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Man assaulted by Toronto Police officer who fined him $365 for climbing tree without permit

alexd

Administrator
Staff member
Man claims assault by officer who fined him $365 for climbing tree without permit

By: Alyshah Hasham News reporter, Published on Thu May 09 2013

Dylan Deziel visits Bellevue Square Park in the heart of Kensington Market just about every day and has climbed nearly every tree there.
But last week he says his habit of languidly lounging on the branches of an Austrian pine escalated to a broken collarbone from an alleged assault by a police officer and a $365 ticket for climbing a tree without a permit.
Just after noon last Thursday, a police officer from 14 Division pulled up on his bike and told him to get out of the tree, said Deziel
“Is it illegal to be in a tree?” the skinny, soft-spoken 22-year-old said he asked before questioning the officer on whether he really was a policeman while climbing down.
When he got back on the ground, he said the officer seized his arm. He pulled away but the officer grabbed his left bicep and put him face-down on the ground, cuffed his hands behind his back then searched him, he said.
When Deziel asked why he was being handcuffed, he said the officer responded, “You took too long to get out of the tree.”
During the altercation, Deziel said his clavicle was broken, leaving bruises that, a week later, sprawl across his chest and shoulder in blue and yellow patches. His nose and mouth are scratched.
The alleged assault is under investigation by the Special Investigations Unit after Deziel’s lawyer, James Lockyer, notified Toronto police of the injuries on Wednesday. The SIU investigators are asking witnesses to contact them at 416-622-1965 or 1-800-787-8529 extension 1965.
The SIU is an arm’s-length provincial agency that investigates incidents involving police where someone has been seriously injured, sexually assaulted or has died. Toronto police told the Star Thursday they cannot comment on cases under investigation by the SIU.
Aurora Simmons, a goldsmith and aerospace technician, was one of an eclectic crowd eating lunch in the park that sunny day. She saw Deziel climb the tree when she arrived.
“It’s a little weird to climb a tree in the middle of the day,” she said. “But not that weird.”
Simmons said she watched Deziel interact with the burly police officer but only got up to intervene when she said she saw the cop put Deziel in an arm lock and trip him so he was lying on the ground.
“Dylan had made no aggressive moves, he wasn’t raising his voice, yelling or swearing. He was very submissive,” she said. “I thought he was going to be arrested for climbing a tree — which seemed really not OK to me.”
Deziel has faced mental health problems. However, he said that did not appear to influence the response of the police officer who he said seemed “angry” when he approached Deziel.
Last year, Toronto police ordered a review of the way their officers deal with the mentally ill after two people were shot dead by police and a third collapsed and died during an arrest.
Deziel’s mother, Sandra, contacted Lockyer after the alleged assault.
“Dylan and I worked really hard to bring stability to his life. He has his own place and takes care of himself,” she said. “And I don’t want him to be frightened of going to this park where he’s been going his whole life.”
Lockyer said his next step will come after the SIU investigation is completed. “Someone quietly sitting up a tree, not damaging the tree, is it really the end of the world?”
They are fighting the ticket for tree-climbing, he added.
An obscure part of the Toronto Municipal Code states that, “No person shall in a park, unless authorized by permit, climb, move or remove the whole or any part of a tree, rock, boulder rock face or remove soil, sand or wood.”
A city spokesperson told the Star that there has been no enforcement of the bylaw or complaints received by the city.
Enforcing that bylaw “really happens on a case-by-case basis,” said 14 Division Staff Sgt. Robert Stewart, who personally hasn’t heard of a ticket issued for climbing a tree in his or any other division in about 18 years.
They are fighting the ticket for tree-climbing, he added.

from the star:
Man claims assault by officer who fined him $365 for climbing tree without permit | Toronto Star
 

acheron

TRIBE Member
if there's anything our cops should be beating up hippies for it's climbing trees.

Look at this shit from the Cherry Blossom orchard at High Park:

 

alexd

Administrator
Staff member
Hippies are an easy target for police assault. Always have been. They are passive and don't fight back, and usually wear bright colors, which makes them easier to spot in trees.

You would think the Toronto Police woould have other things to do in Kensington Market though, like dealing with crazed heroin addicts running rampant, the shoplifting of mangos and other fruits, or the people who double park and block entire streets.
 
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coleridge

TRIBE Member
Man claims assault by officer who fined him $365 for climbing tree without permit

“It’s a little weird to climb a tree in the middle of the day,” she said. “But not that weird.”[/url]
I'd say it's a little weird if you're a Kensington regular and don't climb a tree once in a while.
 

le bricoleur

TRIBE Member
As Alex mentioned, there's a shooting gallery one block over next to the TD Bank machine room. The cops need to focus on that shit.
 
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alexd

Administrator
Staff member
The sad thing is, with most police who assault civilians, the officer will get SUSPENDED WITH PAY AND BENEFITS at most, and that is almost an incentive to beat people up IMO, especially during the summer months, and if found guilty, will get docked 1 days pay or some other slap on the wrist.
 
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Blysspluss

TRIBE Member
Policing isn't something I'd wanna do though...and somebody has to. I bet they take who they can get and try to train them to fit a mold.

Not everyone ends up doing so, I'm sure. But second chances can help.

I mean, at least they aren't the Surete de Quebec! Those guys truly do shoot first(or beat to a pulp) and ask questions later...hippie or not!
 
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The Watcher

TRIBE Member
We came from primates, it's our birthright to climb trees.

But one should practice common sense and understand that not all branches are strong enough to support our weight.

The cherry blossom tree makes me sad.
 

oeretS

TRIBE Member
if there's anything our cops should be beating up hippies for it's climbing trees.

Look at this shit from the Cherry Blossom orchard at High Park:

I'd almost guarantee it wasn't hippies who did that, but rather one of the hundreds of people posing for photo shoots
 

acheron

TRIBE Member
what and the hippies weren't posing for photo shoots? they were definitely climbing in the trees.
 

oeretS

TRIBE Member
I mean, I can't say I was watching too carefully but it seemed like the hippies were less on the trees than some other groups. and no the hippies were not doing "photo shoots", I'm sure they were snapping shots but there were tons of people there shooting professional glamour shots, family shots, engagement shots, model shots etc. I'd place more blame on those folks personally, they were fucking rabid when it came to finding the best unobstructed photo op
 
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alexd

Administrator
Staff member
In an ideal universe, an appropriate sentence for that Toronto Police officer who assaulted that tree climbing hippie would be some time on spent the Moon of Endor. Ewoks don't take tree-climb-haters lightly.

But that is about as likely to happen as this officer receiving any punishment at all here on earth for beating that kid up and fining him.

Maybe this police officer needs some psychotherapy or anger management training at a minimum. If he really wanted the guy out of the tree, he could have just asked him to come down and explained that climbing it could break the tree branches or damage the tree in some way and I am sure the chap would have willingly complied.

At least he didn't shoot him out of the tree so I guess that's something...
 

Ho||yw0oD

TRIBE Member
We came from primates, it's our birthright to climb trees.

But one should practice common sense and understand that not all branches are strong enough to support our weight.

The cherry blossom tree makes me sad.
Not to mention flinging feces and masturbating wherever we want!
 

Jeffsus

TRIBE Member
Policing isn't something I'd wanna do though...and somebody has to.
This is an assumption that many people have but none have proven true.

Are police, really, actually, effective? Are you personally, really, going to change your behaviour just because there are more and more cops out there?

Speeding a bit in a car isn't the same as crashing it. Climbing a tree isn't the same as cutting it down. Smoking weed isn't the same as having a psychotic episode and killing someone.

At the end of the day, cops spend a very expensive amount of their time doing things that people think matters, but doesn't really.

-jM
A&D
 
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