by Gary McHale - The Regional
February 2, 2011
Anyone who has met Insp. John Periversoff can tell you he is a polite and pleasant person to talk to. The previous inspector, Dave McLean, was of the same character. When Insp. Periversoff was first appointed commander of Haldimand he presented himself as a person who supported both rule of law and equality under the law. He claimed to want to bring about healing and reconciliation. In my own home Insp. Periversoff told us to judge him by his own actions and not by the actions of others in the past.
There is a Biblical teaching that says, "Beware of wolves in sheep's clothing."
Does this teaching apply here? The public needs to review the evidence of Insp. Periversoff's actions and decide for itself - as he said we should judge him by his actions.
The first problem that we have is what are his actions? We were lead to believe he wasn't involved in Caledonia during the violent periods but it now turns out he was the acting detachment commander when the power station was destroyed and when other serious crimes took place.
I emailed Insp. Periversoff two weeks ago and asked him to provide a list of dates when he served in Caledonia - he has refused to reply. I guess he wants us to judge him by his actions but he doesn't want us to know exactly when he served in Caledonia so we can review all his actions.
On the OPP's website it states their goal is "open and honest dialogue" and "community safety is everyone’s responsibility and crime prevention is everyone’s business."
However, every attempt at having open and honest dialogue has been met with the door being slammed in our face. Every attempt at taking responsibility to help prevent crimes has been met with slanderous statements being issued by the OPP and false arrests of the very citizens the OPP claim they want help from.
In my March 31, 2010 story I reported that Insp. Periversoff refused to attend meetings but sent S.Sgt. Phil Carter to speak for the OPP. Each question that was asked had the same reply which was, "You will have to speak to Insp. Periversoff about that." Merlyn Kinrade then asked S.Sgt. Carter to schedule a meeting with Insp. Periversoff in order to have open and transparent dialogue. A few hours later Mr. Kinrade received a phone call stating Insp. Periversoff was not willing to have a meeting with him. At that point Insp. Periversoff has turned down about a dozen requests in the previous 3 months to have meetings.
In the same story I reported how Insp. Periversoff attempted to use the death of Constable Vu Pham to silence people in Haldimand. He stated, "... this week with the tragic murder of Constable Vu Pham of the OPP Huron Detachment. There is little in life that prepares us for the loss of a police officer. While there are those out there in our society that criticize police to further personal agendas... While a variety of self serving agendas continue to manifest and inject unnecessary discord into our community, perhaps as a community it is time to reflect on the need, appropriateness and true agenda of those groups and what is really occurring..."
No-one should lose their right to speak out and hold police accountable because an officer died in an unrelated event. Otherwise what do democracy and free speech mean?
On March 17, 2010 I ran a story titled "Will Insp. Periversoff apologize to Haldimand?" He certainly has had plenty of time to issue an apology, to contact me to provide me with his side of the story or to issue a press release to clarify the issues. However, so far the commander, who first appeared on the scene willing to speak to media and the public, has gone silent.
Has Insp. Periversoff apologized for exploiting Constable Vu Pham's death to silence people? Has he apologized for Race Based Policing which has been clearly exposed in Christie Blatchford's book?
Not only has he not apologized but he hasn't even read Blatchford's book. I wonder how any officer who claims to care for the people he has sworn to serve and protect could possibly not read Blatchford's book? Is he not interested in what has happened or in the suffering of the families he now must protect?
The public is often told that each individual police officer has the discretion to lay a charge against people. We have always found it interesting how 200 officers all exercise their discretion exactly the same way without orders coming from above.
Ms. Blatchford's book reveals how several officers have been punished when they finally decided to exercise their discretion and wanted to start arresting Native protestors. During Dave Brown and Dana Chatwell's lawsuit Insp. Brian Haggith, the Haldimand OPP Commander, had decided on June 9, 2006 Native protestors must be arrested while they committed crimes.
He was quickly ordered not to and to create a plan to control the residents of Caledonia - that very night the Toronto Riot Squad was then used against the residents. Insp. Haggith was quickly transferred out of command and the OPP sent in Insp. Dave McLean.
While Insp. Periversoff refuses to provide me with any dates when he served in Caledonia, it is clear that whenever he did serve he didn't do anything that caused his superiors to question his commitment to the OPP policies that allowed lawlessness to exist in Haldimand.
If he had, then the OPP would not have given him command in 2009.
If Insp. Periversoff wishes to provide me with his side of the story then I will submit it for publication next week.