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Friday, January 05, 2007

Tonye Allen and Ann Brown-Update on Police Brutality Incident in Toronto, Ontario,Canada

Today Tonye Allen, the American photographer of note, was to appear before a Toronto, Ontario judge in a Canadian court of law. As you may recall Mr. Allen was brutalized by the Toronto police last Octber when he and his fiance, also a journalist of some renown, Ms Ann Brown, were attempting to hail a cab to the airport. They were en route to a destination in Africa. Both were unexplicably detained by the police; later Brown, was charged with assualting an officer, despite his laundry-list of serious injuries sustained at the hands of the police. We have no information on the results of his hearing today in Canada. We will update you as soon as we have the information

Since our initial reports about the case we have received a particularly interesting comment from a person by the name of "urbanchica" who asserts Allen has previously charged some Los Angeles, California police with the same or similar offense. The writer also states Allen sued the LAPD and the FBI for exactly what we do not know; and in the opinion of the writer, "urbanchica" Mr. Allen, and Ms Brown are "scam artists that need to get a real job instead of using racism as viable employment." (sic)

This is what Ann Brown has to say about her fiance, Tonye Allen, and his trials with law enforcement. Please read what she says to refute the statements by "urbanchica":
I'd also like to point out that we are well-traveled, having between the two of us visited cities all across the U.S. as journalists, as well as Ghana, South Africa, Zimbabwe, other parts of Canada, Jamaica, Caicos, the Bahamas, Curacao, Mexico, and have never had anything like what has happened in Toronto happen to us. We've also lived in what was consided at the time high-crime areas in New York, and still we were never, never treated like this by police, who in such areas are often at odds with residents.

We feel it is our right, and everyone's right, to question authority if you have done nothing wrong. If by our asking why we are being detained sets off a "beat down" by police, then no one is safe.

Back in L.A. we were stopped for driving "too slow" on a quiet street late one night. There were no other cars on the road. We were actually showing a visitor from New York the area. The officers who ticketed us verbally threatened us. We all (the visitor, also a minority, included) filed a complaint. The court threw out the ticket and we asked for an apology and that the officers involved be retrained, since they threatened us with bodily harm. The ACLU actually heard about the issue and contacted Tonye to be part of a class-action anti-racial profiling lawsuit. They asked him several times as they said, he, though he was not physically attacked, would bolster their case since he had no criminal record or even any major driving infractions. He finally agreed, but declined to be part of any press interviews and media coverage. This was settled and the anti-profiling law was put into place, which was the goal. Tonye did received a very small settlement (less than he'd make in a day's worth of work). Here is the information: www.aclu-sc.org/News/Releases/2000/100214.

We have no lawsuit against the FBI. The commenter is referring to a posting under www.freedomwriter.com/issue28/letters.htm, which I have repeatedly asked to be taken off. I do not know who put this there. We did not. I do know the LAPD was not very happy at all about the ACLU lawsuit and they fought hard against the suit and even against the judgement. At one point, then attorney general Janet Reno threatened to have the federal government step in and oversee the LAPD if they did not comply. They reluctantly did. So it was a major deal
If you care to contribute to Allen's defense fund go to his blog at:
http://tonyeallenandannbrown.blogspot.com/ You will also find more details about this incident.

In future posts, here, we will provide details and links to reports of simliar incidents which have taken place in Canada over the past 12-14 years. Law enforcement in the land to our north is outrageously out of control.

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