April 21, 2021 | Alwin Squire |
The reports circulating in the media of a Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) officer body slamming a 12 year old boy to the floor in a skate park in Ontario are disturbing to say the least. The incident took place on April 18th, 2021 hours after Ontario’s Premier ordered all parks closed and gave police in the province sweeping new powers to stop and ticket anyone outside of their home for non essential purposes. The new powers were met with strong opposition as every police force in Ontario released statements saying they would not enforce the order. (Apparently the officer involved in this shoving never got the memo). Medical associations said that these new orders were against the advice of the experts as the doctors would rather have people outside where it is less likely to spread Covid-19 as it is indoors. The opposition to these new orders were so strong it forced the Premier to reverse the new orders days later.
View this post on Instagram
The police officer in this incident should be criminally charged with assault. It is simply not enough for this officer to be put on administrative leave. Police officers not only should be held to the same standard as everyone else, they should actually be held to a higher accountability than the rest of the public.
If this incident were to happen at the 12 year old boys school and the child was body slammed by a teacher, principal or coach the adult would definitely be criminally charge and sued by the parents.
According to the Government of Canada’s department of Justice web page, all children in Canada are protected from all forms of violence through the Criminal Code, which is a federal law that applies across Canada. When an offence is committed against a child, a court must treat this as an aggravating factor for sentencing purposes which means that the crime is treated more seriously and can result in a longer sentence.
I’m not to sure if the family has retained a lawyer or if they have the means to do so but i do know that if that was my child the lawyer would be already retained. This case would never even see a trial. It is such an atrocity that every citizen in this province should be outraged. In an interview with the person who filmed the video it was said that the boy was crying and shaking after the assault. I believe that there is already some trauma that could cause this boy to have long lasting anxiety at the sight of police. No child deserves that type of treatment. I thought we lived in a society where we protected our children.
Child Protective Services
I’m not to sure how the officer can just assault another persons child in that manner. If I were to body slam my own child the Children’s Aid Society (CAS) would swoop in instantly and i would lose all my rights to that child as well as be charged criminally.
In addition to protections under the Criminal Code, every province and territory has laws to protect children from family violence and abuse. These laws allow the state to take action where a child is in need of protection from physical, emotional and psychological harm or neglect. Many provinces and territories also have laws and policies that prohibit the use of physical punishment of children in foster homes, childcare settings such as daycares, as well as in schools.
When did Police officers become above the law?
In my opinion the Premier of Ontario Doug Ford should take some responsibility for this incident as well. After all it was his heavy handed order to close all provincial parks along with the extra powers given to police to arbitrarily stop and question anyone in the province that is not at home during the new stay at home order. If Doug Ford couldn’t see that these incidents were going to occur, it shows just how out of touch the Premier is with the real life situation on the ground. BIPOC leaders spoke out instantly about the sweeping new powers, complaining that minority communities would get targeted the most. No one expected the first victim of these new powers to be a 12 year old white kid from Muskoka, Ontario.
Alwin Squire is an editor with GTA Weekly. He lives in Ontario and has a child in the same age group as the victim in this case.