Gary & Christine McHale on courthouse steps after Crown dropped charge of Counselling Mischief Not Committed, April 21/10. Charges were dropped after McHale presented evidence before a Justice of the Peace resulting in Obstructing Justice charges against two senior OPP officials - including newly appointed Commissioner Chris Lewis.
UPDATE: Hamilton Spectator editorial, July 09/10: New OPP boss, same old line [PDF]
UPDATE: Haldimand County Mayor Marie Trainer calls on new OPP Commissioner Chris Lewis to end two-tier justice in Caledonia.
UPDATE: Copy of ‘Obstructing Justice’ charge order vs. now-OPP Commissioner Chris Lewis
““After a thorough search, it was clear that Commissioner Lewis is a great fit,” Mr. McGuinty told reporters.” Globe & Mail, July 07/10
UPDATED 1026 July 09/10 — Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty has appointed Deputy Commissioner Chris Lewis as the new head of the Ontario Provincial Police. Lewis is one of two senior Fantino underlings who faced Obstructing Justice charges for following his boss’s explicit orders to target Gary McHale for a criminal charge at the outset of an investigation, and not to “get bogged down with legal nuances” in order to do it.
The Ottawa Citizen’s story was the first to acknowledge the charge, followed by the Hamilton Spectator one day later:
Fantino faced criminal charges earlier this year, which were later dropped by the Crown, over allegations of attempting to influence a municipal official during the native occupation in Caledonia. Lewis, too, faced a charge of attempting to obstruct justice in the same matter. The charge was also dropped, he said.
The issue led to activist Gary McHale founding a movement –Canadian Advocates for Charter Equality — and, in some cases, saw him charging OPP officers for alleging overstepping their authority in the affair. This included Lewis, who was accused of obstruction of justice by McHale in regards to a 2007 rally. The charge was dropped in May.
Haldimand Mayor Marie Trainer asks Lewis to end racial policing
“Haldimand County Mayor Marie Trainer is calling on new OPP Commissioner Chris Lewis to end what she terms was the practice of two-tier justice in Caledonia under outgoing Commissioner Julian Fantino.”
OPPA internal documents show Chris Lewis made DCE occupation a ‘homefree zone’ for native criminals
Unfortunately, Mayor Trainer’s call on Chris Lewis to end two-tier justice/racial policing will likely fall on deaf ears since he was one of its key architects and enforcers.
Christie Blatchford, who is writing a book about Caledonia that should be ready later this year, reveals that internal documents from the Ontario Provincial Police Association (the very organization that falsely accused Gary McHale and Mark Vandermaas of inciting violence and hatred in a 2007 press release, and is currently being sued for defamation by the two) show that Chris Lewis made it clear native criminals scampering back onto the Douglas Creek Estates occupation site bought by the province were absolutely untouchable by the OPP – unless, perhaps, they kidnapped somebody’s child (emphasis by VoC):
The Globe and Mail has obtained OPPA minutes of the spring, 2008, meeting, one of two that the force’s senior command have every year with the police union and where they answer questions.
The minutes show that Detective-Sergeant Roger Geysons, president of the branch encompassing Caledonia, prefaced a question by noting that there had been several recent occurrences “involving First Nations persons observed committing a criminal act and subsequently fleeing” onto DCE.
He demanded to know what written orders there were, and concluded, “Are OPP members allowed on DCE?”
Mr. Lewis, then deputy commissioner, with Commissioner Fantino at his side, replied that it was “news to me that this was still an issue” and said, “Short of somebody having a kid kidnapped and running onto the DCE, we’re not going to go onto that property. It’s just a recipe for disaster and it will set things back there.”
Gary McHale’s associate and fellow CANACE co-founder Jeff Parkinson has seen racial policing up close. He made legal history with McHale’s help after fighting a two year battle that culminated when the Crown withdrew charges of Mischief ordered by a Superior Court judge against two OPP officers he filmed assisting native protesters to build a barricade to keep the lawful owner out of his Hagersville property:
[Lewis has] been working closely with Julian Fantino to make crucial decisions that have oppressed the rights of non Natives in Caledonia.
He was the architect of the ART team (now known as the provincial liaison team) who were responsible for pandering to the whims of Natives while turning a blind eye to criminal behaviour. It’s hard to imagine such a stupid idea as a “response” team within a police force that’s dedicated to one race of people, but that’s what happened under the leadership of the soon to be commissioner. […]
Lewis shows absolutely no remorse for the unreasonable manner in which he helped persecute an innocent man. When asked by the Globe & Mail if he had any regrets in the way that McHale was pursued, he said “none, absolutely none”.
Other coverage of Chris Lewis appointment