Albion Monitor /News

Canada Police Stonewall Probe of Deadly Cop Riot

by Pearce Bannon
Special to the Monitor

and previous article in this topic
Sarnia, ONTARIO -- The union representing members of Ontario's provincial police force is trying to stonewall the civilian investigation of the beating of a Native protester during the fatal 1995 confrontation outside Ipperwash Provincial Park.

Ontario Special Investigation Unit officers, who investigate all incidents of alleged serious police violence, want to interview 32 Ontario Provincial Police officers about the beating of Cecil Bernard George on Sept. 6, 1995.

But a document obtained by The Toronto Star says OPP officers will not cooperate with SIU investigators unless the civilian unit follows the union's ground rules.

A copy of the waiver document states officers will not consent to taped interviews -- which is standard SIU practice to ensure accuracy -- and that officers' counsel will determine which questions are relevant on the issue of George's beating.

It also says that information given by an OPP officer cannot be used against him. The waiver, which is on police union letterhead, says the only reason the officer is participating in the interview is because he was ordered to by a superior officer.

Andre Marin, director of the SIU, plans to meet with OPP Commissioner Thomas O'Grady to discuss the document.

The initial investigation into George's beating was hampered by not being able to identify the eight to 10 officers involved in the beating. Last summer new information came to the SIU and the case was reopened.

Calls have been made for an inquiry into George's beating and the shooting death of Anthony "Dudley" George (no relation) that same evening. Both men were involved in the 1995 occupation of the park to protest its being built over a burial ground.

In February, family and supporters of Dudley George were outraged at a hearing when a judge blamed Natives for George's death during the protest. An OPP Sargeant had been convicted of criminal negligence in the case, but in a decision that greatly angered Canada's Native community, the officer received a conditional sentence of two years community service.

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Albion Monitor March 19, 1998 (

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