friends of dufferin grove park
Policing Archives, 2004

Correspondence with the Ontario Attorney General about handling complaints about the police

posted June 1, 2004

May, 2004: We sent the newsletter with the story of "Mary, Joe and the baby" to the office of the Hon. Michael Bryant, Attorney General of Ontario. He sent back an invitation for input on how to improve the police complaints system (to

An invitation from Michael Bryant, Attorney General
posted June 1, 2004
I am writing today to inform you that I have been asked by Premier Dalton MGuinty to review the province's system of public complaints about police conduct, one of the most important aspects of civilian oversight of police... Read more>>
Our letter to Michael Bryant in Response
posted June 1, 2004
Thank you for your invitation to offer our suggestions about key issues we feel need to be addressed in your upcoming review of how public complaints against the police are handled. Over the past several years many people in our neighbourhood have been deeply troubled by some things the police have done and failed to do in Dufferin Grove Park and the surrounding neighbourhood... Read more>>
Appendix 1 of our letter to Michael Bryant - Some examples
posted June 1, 2004
September 2000: Eleven people from various streets in the neighbourhood faxed a joint letter...;
November 2001: A park user commented on a puzzling gun search by police...;
May 2003: As many park users have observed, Toronto Police officers periodically approach young men of colour at the park and ask to see their i.d. It's called "going fishing"...;
November 2003: From our November 2003 Dufferin Grove Park newsletter: Mary (not her real name), a young woman of 17, her 4 month old baby, the baby's dad, Joe, and a lot of their friends, many of whom are from the Caribbean, come to the park often...
Read more>>
Appendix 2 of our letter to Michael Bryant - Some questions
posted June 1, 2004
Questions and Issues - Review of public complaints about the police: Complaints process; Observers; Community Policing...Read more>>

Racial Profiling

posted March 1, 2004
Racial Profiling in the Park
A young black man was walking along the sidewalk beside the park and your officer stopped him and asked him for his name and address. The young man, understandably, did not wish to give it since he was simply walking along. The officer pressed him further, and even told him that if he had any problems with the questions he could contact a lawyer. At that point I stopped bagging the trash... Read more >>
Toronto Police Service
Bicycle Patrol

Mary and Joe and the baby

posted March 1, 2004
Mary and Joe and the baby

November 2003. Mary (not her real name) is a young woman of 17 who had a baby with her "babyfather" Joe, four months ago. The new mother, father and their baby come to the park a lot with their friends. Many of this group of young people are from the Caribbean. Mary and Joe (not his real name) could be the poster parents for good parenting, teenage or otherwise. They are obviously devoted to their baby and take wonderful care of it. Sometimes there seems to be glow over the three of them.

On a Friday evening about a month ago Mary was at the park for a brief visit with her friends while Joe was at home with the baby. At about 9.30 p.m. Mary was walking out of the park to go home and nurse the baby, when two young police officers on bikes stopped her and asked for i.d. Read more >>