with blaming me for Caledonia’s woes Commissioner Fantino has not provided the court with a single example to support his views. After he testified that the OPP videotapes me all the time and makes notes regarding my activities and speeches, the Commissioner stated there is not one example of any officer witnessing me committing a crime. The Commissioner does not let the facts keep him from using me as the scapegoat to divert the public's attention away from the failed policies of the OPP.

OPP Officer Jeff Bird, member of Emergency Response Team, testified that it was at 6:45 am on Dec. 1, 2007 when he became “alarmed” at the lack of OPP resources - over 3 hours before the protest started. First, Officer Bird made it clear that the OPP briefing that morning was focused primarily on Doug and Randy Fleming because they had already organized several anti-illegal smoke shop rallies. Officer Bird testified that even when he recorded the day's events in his notes and made a video statement back at the command post that Gary McHale wasn't central to the day's event. In fact, the only time he recorded anything to do with me was when he wrote about how Clyde Powless attacked me.

Officer Bird testified that the day's violent outcome had nothing to do with McHale and would have happened anyway. In his view there were two main reasons for the violent outcome that occurred on Dec. 1, 2007.

First he realized the OPP were not assigning the resources needed to have any real control over the event. He claimed that certain standard operating procedures (SOP) that the OPP had established in Caledonia were not followed that day. Instead of the normal 90-120 ERT (Emergency Response Team) officers the OPP only had about 7 ERT officers plus 20 uniformed officers. The OPP assigned no backup nor did they have any OPP officers videotaping the event even though it was SOP. One must ask why the OPP, for the first time, didn't want to record what was going to happen at a Caledonia protest.

Although Native protesters were assaulting non-natives within minutes of our arrival OPP radio transmissions, entered as evidence, shows that no backup units came to Caledonia until after Jeff Parkinson and myself were sent to the hospital near the end of the event.

The second reason the day ended in violence was directly due to the actions of Clyde Powless. Native media along with Mr. Fantino have attempted to claim that Mr. Powless only became angry after hearing that his sister Camille Powless had been assaulted by me - a claim that later was proven false and she was charged with Public Mischief for filing a false police report.

Linda Powless, editor of Turtle Island News (TIN) and no relation to Clyde, helped spread this propaganda in her newspaper on Dec. 5, 2007 by being the only media to reprint Mr. Fantino's press release that day and by outright lying about the facts.

I have never read a newspaper that claims you have committed a crime before a ruling of a court - papers always state ‘alleged’ crime. But here is how Ms. Powless reported the news on Dec. 5, 2007.

'Camille Powless, a relative of Clyde Powless also suffered injuries after being assaulted in an altercation with Gary McHale.'

The Judge who conducted the trial of Steve Powless' assault on me on Dec. 1, 2007 repeatedly stated in court that he would have no problem convicting Camille for assaulting me twice. In fact, the Judge directly interrupted the Defence's closing argument more than once to state Mr. McHale was the victim and did nothing to cause the attack upon him.

In the same case, while I was on the stand, the Defence lawyer repeatedly attempted to paint me as the one inciting the violence. More than once the Judge stopped her and told the court that Mr. McHale was the victim in this case - something Mr. Fantino refuses to admit.

The truth, which Commissioner Fantino and Linda Powless of Turtle Island News don't want the public to know, is that Clyde was violent long before his sister incited the crowd by repeatedly screaming out that I assaulted her.

Officer Bird testified that long before Camille claimed I assaulted her, Clyde was screaming out that he was going to shut down the road. Two separate officers approached Officer Bird asking him to do something to get Doug Fleming to move his truck off the road because Clyde was going to pull the tower onto the road. Video evidence also shows that at several different times Clyde was physically pushing OPP officers around and calling them out to fight 'man to man'.

Clearly the Turtle Island News was unable or unwilling to report the news of Dec 01/07 with any degree of journalistic integrity.

For about 1.5 hours the OPP knew that Clyde Powless was being violent and had threatened to shut down the town but did nothing to stop him. There was no arrest to prevent a breach of the peace at any time.

Some Native people had to be physically restrained by OPP officers and in each case the OPP simply released them. Resident Kyle Hagen was arrested, handcuffed and removed for merely standing on the already-blocked road with a coffee while Native Protesters wrestled with OPP officers without fear of arrest. This ‘catch and release’ policy allowed them to be involved in more violence later in the event.

What is really happening is that a few dozen Native Extremists believe they can control the Government and the OPP by victimizing the residents in Caledonia and so far they have been correct. Remember when the Men's Fire blocked #6 bypass for 4 days in April 2008 in an attempt to influence OPP attempts to enforce the law against Shawn Brant in Deseronto?

The public has a choice to make. You can believe the endless lies of Mr. Fantino and the OPP or you can start to see that this is merely an attempt to prevent non-Natives  from speaking out against racial policing.

You can live in a police state where officers are accountable to no one or you can stand against the injustice.

That choice is yours.