Constable Adam Josephs of the Toronto Police Services is an asshole. Not just any asshole. But a special kind of asshole. The kind of asshole who acts like a total asshole, then asserts his right to be an asshole without actually being ridiculed for being an asshole.
In fact, he feels so strongly that he has a right not to be subjected to public ridicule for being an asshole that he has taken to suing YouTube for being the conduit of such ridicule. He is also demanding those who produced cartoons mocking him, under the moniker “Officer Bubbles” have their names produced such that he can sue them too.
On a weekend where Mr. Josephs’ police force undertook the biggest mass-arrest in Canadian history, arresting over 1,000 Canadians, including hundreds of innocent bystanders and at least 800 people who were not involved in any illegal activity, in what some have described as “precautionary detention” — Mr. Josephs’ is demanding that a court award him over one million dollars in compensation for the damage to personal reputation caused purely by his own behaviour.
This attitude on the part of Officer Bubbles may not be surprising to anybody who has had any personal relations with police officers. I have one friend who is a police officer, and two in my extended family. One of them works for the Toronto Police. And if you share this same privilege, you may have experienced glorious tales of police power tripping at the dining room table over the holidays — and how “stupid” members of the public are, especially compared to them.
The police have a brotherly code. They look out for each other, and first and fore-mostly, the police brotherhood views themselves as above the public. Which is why, in a society that ostensibly celebrates free speech and fair comment, Officer Bubbles is asserting his right to be free from public ridicule.
The problem is much worse than a single police officer with an inflated sense of self-importance who considers members of the public to be “human garbage”; there is evidence the Toronto Police are actually targeting their critics, using heinous and illegal intimidation tactics.
The following video chronicles a Toronto Police officer physically assaulting a man, who then runs for help, and is then confronted by a dozen police officers in a back alley where his iPad and phone are searched, he is subjected to verbal abuse, being called a “drug addict’ and “mentally ill” while he demanded to see a lawyer — to which they told him to “shut up”.
This was vaguely similar to my encounter with the Toronto Police on the Monday evening following the G20 summit, where a group of police officers verbally abused me while I protested the search, telling me they “didn’t care” what I thought, that people like me “don’t give a shit” about the security of Toronto, and that I was just an “idiot” who didn’t know what I was talking about.
It is unfortunate that the two front-running mayoral candidates in the Toronto municipal election both support expanded police resources, up to and including the installation of a comprehensive CCTV system throughout the downtown, not unlike that in London, England. Especially with a preponderance of evidence that the Toronto Police are out of control, are not being held accountable, and worse, as Mr Josephs’ lawsuit shows, they feel they’re actually entitled to get away with all of it.
UPDATE: This story is making waves over on Reddit. You can read comments (over 200 now) on this story there.
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