Commissioner Thomas Carrique
Ontario Provincial Police
Via email [email protected]
5 December 2020
It is disturbing that once again I must bring to your attention concerns over inappropriate actions by members of the OPP.
You may recall my earlier letter regarding the OPP constable who was involved in a late night quarantine check on a young female. In addition, I have also conveyed my concerns to the local detachment commander over escalating and threatening visits by the OPP to retail stores over perceived violations of local facial covering policies.
We must also not forget the fatal shooting in Minden that occurred as a result of facial covering policies.
Last evening on December 4 there was another escalation of police actions that on review of the evidence demonstrates police officers are becoming increasingly belligerent and aggressive towards perceived violations of facial covering policies. It is apparent that many of the OPP officers remain uninformed of the orders they are enforcing. It is this lack of knowledge by both the Police and businesses that is leading to unnecessary violence and abuse of the law.
In this latest instance an individual was physically escorted out of a pub in downtown Perth for failure to wear a facial covering while drinking with my two sons.
Once outside, my two sons attempted to diffuse the outrage of the individual removed from the premises, as he was in a highly agitated state. As they attempted to de-escalate the situation, my eldest son Dillon, a Candian Forces veteran was thrown to the sidewalk by the police, at which time my youngest son, Clayton stepped into the unoccupied space between the police and Dillon, to act as a shield to prevent further physical violence against Dillon by the police.
Clayton was then tasered in the back and immediately fell to the ground. Both of my sons were then handcuffed and detained overnight in the Perth OPP jail. My son Dillon was issued a POA for intoxication, my son Clayton, who was tasered, was not charged with any violations. The individual who was escorted from the premises was driven home by the OPP and was not charged with any offenses.
Both my sons were released on Saturday morning, December 5
After being informed of the incident I spoke with OPP Constable Mcnames who stated “my son Clayton was intoxicated and bumped into him” during the incident, justifying the use of force. There was no physical contact nor threatening nor aggressive behaviour other than that initiated by the OPP constables.
I believe it is generally accepted practice that the use of tasers be limited to situations where there is an imminent threat and the only remaining alternative would be the use of deadly force. Evidence suggests that was not the case with this incident.
In light of these ongoing abuses of the law, I request the following:
A comprehensive training and information regime to ensure OPP officers are fully informed of facial covering orders, including the broad exemptions contained within these orders;
The immediate cessation of OPP patrolling retail stores for perceived facial covering violations, along with ending the coercive and false threats of exorbitant penalties;
A review of the conduct of the officers involved in the December 4 th incident at the Golden Arrow Pub in Perth, Ontario; and
Assurance that police enforcement is not influenced by political opposition to unconstitutional Covid orders against otherwise peaceful, law-abiding citizens.
Your attention to this very important concern is appreciated, as is your timely reply.