How Do You Discredit The Ottawa Police Service?

 

How do you discredit an organization that has already been discredited?

In journalism, libel is always a concern. But one instance of that waives libel … you can’t libel a person who has no reputation to defame. So let’s take someone who has repeatedly broken the law in the most serious of ways. You can’t libel that person. They have no good reputation left to lose.

The Ottawa Police Service has such a terrible reputation that teachers do not want uniformed officers to enter schools. Teachers, not wingnuts. Teachers have a very good reputation and well-deserved at that. They know what they are doing because they are responsible people. Exemplary citizens.

The OPS embarrassed Ottawa around the world through its botching of enforcement of the rule of law in the Freedom Convoy protest that occupied the centre of the capital. The federal government felt forced to impose the Emergencies Act in response. Many police forces had to come to Ottawa to break up this occupation because the OPS, through numerous missteps, had let it get out of control. Some OPS officers supported the protesters who the police were trying to control. Those officers went rogue.

Furthermore, we’ve had too many officers finding themselves on the wrong end of the law … take theft for example. That’s an easy one to understand … thou shalt not steal. It goes on.


Police officers traumatized a young person on a school bus who flipped the finger at an officer. The police stopped the bus and took the youngster to school authorities. What an overreaction from officers who overstepped common sense.

Then the police, during a recent anniversary celebration of the Freedom Convoy, told Ottawa Bylaw not to issue tickets to the celebrants. That’s the kind of action that allowed the Freedom Convoy to get out of control.

Back to libel. You cannot libel a person who has no reputation left. Does the OPS have a reputation left?

An officer recently was found guilty of discreditable conduct in an altercation with a group of teenagers in Greely in April 2021.

This post is not to argue the guilt or innocence of the officer nor the penalty to be imposed. Rather it is to question the fundamental legitimacy of the charge.

There’s a link between libel and discreditable conduct in reference to the OPS.

How do you discredit an organization that has been so discredited as the OPS?

Ken Gray

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4 Responses

  1. sisco farraro says:

    Anarchies have no rules. I don’t know what a system that has rules which aren’t upheld by the people responsible for doing so is called, but that seems to be where we have landed. This one of the main reasons we have not been able to rid our society of bullying. Youngsters (although not exclusively), see what is happening in society and take advantage, claiming “If they do it, why can’t I?”

  2. Theresa says:

    Ken, I completely agree that the OPS embarrassed themselves big-time with how they dealt with (actually didn’t deal with) the convoy mob, and they’ve also been guilty of discreditable conduct at other times as well. Having said that, if we label the whole force as incompetent and corrupt, they will very likely accept that, and not bother to reform. Honest people will refuse to be recruited and delinquents will happily join up. Labelling the OPS as corrupt is kinda like a teacher labelling a student as a trouble-maker. The student will then likely accept and act that role, even though what really should happen is for the teacher to get to the root of the cause of the behaviour and address that — and work with the student to change her/his behaviour. That’s what we need to do with the OPS. We absolutely need a competent, honest police force, and our role as Ottawa citizens is to push our Council to enact the necessary reforms.

  3. Ken Gray says:

    Theresa:

    You won’t get a competent police force until they become more public. Instead they are going the other way.

    Also there needs to be a better and separate OPSB to provide oversight. You can’t fix anything until you know what’s wrong.

    cheers

    kgray

  4. Andrew says:

    There needs to be pushback from within to stop the bad cops from overrunning our rights. It seems the good cops are not fighting for society and are accepting the “hell” we seem to have in the service. A good chief knows this. The question here is why is he not getting to work at rooting out the bad? I saw this in action in the Army, and it worked, the bad actors were reported, disciplined, and as a result, stopped the BS they were creating.

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