Ontario ombudsman outs Durham police officer

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gotchya
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Ontario ombudsman outs Durham police officer

Postby gotchya » Sat Aug 10, 2013 12:00 am

Ontario ombudsman outs Twitter troll attacking him over Sammy Yatim shooting as Durham police detective
http://news.nationalpost.com/2013/08/08 ... detective/
Outspoken Ontario Ombudsman Andre Marin says a Durham police detective accused him of “being a card-carrying member of al-Qaeda” on Twitter after the ombudsman took sharp arm at police following the shooting death of Toronto teenager Sammy Yatim.

On Thursday, not long before Marin was going to announce an investigation into the province’s direction to police on de-escalating conflict situations, an anonymous Twitter account named “Joe Mayo” tweeted at the ombudsman’s account: “[Marin] is card member of Al Qaida.”

In all caps, the same account also tweeted that Marin was “a complete douche bag!”

“Why don’t you stick your big French nose up your ass instead of business where it doesn’t belong,” the tweet added.

At a news conference Thursday, Marin said he had not contacted police about the messages but included the police officer’s twitter handle when responding. He said he wasn’t sure what his next step would be but hoped police would take it from there.

“I think it’s quite deplorable for a police officer to tweet this kind of material over the Internet and I would hope for a more informed dialogue,” he said at the press conference.

Marin said he did not believe these tweets were motivated by his interest in the Sammy Yatim shooting.

“I’ve got thick skin,” he said, adding that he has received death threats in the past. He would not comment on the nature of the death threats.

The account, @joeymayo12, was deleted shortly afterwards.

Durham Police Deputy Chief Paul Martin said the force was investigating the “disturbing allegations” made by Marin.

“Should the Ombudsman have any information beyond what was in the tweets we would be happy to hear from him,” Martin said on Twitter Thursday afternoon.

Marin replied that he would “co-operate fully” with the investigation.

At his Thursday news conference, Marin said he did not want to say how he connected the dots from the Twitter account to the officer.

“I don’t want to get into that right now,” he told reporters. His Twitter feed said he could not reveal his investigative techniques.

A call to the officer’s work number went to voicemail, where he said he was out of the office until Aug. 12.

The officer in question appears on both the 2011 and 2012 “Sunshine” list, which names Ontario public employees making more than $100,000. He made $109,113.90 in 2012 and $102,241.68 in 2011.

Marin said his office had been the subject of attacks on Twitter recently. Marin had done a number of highly critical media interviews after Toronto police fatally shot 18-year-old Yatim on a streetcar.

Yatim was alone a Dundas streetcar, holding a knife, when police fired nine shots at him, striking him multiple times in late July.

“What we saw on the [streetcar] is not something that is completely unfamiliar with the Toronto Police Service. There have been literally dozens of inquests that have recommended measures to de-escalate this kind of conflict,” Marin told the CBC.

One Twitter user managed to get a screenshot of “Joe Mayo”‘s account before it was deleted.

The account also took shots at Toronto City Councillor Janet Davis, who had been critical of police actions in the shooting death of Yatim.

“You are a real expert, huh? Douchebag city councillor? Were you there? You need to keep your idiotic thoughts to yourself,” “Joe Mayo” tweeted on July 28.

July 28 was the same date Davis sent out a number of tweets that seemingly criticized Toronto actions.



Durham police say they’re in contact with officer who allegedly harrassed Ontario ombudsman on Twitter
http://news.nationalpost.com/2013/08/09 ... n-twitter/
Durham police say they have contacted the officer who allegedly sent harassing tweets to Ontario Ombudsman André Marin.

“I just know that he has been contacted and he’s definitely concerned and he wants to come in and be cooperative,” said Durham Deputy Chief Paul Martin Friday.

Mr. Marin received a series of hateful tweets on Thursday from an account belonging to “Joe Mayo.” One tweet accused Mr. Marin of being a card-carrying member of al-Qaeda and another said to keep his “big French nose” out of business it didn’t belong in.

On Twitter, Mr. Marin alleged the account belonged to a Durham Regional Police Services officer, whom he identified by name.

“The allegations certainly from the Ombudsman are disturbing from our perspective because it involves one of our officers and the reputation of our department. So we’re going to look into it.”

Durham police’s professional standards branch is currently conducting an internal investigation, Deputy Chief Martin said. The officer named is on vacation but is expected to return to work Monday, he said.

“I think the earliest we’d be speaking with him would be next week,” he said.

Deputy Chief Martin said the investigation may take weeks to complete and there would be several steps to the investigation.

“Our focus is, did this officer create this account and if so, did he do these tweets, and if so… was the person on duty and were our facilities involved in this?” he said.

Deputy Chief Martin said if the tweets were written while the officer was on duty, this would constitute discreditable conduct “at least” under the Police Services Act.

Repercussions for this conduct can vary from loss of hours to termination, depending on the severity of the conduct, he said.

“As far as the action against him, before we can really do anything we have to do our due diligence,” he said.

Deputy Chief Martin also addressed media reports that the officer’s police e-mail address had been used to create the Twitter account.

“We’re looking into that but we haven’t confirmed that,” he said. “I can’t say either way yes or no.”

At the press conference on Thursday, Mr. Marin said he would not be discussing how he determined the identity of the officer.

A spokesperson at the Ombudsman’s office said Friday Mr. Marin would not be commenting further on how this identity was uncovered, but he would cooperate with a police investigation.

The “Joe Mayo” account has since been deleted.
Last edited by gotchya on Sat Aug 10, 2013 12:24 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Ontario ombudsman outs Durham police officer

Postby gotchya » Sat Aug 10, 2013 12:16 am

While I don't agree with some of what the officer said (personally) I do believe he has a right to say it. He has the right to say what he pleases so long as it is not illegal. While an officer must remain impartial during the execution of their duties, I don't see any reason why an officer can't hold their own opinions and be critical of politicians so long as those views don't affect their ability to act impartially and professionally. It is not as though the officer put his opinion out as one held by Durham Regional Police or by all police officers out there, it was his opinion which unless prohibited by some law is his right to express.

If he does it while on duty but anonymously I really don't see the nexus, for it to be dis-credible conduct. While it may be a misappropriation of company time and he should be punished for that, to say his opinion is discredible is to deprive him of his freedom of speech. I'm certain he is not the only officer tweeting, facebooking, or text during company time. He should not be punished solely for his opinion unless they prove that he represent himself as speaking for anything other than himself.

I find this sort of reasoning to be rather disturbing, whereby police officers are held to a standard different than the general public, in that somehow by virtue of their position they have forfeited their rights. In another article in The Star, the writer noted that the officers were going to "lawyer up". Last I checked such action was enshrined in the Charter and the Charter applies equally to all unless specified otherwise.

The police routinely investigate deaths and do so in conformity with the Charter, I don't see why when the police are investigated or voicing their opinion they should be otherwise be deprived of the rights enshrined in the Charter.

In passing I would say, the Ombudsman's comments about de-escalating the situations is a little bit hollow. There is a reason why nobody on the stuck around to de-escalate the situation.
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Re: Ontario ombudsman outs Durham police officer

Postby basketcase » Sat Aug 10, 2013 1:08 am

Because his comments and actions are automatically associated with the police service. We are held to a higher standard for a reason. Nothing we say/do is completely anonymous. The comments that were made, whether by this copper or somebody pretending to be him, do not reflect the vision/values of any police service. I was held to the same standards in the military. Discredble conduct is basically the catch all.
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Re: Ontario ombudsman outs Durham police officer

Postby 48highlander » Sat Aug 10, 2013 8:49 am

basketcase wrote:Because his comments and actions are automatically associated with the police service. We are held to a higher standard for a reason. Nothing we say/do is completely anonymous. The comments that were made, whether by this copper or somebody pretending to be him, do not reflect the vision/values of any police service. I was held to the same standards in the military. Discredble conduct is basically the catch all.



And to piggy back on the military part, their is specific guidance directly from the CDS on how CAF members should conduct themselves online, and that they will be held accountable for things they post. Since the PSA gives polices services the ability to pretty much do the same thing, I would be willing to bet, most if not all services have at some point put out similar guidance to their members.

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Re: Ontario ombudsman outs Durham police officer

Postby 48highlander » Sat Aug 10, 2013 8:57 am

gotchya wrote:
I find this sort of reasoning to be rather disturbing, whereby police officers are held to a standard different than the general public, in that somehow by virtue of their position they have forfeited their rights. In another article in The Star, the writer noted that the officers were going to "lawyer up". Last I checked such action was enshrined in the Charter and the Charter applies equally to all unless specified otherwise.


Why is this disturbing? The police are a para-military organization with a defined chain of command and code of conduct. The Police Services Act much like the National Defence Actm both outline who is subject to their provisions and what those provisions entail. Anyone joining either organization is made aware that they will be giving up certain rights and freedoms. If a person doesn't like it, they are free to leave and at least in the military many do.

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Re: Ontario ombudsman outs Durham police officer

Postby Toonces » Sat Aug 10, 2013 9:13 am

It is what it is. As long as I'm afforded the same Charter righs as everyone else, I don't mind behind held to a higher standard of personal and professional conduct.
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Re: Ontario ombudsman outs Durham police officer

Postby GPZ » Sat Aug 10, 2013 1:06 pm

48highlander wrote:
gotchya wrote:
I find this sort of reasoning to be rather disturbing, whereby police officers are held to a standard different than the general public, in that somehow by virtue of their position they have forfeited their rights. In another article in The Star, the writer noted that the officers were going to "lawyer up". Last I checked such action was enshrined in the Charter and the Charter applies equally to all unless specified otherwise.


Why is this disturbing? The police are a para-military organization with a defined chain of command and code of conduct. The Police Services Act much like the National Defence Actm both outline who is subject to their provisions and what those provisions entail. Anyone joining either organization is made aware that they will be giving up certain rights and freedoms. If a person doesn't like it, they are free to leave and at least in the military many do.


This disturbs me because it leads to a situation where anything any police officer says or writes in any forum under any circumstances is subject to review and the officer subject to sanctions if his employer doesn't like it. This guy didn't write anything illegal and I wouldn't call it harassment. He had a twitter handle that had nothing to do with policing and he's blowing off steam. Unfortunately Mr. 'Investigative Techniques' has decided to show him who's boss and is trying to get him sanctioned internally. How would any of us like it if we were called to the chief's office and called to account for anything we tweeted, posted on FB, posted on Blueline, etc? It's not far away.

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Re: Ontario ombudsman outs Durham police officer

Postby GPZ » Sat Aug 10, 2013 1:07 pm

GPZ wrote:
48highlander wrote:
gotchya wrote:
I find this sort of reasoning to be rather disturbing, whereby police officers are held to a standard different than the general public, in that somehow by virtue of their position they have forfeited their rights. In another article in The Star, the writer noted that the officers were going to "lawyer up". Last I checked such action was enshrined in the Charter and the Charter applies equally to all unless specified otherwise.


Why is this disturbing? The police are a para-military organization with a defined chain of command and code of conduct. The Police Services Act much like the National Defence Actm both outline who is subject to their provisions and what those provisions entail. Anyone joining either organization is made aware that they will be giving up certain rights and freedoms. If a person doesn't like it, they are free to leave and at least in the military many do.


This disturbs me because it leads to a situation where anything any police officer says or writes in any forum under any circumstances is subject to review and the officer subject to sanctions if his employer doesn't like it. This guy didn't write anything illegal and I wouldn't call it harassment. He had a twitter handle that had nothing to do with policing and he's blowing off steam.

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Re: Ontario ombudsman outs Durham police officer

Postby Gipper » Sat Aug 10, 2013 4:49 pm

Sounds like a case of 'contempt of ombudsman.'

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Re: Ontario ombudsman outs Durham police officer

Postby gotchya » Sat Aug 10, 2013 6:16 pm

GPZ wrote:This disturbs me because it leads to a situation where anything any police officer says or writes in any forum under any circumstances is subject to review and the officer subject to sanctions if his employer doesn't like it. This guy didn't write anything illegal and I wouldn't call it harassment. He had a twitter handle that had nothing to do with policing and he's blowing off steam. Unfortunately Mr. 'Investigative Techniques' has decided to show him who's boss and is trying to get him sanctioned internally. How would any of us like it if we were called to the chief's office and called to account for anything we tweeted, posted on FB, posted on Blueline, etc? It's not far away.

Prescisely the issue, how can one's own views or expression render them subject to sanction especially when they are NOT in contravention of the law?
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Re: Ontario ombudsman outs Durham police officer

Postby CourtOfficer » Sat Aug 10, 2013 9:57 pm

He should be held accountable for nothing. He spoke his mind on his own time on his own computer. This is a free country and our rights are no different than anyone else's.

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Re: Ontario ombudsman outs Durham police officer

Postby gotchya » Sat Aug 10, 2013 10:51 pm

48highlander wrote:Why is this disturbing? The police are a para-military organization with a defined chain of command and code of conduct. The Police Services Act much like the National Defence Act both outline who is subject to their provisions and what those provisions entail. Anyone joining either organization is made aware that they will be giving up certain rights and freedoms. If a person doesn't like it, they are free to leave and at least in the military many do.

Are they, is that not desertion?
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Re: Ontario ombudsman outs Durham police officer

Postby Ziggy Stardust » Sat Aug 10, 2013 11:22 pm

VanSmack wrote:
CourtOfficer wrote:He should be held accountable for nothing. He spoke his mind on his own time on his own computer. This is a free country and our rights are no different than anyone else's.

CO


I personally don't think this guy should get in trouble for this particular thing, especially since I doubt anyone can prove it was actually him who sent the tweets. I was speaking much more generally in my above posts, and only pointing out that any police officer can and sometimes is called on the carpet for things said/done while off duty that might not be illegal, but do reflect poorly on the organization. There are plenty of times it's happened and I didn't necessarily agree with it, just pointing out the way it works.


I like your take on this issue VanSmack. :thumbsup:

While I'm concerned about freedom of speech, it's all about context when you're in certain occupations like law enforcement/public service/military etc. We are held to a higher standard and our personal freedoms are somewhat curtailed - it goes with the job. This guy was "anonymous" when he wrote those things. No one knew what he did for a living and all was fine - he broke no code of conduct. Now he has been (apparently) identified and it's a problem. With social media and all, it's a very fine line that can be cracked at any time. When it happens, it's time to either shut up or perhaps get a new handle. I don't think the he should have any sanctions/discipline/etc at all other than be told to knock it off now that the public knows (or thinks they know) who he is.
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