Tuesday, January 22, 2008
Police officers across Canada face once-rare perjury charges
Published: Sunday, January 20, 2008 | 1:45 PM ET
Canadian Press: Tamara King, THE CANADIAN PRESS
WINNIPEG - A growing number of Canadian police officers are facing charges of perjury - the serious and usually rare crime of giving false testimony.
At least eight officers, either active or recently retired, will heading be to courts in Toronto, Winnipeg and Regina over the next two months accused of an offence that carries a maximum penalty of 14 years in prison.
"I have not seen this many examples of perjury charges brought against police officers," says James Morton, a Toronto lawyer and adjunct professor at York University's Osgoode Hall Law School.
"I don't think this means that police are lying more than they used to," Morton said in a telephone interview.
"It used to be that people just didn't believe policemen would lie. That sort of restriction has disappeared now."
Perjury is viewed as dangerous enough to the justice system that it's actually enshrined in Canada's Constitution, Morton notes.
"It is the only crime that is expressly referred to in the Charter of Rights (and Freedoms)," he says.
Most serious when the accusation is levelled against a member of the justice system, perjury is extremely difficult to prove. Prosecutors have to show not only that the evidence was false, but that it was intentionally false.
"It's really something that's only prosecuted when it becomes clear that someone wilfully, intentionally and effectively misled the court - lied to the court," Morton says.
"When a police officer actually does intentionally mislead the court, that's a tremendously dangerous thing. It has the effect of leading to wrongful convictions and poisoning the whole system."
In the most recent case, two Winnipeg police officers were accused last week of lying under oath about how they obtained a search warrant in a drug investigation.
Hymie Weinstein, a defence lawyer with more than 40 years experience, says he can't recall perjury charges ever being laid against police officers in Manitoba.
"Be it city police, be it RCMP or any other police officer," said Weinstein, who will be defending one of the Winnipeg officers recently charged.
Also last week, a British Columbia RCMP officer was temporarily taken off the job because of allegations he gave misleading testimony at an inquest into the 2004 death of Kevin St. Arnaud, who was shot after a drugstore burglary.
Although the force did not use the term perjury, Const. Ryan Sheremetta was suspended under the RCMP Act over allegations that he conducted himself "in a disgraceful manner that could bring discredit on the force by knowingly making false, misleading or inaccurate statement(s) while testifying ..." Assistant Commissioner Al Macintyre said at a news conference.
In Saskatchewan, a Regina police officer is going to trial, likely in the fall, on a perjury charge that stems from testimony given at a January 2006 traffic-court case involving a seatbelt violation.
Five members of an elite Toronto Police Service drug squad that is facing allegations of extortion and assault are also charged with perjury. Jury selection is scheduled to start in February.
Also in Toronto, a police officer was acquitted last November of assault, perjury and attempting to obstruct justice. The 17-year veteran of the Toronto Police Service had been accused assaulting an activist at a violent anti-poverty demonstration in 2003 and then attempting to fabricate evidence.
Though it's historically rare to see perjury charges against police, it has long been a cultural problem, says Frank Addario, president of the Ontario Criminal Lawyers' Association.
"I think it's a constant problem. The police get corrupted because they think the cause they're working for is noble and righteous, and therefore it's OK to shade the truth because the defendant is a slime bucket."
Police agencies appear hesitant to address the topic publicly. A spokesman for the Canadian Police Association, which represents frontline officers, said no one was available to comment. The agency for police brass, the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, did not respond to an interview request.
Addario said he's concerned that until recently, perjury charges were relatively rare, since they could act as a deterrent.
"We know, historically, there have been wrongful convictions, and that they have been caused, in part, by police corruption in pursuit of what they thought was righteous and it hasn't led to charges," Addario said in a telephone interview from Toronto.
Part of the solution, he says, would be to improve disclosure mechanisms, which curb the capacity of a police witness to lie about circumstances. Another improvement would be to encourage Crown attorneys "to maintain a healthy, objective distance" from the police, Addario said.
"The problem is ongoing, and it's something I think the justice system has to continue to grapple with."
Some recent cases of Canadian police officers accused of giving false testimony:
-Two Winnipeg police officers, Constables Peter O'Kane and Jess Zebrun, were put on paid administrative leave last week after being charged with perjury. The allegations involve how the officers obtained a search warrant for a drug investigation.
-RCMP Const. Ryan Sheremetta was suspended with pay last week over allegations that he conducted himself "in a disgraceful manner that could bring discredit on the force by knowingly making false, misleading or inaccurate statement(s)" while testifying at an inquest into the death of Kevin St. Arnaud, a man shot by Sheremetta after a 2004 drugstore robbery in Vanderhoof, B.C.
- Const. William Schmidt, a Regina police officer, was charged with perjury last March and is expected to go to trial next fall. The allegation stems from testimony given at a January 2006 traffic-court case that involved a seatbelt violation.
-Five members of an elite Toronto Police Service drug squad that's facing allegations of extortion and assault are also charged with perjury: Staff Sgt. John Schertzer, Const. Steve Correia, Const. Joseph Miched, Const. Ray Pollard and Const. Ned Maodus. Jury selection is scheduled for February.
-Const. Amar Katoch, 48, of the Toronto Police Service was acquitted last November of allegations that he assaulted an activist at a violent anti-poverty demonstration in 2003 and then attempted to fabricate evidence.
While walking in the Farmer's Market over one week ago, I walked by Sheri Shannon.
She's the side kick of Shawn Graham.
I said - Hi there!!!
Shawn Graham shouted at me and we had a little chat.
While chatting I handed my camera to Sheri and said - Take a few pictures of the Premier and I so I can crufify him in my blog!!!!
Shawn just stayed there and played along.
He's the Premier of the Province and he doesn't have to give me the time of day.
Shawn knows that I can use these pics on a certain issue. Do you think Bernard Lord would have played along?
I don't think so?
I reminded Shawn more than once that he has to get rid of some people around him.
I said it in the past and I will say it again!!!
Shawn Graham is a very difficult individual to turn against!!!
You just cannot stay mad at the guy!!!
I'm trying but it's hard!!!
Last week while reading a paper. I was approached by someone who shouted a big - HEY!!!!!
I didn’t hit the ceiling. I stayed calm.
I will not mention the guy’s name. < At least you know it’s a male and I might add he has a wicked temper! >
There was someone else present and he knew that he was going to witness a little show.
The guy first shook my hand with a friendly late Happy New Year!!
The friendly atmosphere quickly changes.
The guy said - Charles? You’re not a bad guy but you are an Asshole!!!!
This guy is quite high up with the Government.
He continued by telling me - This Government will not deal with Blackmailers!!!!
I quickly shot back - You mean a terrorist???? Right??
I knew exactly what he was talking about?
Before Christmas, I emailed a letter to the Premier’s office asking them to lift the ban from the Legislature.
If they didn’t? I will go public with the murder!
It’s such an emotional issue.
I did use a picture of the victim in my prediction for the year 2008.
After a barrage of emails asking me to remove the pic? I did just that!!!!
I mean I’m just going by what Kelly Lamrock told me?
I mean we don’t expect a lawyer-turned politician to lie do we?
The conversation continued.
He once again reminded me that I wasn’t a bad fella but I am an Asshole!!!!
He told me that if I continue to threaten the Liberals of gong public with the murder?
The liberals will haul me in court for harassment!!!
He reminded me that when they’re done with me? I wouldn’t be able to attend any events because I’ll be ordered to stay away from any politicians and bureaucrats.
He asked me if he has made himself very clear on this issue?
I shook his hand and said - Ohhhh??? When you sent the Police after me? You make sure that they investigate the issue of the Christmas Party at Sweetwaters???
Sending three bouncers after me to have me harm!!!
The guy quickly said- Ohhhh that???? You were barred from Sweetwaters????
I quickly shot back- Hey? I heard that one also but how can you be barred from a club that you never been inside the building??? Plus, how can a person on welfare afford the high price drinks at Sweetwaters?
I could tell by the look in his face that he was confused.
Click below to read what happen to me at Sweetwaters -
The Liberals are trying to weasel their way out by saying that I was barred from Sweetwaters.
THIS IS A BIG LIE!!!!
Someone is out to get me and the Premier office has been in contact with some lawyers and the Police.
The Police had a little chat with me last summer on this issue.
There’s one thing that I don’t understand?
Kelly Lamrock mentioned to me the murder and all hell broke loose.
I won’t go into the details yet but I will!!!
It’s filthy and dirty!
I tried to save face by not going public with this emotional issue but to no avail.
Once I go public with the details? This issue could go on for years.
This is not fair for the families involved in this but it’s not my fault!!!
An individual like myself with ADHD could have never come out with a story like this???
So? I believe the Irvings are in the Premier’s office to silent me!
What they will do is haul me in court to have my blog shut down and order me not to walk the streets in Fredericton because the MLA’S and bureaucrats are around.
Being Charles, I wouldn’t pay attention to such an order so therefore I would end up in Jail.
Once there, I would be treated just like Ashley Smith and end up in jail for years.
There’s many issues happening to me lately and I don’t like it!!!!
I tried to settle this issue but to no avail!!!!
What’s going to happen????
Truly stay tuned!!
P.S. I decided to write this little blog so if the Police haul me off the streets and charge me? At least the readers will know what’s going on?
Freedom of speech and honest convictions must stay alive in New Brunswick.
To condemn people without facts is not the way to go???
BUT WHAT THE HECK DO I KNOW????
My God? I’m doing a lot of writing in this blog lately!!!! Just a trend I guess????
Ohhh???? One funny part to this story? The guy watching the exchange between myself and the Liberal guy?
Afterwards, he told the guy that calling Charles an asshole doesn't bother him because he hears it everyday!!!
As a matter of fact? He takes it as a complement!!!!
So if you believe you have hurt his feelings by calling him an Asshole? You are sadly mistaken!!!...lol
I might add the staff carries the kids by te arms and legs in front of the whole school. I'm still waiting for an email from the mother so I can name the school and Principal.
Of course Mike Murphy did tell me that the Liberals will give more power to the school system to drug and kill our kids here in New Brunswick.
Kelly Lamrock with his ignorance decided to follow Mike Murphy's policy!!!
Boy? I taught Elvy Robichaud was bad????
Autism and Asperger’s: The Mysterious Syndromes
By Marylin Smith Carsley
Article online since January 21st 2008, 15:08
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Autism and Asperger’s: The Mysterious Syndromes
By Marylin Smith Carsley
Standing silently and inconspicuously in the back of the classroom, the eight-year-old boy seemed to be just staring into oblivion. At times, while sitting at his desk, he would rock back and forth and repeat odd phrases incessantly.
At the time I met him, I was a relatively new teacher so I was not quite sure how to interpret his behaviour. His files were inconclusive and only stated that he was ADHD and that he was taking Ritalin twice daily. It did mention that he had difficulties interacting with peers and what I noticed justified this fact, as he was frequently alone. Academically, he was methodical and he immersed himself in tasks requiring repetition, especially if it involved numbers.
Years later, after taking additional education courses and through experiences with similar students, I believe that I understand much more about him. It is strange that after so many years, I can still visualize this boy.
Reflecting back, he may have fit into the category of Asperger’s Syndrome, but I cannot be exact as the lines of definition are so closely intertwined between this term and others. The reason is that there are many autistic disorders, referred to as Autism Spectrum Disorders and they are diagnosed on the basis of behaviour. Unfortunately, there are no specific genetic or biological markers that accurately identify a person as being on this autism spectrum. People on the spectrum do have certain traits in common such as impairment in social interaction, impairment in communication, and restricted and/or repetitive patterns of behaviour, interests and activities. Autism in all forms tends to first manifest itself in childhood even before the age three and the differences within the autism spectrum are related to both severity and the presence or absence of some symptoms.
The focal disparity between Asperger’s syndrome and other forms of Autism relates to the individual’s capacity to communicate. Someone with Asperger’s may not experience the difficulties in verbal communication that others with autism do. Many researchers tend to categorize Asperger’s syndrome as high functioning and Autism as a lower functioning form. Critics from the autism community have also argued that those living with autism do not consider themselves as actually having any disease at all.
An incapacitating, life-long disability, autism is best described as a neurological dysfunction. Originally imagined as a rare disorder, recent Canadian studies have shown that the prevalence of autism and related disorders to be as high as 20 per 10,000 births, more commonly found in boys. To date there is no definitive medical test to identify autism and these individuals tend to be more diverse than similar. However, all autistic individuals share common behavioural characteristics and a diagnosis can be made based on the behavioural criteria outlined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (fourth edition DSM-IV). Autistic individuals display the following; impaired social interaction, difficulty in communicating, preoccupation, resistance, short attention span, and abnormalities of mood, unusual fears, plus numerous other traits. On the “outside” most autistic individuals appear quite normal and any of their odd behaviours can alter with treatment. Although intensive behavioural intervention is no real cure, these individuals can lead happy and productive lives.
15,000 diagnosed with Asperger's
Asperger’s Syndrome is described as another pervasive disorder. Mostly found in boys as well, there are about 15,000 Canadians diagnosed. The differences between Autism and Asperger’s is that a child with Asperger’s is not as disturbed, is intelligent, has unique talents, and develops grammatical speech early on. In relation to education, both disorders require a regular organized academic routine. People with Asperger’s also appear more aware and interested in the social world, but interaction with others does not come naturally and must be taught.
Education and early intervention services for both conditions can be somewhat difficult and frustrating to obtain due to lack of knowledge, insufficient services, and endless waiting lists. Teaching through a rote fashion is usually recommended as these children succeed with memory tasks but detailed research must also be done to locate the appropriate school to suit the child.
Studies and clinical observation have tried to distinguish and accurately classify Autism and Asperger’s. To summarize, it has been noted that those with autism usually have a scattered cognitive profile with better overall abilities in the performance (nonverbal) range of tasks, people with Asperger’s also have a scattered cognitive profile but usually have higher overall scores on verbal tasks. Communication appears to be the main source of difference between the two syndromes and that is why Asperger’s is occasionally considered to be the higher functioning disorder. But with the labelling of any disorder there is a great deal of controversy especially when it comes to the ethics of treatment. Chances are that in the future, with more understanding of these conditions and through additional research, all the definitions will change drastically towards a more comprehensive and clearer understanding of either syndrome.
In Montreal, if a child exhibits the symptoms, the primary route parents should follow, under the supervision of their pediatrician, is to contact the Montreal Children’s Hospital/McGill University Health Centre at 514-412-4400 extension 23099. This program is a multidisciplinary one offering services for children of all ages with suspected spectrum disorders
Prayer and Devotions
The New Joy of the Bridegroom
by Father Walter Schu, LC
Resolution: Live this day seeking to make those around you joyful.
January 21, 2008
Saint Agnes, virgin
The disciples of John and of the Pharisees were accustomed to fast. People came to him and objected, "Why do the disciples of John and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?" Jesus answered them, "Can the wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them? As long as they have the bridegroom with them they cannot fast. But the days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast on that day. No one sews a piece of unshrunken cloth on an old cloak. If he does, its fullness pulls away, the new from the old, and the tear gets worse. Likewise, no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the skins are ruined. Rather, new wine is poured into fresh wineskins."
Introductory Prayer: Jesus, what a joy and what a gift to have this time to be with you alone! I want to know you more deeply. I want to hope in you more firmly. I want to love you with greater constancy in my daily life. Only you can give me these gifts. Only you can make me a bold and joyful apostle of your Kingdom.
Petition: Lord, help me to experience that new joy that you bring to every person who follows you closely, willing to carry the cross along with you and even to be nailed to the cross.
1. The Joy of the Bridegroom The Old Testament prophets, especially Hosea and Isaiah, describe the relationship between Israel and Yahweh as a marriage covenant. Israel is the bride, often an unfaithful one, and Yahweh is the bridegroom. When Christ refers to himself as the bridegroom, he is appropriating a title that had been reserved to God alone. Clearly, then, Jesus is much more than an ordinary rabbi. What experience do we most associate with a bridegroom and the wedding feast? Joy! “Although it is true that the cross is never absent from an authentically Christian life, it is equally true that the God who meets us on that cross is the same God who created the heavens and the earth, the oceans and the mountains, laughter, sunlight, and every earthly delight” (John Bartunek, LC, The Better Part, p. 365). Christ came to bring us joy,a joy that would last into eternity.
2. Should Christians Fast? Christ says that when the bridegroom is taken away, then his disciples will fast. This is his first reference in the Gospel of Mark to his coming passion. Fasting is a way of sharing in Christ’s sufferings. Fasting, sacrifices, and acts of self-denial are also means to detach ourselves from earthly goods in order to cling more firmly to Christ himself. They make us aware of how much we need God. But these ways of sharing Christ’s cross should not make us glum followers. “Some Christians give the impression that following Christ is a somber affair, or that the Christian life consists above all of dour sacrifices and boring obligations. Joyless, dreary, dull. No wonder their friends want to stay as far away from Christianity as possible! . . . If our friendship with Christ does not fill us with contagious enthusiasm, we’re probably being a half-hearted friend” (John Bartunek, LC, The Better Part, p. 365).
3. “Behold, I Make All Things New.” The movie The Passion of the Christ puts this phrase from Revelation on Christ’s lips when he meets his mother Mary as he carries the cross to Calvary. Christ’s “narrow gate” of the cross leads to a radically new way of life. It brings an abundance of joy, a new vigor, interior peace. The new wine of the life of grace that Christ pours out on his followers must change not only their way of life, but even their internal attitudes and consciousness. Saint Teresa of Avila has been credit as having said: “A sad saint is a bad saint.” What are the obstacles in my life that I need to overcome in order to follow Christ with greater joy and to radiate that joy to others?
Conversation with Christ: Thank you, Lord, for the new life you came to bring — your own divine life of grace inside me and each of your followers who is faithful to you. Help me to share that joy with others. I long to be a true apostle of your joy.
Resolution: I will live this day forgetting about myself and seeking only to help make those around me joyful.