by Gary McHale - The Regional - Opinion
January 18, 2012
Last week I requested the OPP lawyer get the consent of senior brass to honour our right to walk down a county road or I would file for an injunction against the OPP. My letter stated, "My injunction application will seek to stop the OPP from interfering with non-Native Land Claim Protesters who peacefully march. In particular, that the OPP be stopped from interfering with our right to march down public roads and be on county property within the Town of Caledonia."
This week I received a response from Supt. John Cain who states, "The OPP's view is that an agreement as you have suggested, is neither necessary nor appropriate. Such an agreement will fetter the discretion of its members."
Is this guy joking?
Since when did OPP officers have any discretion to arrest Native trespassers? Maybe Supt. John Cain would like to tell that to Sam Gualtieri who asked them for help or Dave Brown or Dana Chatwell?
In fact, individual officers in Haldimand do not have discretion on how to treat me or anyone at our rallies. Prior to the arrest of the Caledonia 8 two different OPP officers directly told us, while our tape recorder was in plain view taping everything, that the order for our arrest was coming from higher than the local detachment commander. This hardly passes for individual police discretion.
In another case, court testimony shows OPP investigators decided to criminally charge Clyde Powless for assaulting a police officer on Dec. 1, 2007. Commissioner Fantino was emailed a list of who was being charged and one hour later Fantino ordered investigators not to charge Powless with assaulting a police officer. When I had Fantino on the stand he could not explain why he did this but one thing is certain the investigators had no option.
What the public doesn't know is that Supt. John Cain sent a letter to the court on behalf of Clyde Powless in order that he would get a lesser sentence for assaulting me. Also it is Supt. John Cain, who on Dec. 14, 2007, swore out an affidavit stating that a first nations person was charged with assaulting a police officer - too bad he swore out this affidavit 7 days after Fantino ordered his officers not to lay the charge. Since he knew Powless had assaulted a cop why write a letter of support?
In court Insp. Renton let it slip that the OPP entered into negotiations for the arrest of Powless. While the Crown tried to stop me from asking any questions about these negotiations the judge did order Insp. Renton to answer who did the negotiating. He stated that it was Supt. John Cain who instructed officers to start negotiations with Powless and Porter regarding their arrest.
In this week's letter Cain states, "The OPP denies your allegation that it targets non-native property owners and peaceful protesters while watching 'serious criminal behaviour" be committed by Aboriginal protesters."
This is in direct contract to the Cayuga ruling that stated, "The same government that advises the plaintiff not to pay extra-governmental development fees refuses to enforce its property rights and threatens to arrest its agents if they try to enforce these rights on their own. "
On Dec. 1, 2007 Fantino, Deputy Commissioner Chris Lewis (now the Commissioner) directly ordered their officers to target me. Fantino ordered his officers to disregard the view of the 'feeble Crown' and not to be 'sidetracked by the Crown'. He ordered his officers not to be bogged down by 'legal nuances' and was upset by the fact that officers had 'fallen short on exploiting every possible proactive investigative strategy that could curtail the activities of McHale".
Meanwhile, serious crimes were being committed that the OPP refused to investigate. OPP Officer Paul MacDonald testified that a Native protester drove his vehicle and hit him twice. The officer threatened to pull his gun and the Native got out and got a few friends and started pushing the officer around. MacDonald testified the OPP ART team showed up and escorted the Natives through the police line and let them go.
He testified that he filed a report and when directly asked whether he wanted the Native charged he testified, "Yes." A year later he testified the OPP Crime Unit still had not spoken to him about the event.
After the rally several officers made video statements about Clyde Powless assaulting police officers as well as me. Supt. Ron Gentle sends an email to Deputy Commissioner Chris Lewis informing him that he just spoke with investigators and told them, "We want to ensure, when we arrest and charge Bullet [Clyde Powless] we do the same with McHale to eliminate any of the usual issues." Based on this email and others the court ordered Gentle and Lewis to be charged with obstructing justice.
In another email from Lewis to Gentle, Lewis states, "Confidential please. I'm with the boss at a dinner tonight and we're discussing McHale. He's enquiring about the timing of the charges. Is there any way that charges could be laid sooner than later.?"
I don't have the space here to go through all the examples of serious crimes that occurred while Fantino and the OPP repeatedly told the public that everything was peaceful but for McHale.
I wasn't in Caledonia when Det. Martin, living on 6th line, called 911 because shots were fired through his front door while he was home with his wife and children.
I wasn't in Caledonia the night when an OPP officer was attempting to stop a speeder who sprayed him with pepper spray. Although this event had nothing to do with DCE, OPP radio transmission shows how the officer called for backup and for medical assistance. Clyde Powless and others started blocking various roads for about an hour. Repeatedly officers called for medical assistance but Native protesters refused to allow it until the OPP agreed to pull all their officers out of the area.
This is the Clyde Powless the OPP negotiated with and supported in court but they can't agree to work with peaceful protesters.