By Doug Draper
Jeffrey McGuire – you might just as well get used to that name – is going to be this Niagara, Ontario region’s new chief of police.
That is the word being pushed out this May 16 from the region’s mainstream media with not much more than two-thumbs up from Thorold, Ontario regional councillor and NRP police board chair Henry D’Angela saying the board “is delighted” McGuire accepted the position.
“The board is particularly impressed with chief-designate McGuire’s combination of strong operaiont and investigative experience, coupled with his outstanding trak record in working with diverse communities, and his skills in conflict resolution,” added D’Angela who has absolutely no background in policing.
On the subject of “conflict resolution,” McQuire was among the first mouthpieces for the Toronto police two years ago this June who was quick to support the policing conduct during the G20 Summit proceedings in that city. Later, everyone from the civil liberty lawyers to Ontario’s ombudsman Andre Marin characterized many of police actions as an assault on democratic rights in this country.
But let’s leave the final words on that G20 episode, where most of those who were kicked and clubbed and dragged away and detained with not even an opportunity to call a lawyer, were later to have found to have done nothing wrong – let’s leave the last words to our incoming Niagara Regional Police chief from an article published by the London Free Press, a Sun Media Paper and part of the same chain that owns the daily papers in Niagara, a few days after the mess on the streets of Toronto during the G20 two years ago.
The article is titled “Police aren’t going to apologize” and the main spokesman is Jeff McGuire
Police aren’t going to apologize
Crowd kept penned in heavy rain because cops say they breached peace
By JENNY YUEN, QMI Agency
Last Updated: June 27, 2010 11:36pm
Toronto Police Staff-Supt. Jeff McGuire tells media Sunday night he stands by tactics his officers used in an effort to defend the city against armed thugs. Many media in attendance quizzed him about some of the detaining tactics. (JACK BOLAND/Toronto Sun)
Toronto Police aren’t saying sorry to those who were detained for marching in Sunday’s protests or for their tactics of moving crowd control.
“In the case of Queen St., during the time of that escort, we gained significant evidence to suggest we have members of Black Bloc type of people involved in the crowd,” Staff-Supt. Jeff McGuire said during a press conference at police headquarters late Sunday night.
“I cannot apologize to them and I won’t,” McGuire said. “It’s unfortunate the whole city had to go through what we went through this weekend, but the officers had the lawful right.”
Police saw several people don masks and recovered weapons along the route, McGuire said.
Several hundred people were boxed in by cops at Queen St. and Spadina Ave. and detained for breaching the peace for several hours in the pouring rain.
Many of the those who were eventually let go were civilians who got caught up in the mix.
McGuire said there were some arrests made of those who donned masks for preparing for an indictible act, but couldn’t specify how many were charged. He also couldn’t specify what weapons were found.
“Our officers did have the lawful right and did so and in order to prevent a further breach of the peace, they used the resources to bring the group to a stop,” he said.
“Our reaction is a fair and balanced measure of reaction to what we see,” he said. “Yesterday, we had a full-scale riot in this city. Today we didn’t have that.”
McGuire also isn’t apologizing to the media either, including those who got detained or arrested with the protesters. He stresses that the tactics are “in the best interest of the public.”
“If the media get themselves caught in unlawful assembly or breach of the peace situation, they risk being detained,” he told reporters.
“I’m not going to apologize to you for the media being caught in that.”
McGuire said there will be sufficient personnel deployed in Toronto in the following days — though it’s unclear if they’re from out of province.
For those who feel the police tactics were excessive, McGuire said they can file a complaint to their local police station or independent review process.”
That is the end of that Sun Media story and I would suspect that not too many Sun Media papers, including ones in this paper, will call McGuire up on his knee-jerk support for the way the police behaved during that G20 event two years ago. They need the cop reports on crimes, accidents, etc. to pad the pages in their papers, so they will suck up to the new chief.
In the corporate news business, that’s the way it is.
(Niagara At Large invites anyone willing to share their real first and last names to post their comments on this post below.)