Thursday, November 19, 2015

A Police Or An Occupation Force?

While I realize there is an element of hyperbole in the title of this post, I cannot help but think that for many vulnerable people, the Toronto Police might be viewed more as oppressors than as protectors. Yesterday I posted about the beating at their hands of Santokh Bola, a 21-year-old intellectually challenged man falsely arrested on Nov. 1. Police say he matched the description of a man armed with a knife, but perhaps significantly, they have not released that description, nor have they named the officers involved in the brutality.

Today's Star has yet another report of a man's unfortunate encounter with police that led, not just to injuries, but to his death. Since police apologist Mark Pugash insists that context is always important, here it is:
More than ten police officers, including a tactical squad carrying shields and a battering ram, responded to a 911 call to a family apartment in the city’s west end.

In the Nov. 6 incident that is only now coming to light, there was an altercation, two Tasers were used, and shortly after, the resident, Rodrigo Hector Almonacid Gonzalez was rolled out on a stretcher. His head was rapidly moving from side to side, according to time-stamped surveillance footage from the building provided to the Toronto Star by his family.

Gonzalez, 43, died in hospital the following day, and his family wants to know what happened in the apartment and why it took the province’s police oversight agency, the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), five days to show up at the apartment. Nobody told the family to preserve the scene in the bathroom. Vital evidence may have been lost during this time, the family’s lawyer says.
Gonzalez, for whatever reason, had locked himself in the bathroom, and his concerned wife, Sosana Chavarian, called 911. No weapons, no drugs, nothing except a man in distress who locked himself in the bathroom.
Photographs taken by Gonzalez’s wife at the hospital show a head injury wrapped in bloody gauze, as well as a black eye, bruising on a limb and shoulder, and what the family suspects is a Taser mark near his groin.
Why it took more than 10 officers, some from the tactical unit and armed with shields, a battering ram and three tasers, has not been addressed, but the results were deadly. Gonzalez died in hospital, presumably from injuries suffered in the police overreaction.



Gonzalez's wife blames herself for his death because she was the one who placed the 911 call. However, based on the story, blame would seem to lie elsewhere.

2 comments:

  1. How about you get all the facts before you post stupid shit on your blog?

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    Replies
    1. The fact that you choose to remain anonymous and rely on an insult suggests to me that you have no constructive criticism to offer. Perhaps you are a police officer offended by criticism? If that is the case, be sure to check this out: http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2015/11/19/there-was-no-excuse-for-santokh-bolas-ordeal-dimanno.html

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