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“I woke up to a gun pointed at me”

Police make living near activists a risk

by Tim Groves

The Booth Family, Photo courtesy of John Booth
The Booth Family, Photo courtesy of John Booth
Both apartments in this house were raided this morning
Both apartments in this house were raided this morning

 

John Booth was woken at 4 am this morning to find police pointing a gun in his face. He was handcuffed and brought outside. Thirty minutes later police apologize to him. Booth is the upstairs neighbour of some G20 protesters, but he lives in a separate unit with his wife and six month old child.

 

“You hear all this stuff in the news about this one billion dollars' worth of security which is supposed to protect the public - well I am a great example of an innocent by-stander who has been violated despite this very claim. And this is allegedly our tax payers dollars at work“ Booth told the Toronto Media Co-op. “The police didn't actually figure out that there are two apartments and that we are completely separate from downstairs”

 

Booth explained what happened to him in a written complaint which he has submitted to police.

 

“I was awoken to four police officers in my bedroom ... the officer in charge ... was pointing a handgun at me and asked me my name and who else was in the house,” he wrote. “They repeatedly said they had a search warrant and arrest warrant for me. At no point did they produce this warrant to prove my name was on it and I suspect they were lying. “

 

“They woke up my wife and child upstairs while searching our apartment. They repeatedly asked me my connection to the people living in the downstairs apartment and I explained we are simply tenants living in the same building but our connection does not go further than that” 

 

“After searching the entire premises, they decided it was appropriate to handcuff me and charge me with 'conspiracy to commit mischief' - they did not explain why I was being charged” read the complaint. “I sat in front of my house, tightly bound in handcuffs for 30 minutes, while the 8-10 officers discussed and awaited the paddy wagon. Then after discussion, they took me aside, apologized and uncuffed me, stating I was mistakenly arrested.”

 

Asked how he felt about the police complaint system Booth explained that  “you would like to think that in our democratic society one can  hold the powers-that-be to account in a situation like the one we were in.  But I am pretty cynical when it comes to the police that there is going to be any meaningful accountability 

 

Police not only entered Booths apartment, but also the apartment of his downstairs neighbours, who were providing billeting for several activists from out of town.

 

“Police refused to show the warrant” said Niki Thorne who lives in the downstairs apartment. "They were kicking people out of bed, kicking people awake".

 

Four people from the downstairs apartment were put in handcuffs. Three of these people were eventually released but a fourth was taken away in a paddy wagon. 

 


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470 words

Comments

Good for the Police, they had

Good for the Police, they had info, they acted with their own safety in mind and they got their guy who is now in jail where he belongs.

Piss on the tax money sucking protesters. None of the cops wanted their days off cancelled or their cars torched. Apparently a billion dollars for security WAS neccesary.

 1 billion dollars does not

 1 billion dollars does not equal the cost of a burning cop car..you idiot. you clearly werent in toronto and didn't see the police brutality which happened for no reason. 

Good for the police, illegally entering private Canadian homes

 Are you by any chance, Mr. Anonymous Vancouver, on the pay-roll of the conservative government as an attempt to spread propaganda while posing as opinionated civilians and not as the hired representatives of the incumbent's office that you really are? 

It's verified, if you don't want to believe you don't have much of a choice: http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20100523/government-online-forums-100523/20100523

Or, are you simply of the mind that an officer of the law can break the charter of rights and put people under threat of death (I would consider a gun pointed directly at me as an act of violence and a threat of potentially immediate death) because the laws are written to hinder societal function and not ensure it? They refused to show their search warrant and the warrant for their arrest.

 

Tell me how we can have faith in our police force when they act as a gestapo militia.

To the first comment author

To the first coment author;

I wonder what your opinin would be if the police entered your home without your consent at 4 in the morning, stuck a gun in your face and dragged you out in front of your family.

This man had nothing to do with the protestors other than living in the same building with them.

If the Police can enter anyone's home without consent, threaten them with a weapon and drag them out we don't have a free country.

 

 

Crazy

This is simply sickening. Like i always said tho....there are 2 types of police....Pigs and Cops. These must have been pigs. The Kinds of police that lie and decieve the public  into thinking they are doing a good job and that our tax dollars are well spent. Obviously not spent well enough into PROPERLY investigating into a situation before breaking down doors and becoming that "hollywood" cop bullsh*t. Congrats Pigs....another reason to hate the police :)  Oh and I am "THE TROLL" Fake and gay! lol

you are fucking DUMB. It

you are fucking DUMB. It wasnt the protestors that caused all this damage, it was certain organized anarchist groups. I was down town all day long and saw some very unjust things from both sides. The police are the biggest gang in the world, they do whatever the fuck they want and they do it illegally if they have to.

I think the cops had every

I think the cops had every right to act the way they did. The protestors did some horrible horrible things yesterday, and by hell the cops are clearly fucking angry and they're doing all they can to make sure justice is served and these people are arrested. So who cares if they mistakenly arrested someone for 30 minutes, they may have crossed the line but it was most definitely needed because they got the guy they wanted in the end.

Are you kidding me???? 

Are you kidding me???? 

O RLY

So.... You're saying the police had every right to barge in on this poor bastard who had NOTHING to do with the protests, wake him up in the middle of the night with a gun to his head, and leave him in handcuffs and horribly confused for 10 minutes simply because he lived in the same building as a guy who was organizing a peaceful protest?

So basically you would have been totally comfortable in Soviet Russia, totally cool with your neighbors being arrested in the above manner every day because "the KGB never makes mistakes."

So what if our government's value system is different than theirs was?  Same $#!*, different pile.

Sad, very sad indeed

Toronto will never be the same.

The G20 march was a very succesful peaceful protest with real issues that need much attention.

I am extremely upset that the violence has overshadowed the hard work that went into organizing a peaceful, content base and respectful march that wanted issues regarding the G20 addressed.

The debate is what came first...the chicken or the egg. It is said that we should be careful what we wish for........ I do not agree with the money invested in extra police resources (both human and equipment). I do not agree with the fierce stance and fear mongering tactics used by the police. It was taunting and inviting violence.

During the day there were many policemen and women who were wonderful in helping us keep a peaceful atmosphere. Unfortunately, there many others who were ready for the fight and were anticipating trouble with there body language and riot gear on.

It will never be known....had the police presence been different, had there not been such a fortress built around the G20, had there been channels provided for constructive, peaceful dialogue and protesting.....what would have happened.

Violence breeds violence.

Very, very unfortunate.

One thing is to have dedicated police force acting on our behalf to protect us....not convince that is what happened in this case ......

This is Frightening

<p>This blantant in your face abuse of power is now rampid in our country. Then they have to stupid audacity to wonder why authority is no longer respected.</p>

Anarchists in Seattle started

Anarchists in Seattle started this kind of shit a few years back. It's their fault. Some guy getting detained for 30 minutes is better than having punks think they can shatter our city to smitherins.

Warrant Please!

The simple fact is by law the police cannot enter or search a private residence, or arrest an individual or group of people without a warrant! It seems that now the verdict is: GUILTY UNTIL PROVEN INNOCENT! I don't blame the policeforce, I blame us for allowing this kind of bahaviour! Why are we paying taxes? Why are we voting? Whay are we putting up with this shit?! It's time to stand up and stop fearing this false authority!

Damn cops.  High school with

Damn cops.  High school with a gun isn't enough to be a public authority.

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