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A MESSAGE FROM THE COALITION JUSTICE FOR LEVI

by The Coalition Justice for Levi

A MESSAGE FROM THE COALITION JUSTICE FOR LEVI

 

DEAR FRIENDS AND ALLIES,

 

It is with great dismay that I write to you on behalf of the Coalition Justice For Levi to announce that the police have decided at the eleventh hour to appeal the November 15th, 2011 Ontario Superior Court of Appeal decision made in our favor.   The Schaeffer and Minty families are being taken to the Supreme Court of Canada in an attempt by police interests to overturn an Ontario Superior Court decision that officers involved in an investigation by the Special Investigations Unit were not permitted to consult a lawyer as to the content of their notes before completing them or before submitting them to the civilian oversight body. 

The November decision rendered by the Ontario Superior Court was unanimous.  It clarified that police officers could, of course, contact their lawyer for general legal advice but that they could not postpone writing their notes or handing them in for the S.I.U. until after their lawyer has checked and approved them.  Notes must be contemporaneous and independent to be a reliable evidentiary basis in Canada’s courts.

In December of 2011, the Ontario Ombudsman’s office released the report, “Oversight Undermined”, in which the Schaeffer/Minty case is discussed at length as an example of the grievous systemic problems presently festering between police forces, police lobbies, civilian oversight bodies, governing ministries, legal professionals and the rights and interests of the public.   In this report, Ontario Ombudsman Andre Marin decries the Ministry of the Attorney General of Ontario for protecting the interests of police over those of the Special Investigations Unit , a unit which is administered at arms length through the office of the Ministry of the Attorney General of Ontario.

 Despite the clearly identified, internal governmental conflicts that have plagued the public’s right to police accountability, despite an atmosphere where government bodies related in work through legislation are unable or unwilling to work to accomplish what is mandated of them, and despite the unlimited budget that the government can access to address these deep problems, it has been left to the efforts and the pocket books of two modest Ontario families to insist these enormous systemic problems of impunity and lacking accountability be addressed, once and for all, in a court of law.

 At the Ontario Superior Court of Appeal, many police interests sought intervener status into this case.  Many, many more police interests are now expected to seek intervener status as the Schaeffers, the Mintys and their lawyers, Julian Falconer and Sunil S. Mathai, prepare to meet the force of not only Ontario’s but Canada’s police interests at the Supreme Court of Canada.   There is no set date yet , but it is expected that the case may be before Canada’s highest court in December of 2012.

 

 

 

On behalf of the Coalition Justice for Levi,

Rachelle Sauve

 

P.S. Please post and spread this message widely. Thank you.

 

 

PLEASE HELP:

 

 

DONATE: Please donate to this campaign so that these Ontario families do not have to bear the indefinite financial burden of fighting for the public’s right to accountable policing without support.   Police interests have unlimited funding.  The Coalition Justice For Levi understands that these are rough economic times and that for most of us, funds are quite limited.   Donations of a penny to a plenty are so greatly necessary and appreciated.  To donate, please go towww.justiceforlevi.org .

 

FUNDRAISING:  One way to best support the Coalition Justice For Levi is to organize and hold a fundraising event of whatever sort.   This will help raise money, raise awareness and connect communities across the country in struggle.   The Coalition Justice For Levi can attempt to come to your event and can elsewise send materials. If you have an already existing store, distribution business or elsewise, the Coalition Justice For Levi has t-shirts, bags, buttons, patches, radical magnetic poetry and other merchandise for sale. If you are interested in helping with fundraising, please send and email to info@justiceforlevi.org .

 

AWARENESS RAISING: Help get the word out about this case.  Get in touch with us for interviews.   Help create materials to help build public interest and understanding. Discuss oversight of police and accountability.  Create forums, discussions, art pieces. 

 

ATTORNEY GENERAL LETTER CAMPAIGN:  Write, email and/or call  the office of the Attorney General of Ontario and insist that they acknowledge, honor and implement the recommendations made by the Ontario Ombudsman in the report, “Oversight, Undermined”. Contact your M.P.P. and insist that they make it clear to the Attorney General’s office that their constituency wants the Attorney General to implement the report’s recommendations.

 

E-mail at attorneygeneral@ontario.ca

 

Mailing address:

Ministry of the Attorney General

McMurtry-Scott Building

720 Bay Street, 11th Floor

Toronto, ON

M7A 2S9

 

Telephone toll free: 1-800-518-7901

Telephone Toronto: 416-326-2220

 

People who are hearing impaired may contact the ministry by Teletypewriter (TTY):

Teletypewriter (TTY) toll free:

1-877-425-0575

Teletypewriter (TTY) Toronto:

416-326-4012

 

Fax: 416-326-4007

 

 

 

CONNECTING THE STRUGGLE:  This case is one glimpse into the way that police impunity functions against the rights of the public.  The Coalition Justice For Levi wants to connect this one case with the hundreds and thousands of others that relate to police impunity, brutality, profiling, intimidation, corruption and the people’s struggle to ensure accountability to those who are policed.   Please let us know what is happening in your communities.  We hope to connect the many disparate struggles to effectively map the systemic problems of unaccountable policing and to create a strong, resilient, empowered network of peoples’ working to resist and to end police impunity.  Consider organizing with the Coalition Justice for Levi or asking us to organize in solidarity with your work.

 

CONTACT US:

www.justiceforlevi.org

info@www.justiceforlevi.org

 

LEARN MORE:

fcbarristers.com


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