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Monday, September 3, 2012

Toronto police and Ontario prosecutors - working hard to undermine confidence in the justice system

Aside from arresting and prosecuting criminals, the job of the police and court system in a democracy is to maintain public confidence in the idea that the state is interested in the administration of justice.

A number of actions by Toronto police and prosecutors in the last few months have only served to undermine faith in our law enforcement and judicial institutions.

The was the case of David Chen, the proprietor of the Lucky Moose store, who was arrested and prosecuted, and after great expense acquitted, following his detention of a serial thief who preyed upon him.

Last month, there was the instance of a man and his dog who were both assaulted by Khomeinist goons at a Queen's Park demonstration calling for the destruction of Israel. Rather than arrest the followers of the totalitarians in Iran who committed the assault, the arrested the victim and threatened to lock him up for a weekend.

Former Ontario Attorney General Michael Bryant never has to face a trial following his killing of an enraged, violent bicycle courier with his car. Bryant was probably not guilty of manslaughter, but Moses Mahilal was certainly defending himself and his family when he fought off an intruder in his girlfriend's mother's house, yet unlike the influential former politician, seems headed for a criminal trial.

Moses Mahilal and his girlfriend, Sarah Walsh, sensed trouble as they entered her mother’s house just after 3 a.m. on July 31, 2011, and found the side door ajar. 
They became even more alarmed when they saw a large pair of black, high-top Air Jordans at the bottom of the staircase leading to the second floor, where her mother, Kimberly Walsh, was asleep.   
Mahilal, 26, made a beeline for the kitchen, grabbed a large knife and ran upstairs, where he confronted the intruder hiding behind the door of Kimberly Walsh’s bedroom.   
Within minutes, the wounded intruder, Kino Johnson, 33, was gone, and hours later Mahilal, was under arrest and charged with aggravated assault. A preliminary hearing is set for Sept. 11.

Moses Mahilal under arrest for defending his girlfriend and
her mother from a confessed felon who broke into their home
The contempt engendered by the perception of a two-tiered justice system in Ontario can do untold harm to the ability of the police and judiciary to enforce the law.  When aggrieved, self-proclaimed victim groups comprised of thugs, professional criminals, and influence peddlers get preferential treatment by police and the courts and honest citizens have to endure unfair prosecutions, the result will be less respect for the police and court system.

Ontario's democratic society is owed better than that.

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