Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Shelley Brant: Why Julian Fantino Must Go

Shelley Brant: Why Julian Fantino Must Go!

It’’s far from an issue about threats and wire-tapped conversations, it’s about the precedent he has now set for the state of Policing in Ontario.

1) A wiretap was issued for not just Mr. Brant’s cell phone but 4 other phones including his brother who is a lawyer, although allowed under the criminal code only in extreme circumstances without judicial authority (meaning by a Judge or Justice of the Peace) this wiretap although stated to be an emergency wiretap by Julian Fantino, which would require authorization by a Judge or Justice was done under section 184.4 which is a wiretap without judicial authorization. This means if the police say it is an extreme circumstance…they will just go and wiretap whatever they like and it could be your phone next. The irony is that it takes reasonable and probable grounds to get a wiretap and nobody in the judicial system will authorize a wire-tap without those grounds and some proof that those grounds exist. There has been a dangerous precedent set here because extreme cases are meant to be cases such as a acts of hostage taking and kidnapping which involving imminent death etc. This also brings into question of break and enter, because the only one who can authorize entry into a dwelling legally for installation of these devices is a judge or justice and does so under certain conditions which is no longer than 60 days after which time an extension has to be applied for before the court. Apparently justice and the law is not to be relied on anymore, and neither are procedures or police protocol or anything of the likes.

These were the Commissioner of Police of Ontario’s Reasonable Probable Grounds and emergency circumstances for invading the privacy of an individual in Ontario and 4 other people including a lawyer. The Police Commissioner testified under oath that he holds the ultimate responsibility for these wire-taps whether he had direct knowledge of them at the time or not.

Taken Directly From the Court Transcripts and Testimony of Police Commissioner Julian Fantino:

Defense - Q. No guns were used and you have no knowledge of any guns being present, in fact, do you?

Julian Fantino - A. Uh, my state of mind then and still today is that guns were there.

Q. Yes, they were in your mind, but they weren’t - there’s no evidence that they were actually there. Isn’t that fair to say?

A. My state of mind is that they were there.

Q. And it would be your responsibility to ensure that wire taps were not instituted by your officers unless it was pursuant to law, right?

A. Ultimately it would be accountable, yes.

2) Threatening people including family members is not out of the question either as long as it comes from the Police Commissioner himself and the last time I looked threatening and coercion were against the law. Yet there it is in plain black and white, the Police Commissioner of Ontario not only threatening Shawn Brant, who was speaking very politely and respectfully by the way, but who also threatened Mr. Brant’’s brother who had not involvement in anything. This is right in the transcripts of Commissioner Fantino’s own testimony at Shawn Brant’s preliminary hearing and at no point did he deny contacting Shawn Brant’s brother nor the words he used. So there you have it, people of Ontario, this is acceptable policing in this province because Dalton McGuinty has said so by backing up his man. The man whom he personally appointed himself. So the next time you have involvement with any member of the Ontario Provincial Police, just remember these are the standards that have now been set for policing in Ontario and nobody is immune to them.

Defense - Q. Well, you say and you with him, didn’t you tell him during that very first conversation, “I don’t want to get on your bad side, but you’re going to force me to do everything I can within your community and everywhere else to destroy your reputation.” Did you tell him that?

Fatino - A. Yes.

Q. Was that being respectful to him?

A. Absolutely. Under the circumstances, yes. I felt that he needed to know what was at play ...

Q. Okay.

A. ... and the consequences.

Q. I’d like your opinion, upon reflection, if this sounds respectful, first, if you said it, and then secondly, if you feel that it was respectful to Mr. Brant. “You know, if you pull this off, I’m liable to say that your issues are critical and they’re important and I’ll speak to that, but if you don’t, then I’m going to go the other way, and I’’m going to say that you’re just destroying, and you’re abusing, and you’re using the people, and you’re actually being a mercenary about it, using the suicide of children and all those legitimate issues, and you don’t want that because I think I can play the media routine like you do.” Did you say that to him?

A. I did.

Q. Was that being respectful?

A. Under the circumstances, absolutely.

Q. “Shawn, your whole world’s going to come crashing down on this issue.” Do you recall those words in the conversation, Sir?

A. Those words were said, yes.

Q. I’m telling you for the sake of all that’s decent and holy, and the things you’re trying to achieve, and to ensure the reputation and the credibility of First Nations people, which I think has been very severely damaged, I’m now telling you to pull the plug or you’ll suffer grave consequences.”, he said, “Okay.”, you said,


Mr. Brant said, “Thank you, Sir.”, you said,

““Thank you.”, Mr. Brant said,

““Bye now.”, you said,


Is that correct?

A. Yes.

Q. A stalling tactic. I see. And then in your first conversation, I put it to you that throughout the first conversation, in fact throughout all the conversations you had with Mr. Brant, he was very respectful of you in his speech. Is that true?

A. Yes, he was, and I of him.

Q. Now, you did, on June 28th, or thereabouts, try to contact Mr. Brant’’s brother.

A. I did speak with his brother.

Q. And you did speak to him actually?

A. I did.

Q. And you wanted him to somehow restrain Mr. Brant, right?

A. I appealed to a lot of people to have Mr. Brant be respectful of the laws of the land, and try to avoid violence.

Q. And when Mr. Brant’s brother indicated he didn’t want to become involved in his brother’s activities, you told him, you have no choice, right?

A. That’s the way I put it to him, yes.

Q. Yeah, was that respectful?

A. Absolutely.

Q. What did you mean you have no choice? Wasn’t that a threat?

A. No, not at all. I was urging a brother to intercede with another brother who was in effect heading for disaster.

Q. When the Commissioner of the OPP says to a citizen of Ontario, you have no choice, you don’t understand that, Sir, as a threat?

A. Not at all.

Q. I see.

A. I think I was being perceptive, and I think I was caring enough to do everything I could to have Mr. Brant listen to voice of reason and sanity.

Q. I see. Mr. Brant’s brother is a lawyer, right?

A. Legally trained, I believe so, yes.

Q. And didn’t you threaten that he might be charged with charged with somehow colluding in his brother Shawn’s activities?

A. If he was harbouring or abetting him, I may have said that, yes.

Q. Yes, you said something about that even, didn’t you?

A. I said I may have said something along those lines.

Q. Yes. But you weren’t threatening him in any way, were you?

A. I thought I was setting out the potential outcomes very clearly, honestly, and in a forthright manner.

Q. I see.

A. And as you know, Mr. Rosenthal, that’s always a possibility when an individual engages in harbouring or engaging in a support of criminal activity. That’’s always a possibility.

Q. So, you were saying to Mr. Brant’s brother, you have no choice about becoming involved in this, and if you don’t become involved, you might be charged with some involvement?

A. No, that’s your interpretation. I implored upon him as a brother, as a family member, to exercise influence over Mr. Brant, and also the fact that his brother was a legally trained person, he would know the ramifications of what was taking place.

Q. Now, with respect to the Chief and the Band Council, you also gave them the understanding that if they didn’t distance themselves from Mr. Brant, themselves from Mr. Brant, they might be investigated for some criminal involvement?

A. No, not at all. What I did say to them is that Mr. Brant’s law breaking and holding people hostage would work against the cause of First Nations people.

3) It is now acceptable for snipers, the tactical team and for the federal police to be on standby at peaceful protests involving small groups of 50 or less people that include unarmed men, women, children and elders and to allude to the fact that you have firearms in your possession based on thought and not evidence or fact and to deploy these units based of the same. It is also acceptable for the police commissioner to make it appear as if you are violent using these same tactics again based on thought, not on fact or evidence.

30-hour blockade of the CN rail line near Deseronto in April. 2007

Defense - Q. I see. In April did you hear about arms?

Fantino - A. Uh, probably not.

Q. What I am suggesting to you, Sir, that it was known for months that this event would take place, and the conclusion that you came to from what you read in the papers, as you told us, about possible arms and violence from Mr. Brant, was a conclusion you came to way before June 28th.

A. Not way before, Sir. I think it was within a very short time of June the 29th.

Q. And then at 1809 it says, ******* - or maybe it’s ****** - ****** prepared to go hard tack at 1845, right?

A. Yes, Sir.

Q. So, that meant that at 1809 there was, you know, preparations to suit up appropriately for advancing on the protesters at 1845, right?

A. Putting an end to the blockade, yes.

Q. So, the idea would’ve been that the plan was that the officers would approach the people on the track and would somehow leave an exit for those who wanted to exit, and that exit was at lower Slash Road. Is that - am I reading this correctly?

A. Well, that’s what it says, but my understanding was that there were women and children and elderly people there as well, and we were concerned about their safety so, I think that’s it, what that talks about.

Q. Yes; and - but I did interpret correctly in that respect, that you’d be ....

A. I believe so, yes.

Q. At 1826 hours here, there’s an entry, in the event of lethal force, order back withdrawal. Any display of long guns and we go back, right?

A. Yes, and again, there was a concern about firearms being there at play, and that’s always been a concern ...

Q. There were both TRU and Public Order officers on site on April 20th?

A. Yes, and I believe we had other police agencies involved as well, but I can’’t tell you who they were right now.

Q. And the TRU team includes teams that are informally referred to as sniper teams, right?

A. I believe they have a component, yes, of - well, they do, yes.

Q. So, there’s an indication of a report that the persons occupying the tracks were probably going to move out. There seemed to be discussions going in that direction, but it will be closer to dark than we were then, right?


A. It appears to be so.

Q. There’s an entry, Commissioner to ********, ****** to *** ****** - something, but then - well, **********, I guess it is, we don’t want to fight at night. You don’t want to fight at night, right? Is that what that says?

A. Uh, that relates to information that came to our attention that the occupiers were looking for a fight and that they were prepared for a fight, and that’’s why we backed off as well.

The protesters stated twice that they were leaving both around night time and then at 6 am and Commissioner Fantino testified to that, yet after admitting that Commissioner Fantino says they had information the protesters were looking for a fight. The fight they were talking about in the dark was their fight, the fight of the O.P.P. true and tactical teams, not the protesters.

4) It has become acceptable for the police to promote racial stereotypes and police as such based on those stereotypes and deem you violent for being a certain race, not just blacks, but natives as well. Which group is next in this multi-cultural province and country??????

Q. Right. Now, with respect to Mr. Brant, I gather you learned something about him during April and then you had more direct interaction with him in June, right?

A. Yes.

Q. Prior to April, you had not had any interaction with Mr. Brant personally?

A. That’s correct. I didn’t have any interaction with him in April personally either, Sir.

Q. Yes, but you hadn’t even - prior to April, you hadn’t even had indirect interaction with him such as you had in April, right?

A. No, I knew quite a bit about Mr. Brant prior to April.

Q. I see. You had been informed by others and perhaps done some googling research or something, and learned something about Mr. Brant prior to April?

A. I knew who I was dealing with, yes.

Q. It says, ********** arrow Commissioner. It suggests that you were there, but didn’t some other officers indicate it wasn’t a question of bravery - Mr. Brant is very brave - but it’s a question of he’s somebody who’s trying to avoid violence?

A. He has a funny way of going about it.

Mr. Fantino knew Mr. Brant was Mohawk and therefore must be armed and dangerous, although admitting he heard nothing of weapons in April Mr. Fantino still says he had his armed tactical and sniper teams ready to deploy against unarmed men, women, children and elders because of the fear of weapons. Mr. Fantino testified also that the protesters were ready to leave the site, once closer to dark and then at 6 am, yet also testified that the entry made in relation to “we don‘t want to fight at night” was because they received information that the protesters were ready for a fight and that’s why they backed off. I firmly believe that the only reason the O.P.P backed off at all was because of potential repercussions from Six Nations/Caledonia and that’s what the entry concerns over Caledonia meant.

The portrayal of Native people in Ontario should be of major concern, given that this stero-type has fueled and will continue to fuel with near deadly consequences the reaction of the Police Commissioner himself in being prepared to employ deadly use of force at peaceful protests concerning Native people. This is the same portrayal that led to the cold-blooded murder of Dudley George at Ipperwash, and always with the same justification from the Commissioner himself that there is weapons present, without any proof or reasonable grounds to believe so. There were also undercover agents used in the April blockade of the railroad tracks, yet they obviously did not have any proof or information pertaining to weapons because the Commissioner himself testified under oath that he did not hear of any weapons in April, yet he was present at the scene. The only justification that Commissioner Fantino has for deploying such a heavy armed and deadly team against such a small group of people at a protest would be if there were weapons present. There were none and nothing to suggest there was, no probable grounds and no proof and no information in April because the commissioner testified under oath to that himself, yet contradicted his own testimony when saying there was a concern about weapons, weapons that were only in his mind.

5) It has become acceptable to live in a police state, whereby laws, rules, procedures and protocol no longer mean a thing, just what it takes to get the job done, including threatening and coercion, inventing weapons that don’t exist, the full force of armed police units and issuance of wire-taps without judicial consent because you know no judge in Ontario would grant you one.

1. No authorization for intercepted communications without reasonable probable grounds can be obtained. Mr. Fantino had none and I submit that if he or any member of the O.P.P went to any judge or Justice of the Peace with information about a statement being made in the media and un-named police sources who told them things without anything further to back it up, that they would never get one let alone 4 especially in the case of Shawn Brant’s brother who is a lawyer and that is the reason why section 184.4 of the criminal code was used, the section used normally for such things as kidnappings and hostage takings because they knew they could never obtain authorization.

There were no emergency or exigent circumstances that warranted these type of wiretaps, because they were well aware of the date of June 29th months ahead a time and Mr. Brant’s plans for that day through media coverage.

If there would have been grounds to obtain a judicial authorization, they had plenty of time to do it.

2. Threats and intimidation.

3. You have a weapon if the Police Commissioner says you have a weapon and you are aiding and abetting if the Police Commissioner says you are. It has nothing to do with laws, or the Charter of Rights in this country or province, it has to do with what the Police Commissioner says and what he can make it look like. Exigent circumstances are now what the Police Commissioner deems them to be and so are probable grounds. Never mind the legal and common law definitions, they don’t matter anymore.

6) Blue-Print to Ipperwash:

1. Ipperwash: The ERT and True teams were both dispatched based on false unverified information that the protesters were armed…Reports were they were in possession of hunting rifles and semi-automatics weapons…they then considered these false weapons a threat to public safety: the final report verifies there were never any weapons found after the shooting of Dudley George either in the vicinity of the park or the parking lot.

2. Ipperwash: Both sides fear a major event based on each others movements: O.P.P. dress to move what was escalated at one point to at least 15-20 men in a parking lot outside the Provincial Park….it was verified later by the final report that there was

only 6 men present in the parking lot and 25 protesters inside the park.

3. Ipperwash: Both the True team and the ERT team consisting of 4 teams of O.P.P. officers “The criteria for calling in the True Team is a threat to life” They were also sure they had the men n the parking lot for committing mischief and also for weapons dangerous because they had been spotted with baseball bats.

4. Ipperwash: “The O.P.P. should have communicated with the protesters that they should remain in the park and that the O.P.P. would not attempt to enter the park.” As I discuss in the following chapter the Aboriginal occupiers firmly believed that the O.P.P’s intention that night was to march into the park and arrest any protester who refused to leave the park”

5. Ipperwash: O.P.P. press releases full of misinformation after the shooting of Dudley George and those statements were never retracted. According to O.P.P. press releases at the time Dudley George was present on a school bus that began firing at officers as it left the park. A weapon was spotted in Dudley Georges hands by an officer who open fired. In actual fact as proven by the final report: Two teenagers were driving the bas and Dudley George was no where near the bus, there were also reports by officers of actually seeing muzzle fire on the bus, but no weapons were ever found on the bus or anywhere else. Dudley George was in fact outside and kneeling down at the time of his shooting and was unarmed. The bullet trajectory or entry point proved that for Dudley George to have been in a standing position that someone would have had to shot him from someplace above him like a tree. Officers maintained throughout their testimony etc that there was bullet fire in their direction and that was the reason they opened fired. As stated earlier when they area and the park were searched there was never one weapon found to verify their evidence which can be verified by the final report.

7) In both the April and June 2007 incidents weapons were the word of the day by Julian Fantino to justify his actions. This can only mean that should there be death at anyone of his death marches he has already set up the justification, just as it was set up for Dudley George the day he was murdered in cold blood by an O.P.P. sniper. Yet the only weapons n existence were in “Fantino’s state of mind” as he puts it. This is a life and death matter, which is already being set up by Fantino himself, otherwise why place weapons at a scene that you have no proof or evidence of???? Dudley George was unarmed and so were the protesters inside Ipperwash if you recall and yet there was a cover-up by the O.P.P. to say he and other protesters were armed to justify the deadly deployment of force on that night and also to justify his murder. It was only years later that the truth came out that no weapons were ever found inside the park or near Dudley George. Yes this is a blueprint and I think you have a Police Commissioner who has said clearly in all his actions and despite his words who wants another Ipperwash. Despite hearing early on that this would be a peaceful protest, Police Commissioner Fantino was fully prepared to send in armed tactical squads backed up by snipers into a group of men, women, children and elders for the sake of 30 hours of inconvenience of people riding a train and tangible goods that might spoil.

Q. And on the first phone call to you, didn’t Mr. Brant tell you that Mr. Fontaine had expressed his desire for a peaceful day and you know that’s our mandate, that’s what we’re trying to do? Didn’t he tell you that?

A. Uh, probably did.

Q. Yes, right early on, right?

A. Yes.

Q. At 1826 hours here, there’s an entry, in the event of lethal force, order back withdrawal. Any display of long guns and we go back, right?

A. Yes, and again, there was a concern about firearms being there at play, and that’s always been a concern ...

Q. Well, didn’t he, in fact, with respect to firearms - let’s deal with that. Didn’t he simply say that if the police came after us, or words to that affect, we could respond?

A. Uh, I don’t know if I can agree with that in total. My state of mind at the time was that firearms were at play and available, and that there was a predisposition to using those firearms against the police.

Q. What specifically led you to have the state of mind as you’ve - are you talking about April as well as June, or just June?

A. I’m talking about June primarily, yes.

Q. Okay. What gave you that state of mind as you prepared to participate in the June incident?

A. Uh, information that was provided to me, and information that I gleaned from the media as well, rhetoric attributed to Mr. Brant.

Q. I see. Well, what gave you that state of mind, Sir?

A. Uh, the information that was made available to me, even from the media, from Mr. Brant’s own reported rhetoric in the media.

Q. So, there were some discussions that you were a party to about how you would deal with violence?

A. I was briefed on the existence of firearms, the intent to use firearms against the police, those kinds of issues. I was aware of those situations, yes.

Q. Do you have any notes in your notebook, or otherwise, as to when you learned that Mr. Brant might possibly use weapons?

A. Or his followers. I believe it was on or about the 28th.

Q. Do you have any note I asked you, Sir?

A. No.

Q. And what you read in the media was to the affect that if police officers attacked the protesters, there might be guns near by, right? That’s what you read in effect, right?

A. My understanding was that guns were in fact going to be used on the police officers.

Q. Approximately how long?

A. My recollection is that I became intimately aware of the potential use, or the intended use, of firearms on our police officers on or about the 28th.

Q. Did you note anything about weapons, Sir?

A. Uh, no, I don’t believe so.

Q. In your notes?

A. Uh ....

Q. You didn’t? Would that not be one of the most crucial things to note, Sir?

A. It may have been.

No guns were used and you have no knowledge of any guns being present, in fact, do you?

A. Uh, my state of mind then and still today is that guns were there.

Q. Yes, they were in your mind, but they weren’t - there’s no evidence that they were actually there. Isn’t that fair to say?

A. My state of mind is that they were there.

Q. Yes.

A. ... however, we were under tremendous pressure because of not only the inconvenience to people, but also some safety issues, perishable goods in travel, and all those kinds of issues so, we had to make our decisions based on the greater public good and do the best we could to resolve the situation peacefully.

Q. And with respect to the June incident coming up, did you look at any of the recommendations of that inquiry?

A. I was well briefed and versed in the recommendations and the context, and I feel very strongly that we acted in the true spirit and intent of those recommendations, and in our situation on the 28th and 29th of June, and since.

So Mr. McGuinty this is the state of policing in Ontario that you are supporting and when there is death that occurs at this mans orders, are you going to take full responsibility for it, because the blood will also be on your hands???????

Shelley Brant

Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory

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Censored News is published by censored journalist Brenda Norrell. A journalist for 27 years, Brenda lived on the Navajo Nation for 18 years, writing for Navajo Times, AP, USA Today, Lakota Times and other American Indian publications. After being censored and then terminated by Indian Country Today in 2006, she began the Censored Blog to document the most censored issues. She currently serves as human rights editor for the U.N. OBSERVER & International Report at the Hague and contributor to Sri Lanka Guardian, Narco News and CounterPunch. She was cohost of the 5-month Longest Walk Talk Radio across America, with Earthcycles Producer Govinda Dalton in 2008:
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