Toronto Police: Shooting Victim Wins Right to Sue Police

Update:

Toronto Police Cruiser. Kofi Patrong has finally won his battle to sue Toronto Police for negligence, after being shot in the leg by a member of the Galloway Boys. photo by fightyourtickets.ca
Toronto Police Cruiser. Kofi Patrong has finally won his battle to sue Toronto Police for negligence, after being shot in the leg by a member of the Galloway Boys. photo by fightyourtickets.ca

see source

In the latest development in years-long legal saga, a Toronto divisional court has struck down an appeal by Toronto police to prevent Patrong, 31, from suing the force for its alleged role in devastating case of mistaken identity — a 2004 gang-related shooting that left him with a debilitating leg injury.

Kofi Patrong has won the right to sue the Toronto Police — again.

In the latest development in a years-long legal saga, an Ontario divisional court this week struck down an appeal by Toronto police that would have stopped Patrong, 31, from suing the force for its alleged role in a 2004 gang-related shooting that left him with a debilitating leg injury.

Since 2011, Patrong has been attempting to sue police for negligence, claiming officers could have prevented the now-convicted murderer, Tyshan Riley, from shooting Patrong in a case of mistaken identity.

“I immediately started to thank the Lord and I started crying,” Patrong said Thursday, shortly after learning he can proceed with his $9 million lawsuit.

Patrong was 19, with no gang affiliations and no criminal record, when he became an accidental victim in a bizarre case of mistaken identity during a time of tense gang warfare between two rival Scarborough gangs, the Malvern Crew and the Galloway Boyz.

On April, 2004, Patrong was hanging out with friends in the backyard of a Malvern townhouse complex over lunch when he was suddenly shot by Riley, a notorious member of the Galloway Boyz. It was found in court that Riley had mistakenly believed those in the group were members of the rival Malvern Crew.

At the time of the shooting, Riley was the main suspect in a prior shooting, and it was believed he posed a major threat to public safety. Riley was being wiretapped and trailed by police on the day Patrong was shot.

In 2011, Patrong and his mother Rose launched a lawsuit against Toronto police, alleging police had both the grounds and the opportunity to arrest Riley before he could harm anyone, but chose not to intervene.

The suit was based on the so-called Jane Doe case, in which a rape victim won a lawsuit against Toronto police for failing to warn women about the “balcony rapist,” now-convicted rapist Paul Callow.

Police in that case detected a very specific pattern: the rapist entered the apartments of single, white women living in the lower units with balconies in the Wellesley and Church Sts. area. But investigators failed to notify possible victims because they didn’t want to alert the attacker to the fact that they were gathering evidence.

The lawsuit argues that police should have known Patrong was at a high risk of being victimized by Riley because he fell into a category of men who may be targeted by Riley: young, black men in Malvern who could be perceived as gang members.

The lawsuit names the Toronto Police Services Board, then-police chief Julian Fantino, and Al Comeau and Wayne Banks, two detectives investigating Riley at the time Patrong was shot.

Metropolitan Toronto Police Headquarters. The suit was based on the so-called Jane Doe case, in which a rape victim won a lawsuit against Toronto police for failing to warn women about the “balcony rapist,” now-convicted rapist Paul Callow. photo by fightyourtickets.ca
Metropolitan Toronto Police Headquarters. The suit was based on the so-called Jane Doe case, in which a rape victim won a lawsuit against Toronto police for failing to warn women about the “balcony rapist,” now-convicted rapist Paul Callow. photo by fightyourtickets.ca

But Patrong’s lawsuit has encountered several legal hurdles. In 2013, Ontario Superior Court Justice Victoria Chiappetta rejected Patrong’s lawsuit saying he failed to establish the “special relationship” between police and the victim that would make the officers accountable to Patrong.

The lawsuit did “not support that Patrong was readily known to the police as a target of the foreseeable harm,” he said.

His lawyers Barry Swadron and Kelley Bryan revised the lawsuit, using data from previous gang-related shootings to narrow down a more specific location where a drive-by shooting was likely to occur — the few blocks near the Malvern Town Centre, when Patrong lived.

In May, 2015, Ontario Superior Court Justice Frederick Myers gave the green light for the revised lawsuit, ruling that if the allegations in the suit are proven, “(Patrong) and others in the neighbourhood had the right to expect the police to arrest Riley before he committed another drive-by shooting.

“It is fair, just and reasonable that the defendants ought to compensate the plaintiffs for the injuries that were sustained due to the defendants’ wrongful acts,” Myers wrote.

Lawyers for Toronto police board, Fantino and the two named detectives then appealed Myers’ ruling, but a panel of divisional court judges dismissed that appeal this week.

Toronto police could still appeal to the Court of Appeal. Kevin McGivney, one of the lawyers representing Toronto police, said Thursday the ruling is being reviewed and no decision has been made about an appeal.

The case raises a difficult issue, he said: the degree to which police can be sued for harm caused by other people.

“It’s a challenging issue with broad implications,” he said.

Patrong, a father of two, spent over a month in hospital after the shooting, and almost lost his leg. Twelve years later, he still has chronic pain and walks with a pronounced limp.

He and his mother Rose — who still works full time at a bank — are getting frustrated with the delays. “She would like to retire,” Patrong said.

Swadron, one of Patrong’s lawyers, says Toronto police should stop “fighting Kofi tooth and nail all the way.”

“My hope would be that the whole issue of Kofi’s compensation is not going to be held up in some perpetual appeals,” said Marshall Swadron, who represented Patrong on the latest appeal. “It’s time for them to stop, I hope they will.”

Toronto: Road Hockey Prohibition Lifted by City Council

Update:

The ban on ball hockey in the streets has been overturned by the City of Toronto.
The ban on ball and hockey playing in the streets has been overturned by the City of Toronto and will now become part of memory lane. photo by fightyourtickets.ca

see source

Ball hockey is now legal on Toronto streets after city council voted 35-2 on Friday in favor of overturning an earlier ban against playing the hallowed game on our roads.

The decision to scrap the ban covering hockey and basketball nets came up after about 20 families in the Bedford Park neighbourhood were threatened with $90 municipal fines if they didn’t take their equipment from the street — Esgore Drive — within 20 days last December.

The ban on nets in the street had been in place for generations, but only enforced following a complaint.

Coun. Christin Carmichael Greb first brought the issue to council where it was picked up by the public works and infrastructure committee. On Friday, she celebrated the decision, which she called a win for families.

“Most of us grew up doing it so it’s not anything that’s different. You yell, ‘Car!’ You get out of the way and then you yell, ‘Game on’ and come back and play,” she said.

Technically the city can face liabilities if someone is injured playing sports or games on streets, according to a 2010 report.

But Greb wasn’t worried about that Friday, saying playing cautiously is a matter of common sense.

“Parents need to teach their kids how to be responsible and play the game safely,” she said.

This prohibition has been overturned, as the Toronto City Council passed a new by-law, allowing road hockey, etc. photo by fightyourtickets.ca
This prohibition has been overturned, as the Toronto City Council passed a new by-law, allowing road hockey. As a result of City Council’s decision, Toronto residents can play street hockey on local roads with a speed limit of 40 kilometres or less, between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m. during daylight hours. photo by fightyourtickets.ca

Munipalities Merge into Megacity – City of Toronto, 1998

Amalgamation occurred in 1998 when the regional municipality of Metropolitan Toronto and its six constituent municipalities – East York, Etobicoke, North York, Scarborough, York, and the City of Toronto (1834) were dissolved by an act of the Government of Ontario. A new single municipality called the City of Toronto (colloquially dubbed the “megacity“) was formed, replacing all seven governments. The “megacity” City of Toronto is the successor of the previous City of Toronto.

When these former municipalities all merged to form the City of Toronto, they all had by-laws (some dating back as far as 1978) that prohibited the playing of sports on local roads. When the amalgamation occurred on January 1, 1998 the City of Toronto developed one by-law (instead of the former six (6)) under the Traffic and Parking Municipal Code, Chapter 950 to cover all of the former municipalities.

The new by-law which applied to all of the former municipalities prohibited the playing of sports or engaging in other activities such as rollerblading or skateboarding on any public roadway in the City. Private property, such as driveways, were exempt from the by-law.  The set fine for the violation of the by-law was $90.00.

The Province of Ontario urged the City of Toronto to allow Toronto residents to play road hockey in Toronto.

http://hockeygods.com/system/gallery_images/6866/normal.jpeg?1309156584
There is nothing healthier or more enjoyable, than a good game of road hockey with friends and neighbours.

Quebec Drivers beware: 15 new photo radar spots hit Quebec roads

Update: see previous post – October 20, 2015 Quebec Drivers beware: mobile photo radar gets rolling

Quebec hopes to have 50 new photo radar machines in service by the fall.
Quebec hopes to have 50 new photo radar machines in service by the fall. (Radio-Canada)

see source

New photo radar zones for Montreal, Laval, Quebec City and the South Shore

The province is upping its game to crack down on motorists who speed and run red lights.

There are 15 new photo radar zones on Quebec roads as of Thursday just as construction season hits its peak.

Revenue from photo radars is on the rise in Quebec.
Revenue from photo radars: 2008-2009: 0 2009-2010: $7.3 million 2010-2011: $8.9 million 2011-2012: $8.2 million 2012-2013: $10.3 million 2013-2014: $15.4 million 2014-2015: $??.? million. Revenue from photo radars is on the rise in Quebec. photo by Peter McCabe / Montreal Gazette

Transport Québec spokesperson Nomba Danielle said some of the radars are in places where police are not always there to enforce the law. Some are placed at intersections and others will monitor construction zones.

“We need these photo radars because we have to ensure road safety,” Danielle said.

Montreal, Laval, Quebec City and the South Shore will each get two new machines.

Quebec hopes to have 50 new photo radar machines in service by the fall.

New photo radar zones in Montreal

  • Highway 138 East between the Mercier Bridge and Highway 20
  • Berri Street at the intersection of Henri-Bourassa Boulevard

Transport Québec has the full list on its website.

Ontario: Offers Gender-Neutral Driver’s Licences and Health Cards

Update:

Stained Glass Ceiling of Queen's Park. ServiceOntario offices will begin issuing gender neutral driver's licences next year.
Stained Glass Ceiling of Queen’s Park. ServiceOntario offices will begin issuing gender neutral driver’s licences next year.

see source

Province already issuing health cards that no longer display information about a person’s sex

Ontario is introducing gender-neutral driver’s licences and health cards.

Beginning in early 2017, drivers will be able to select X, instead of an M for male or F for female, for their licences.

This month the province started issuing health cards that no longer display information about a person’s sex on the front of the card.

Those who want a new health card without the sex identifier before their regular renewal date can obtain one immediately through ServiceOntario at no cost.

The Liberal government said it is making the changes “to ensure the fair, ethical and equitable treatment of people with trans and non-binary gender identity.”

Ontario will also launch public consultations this summer to develop policies on how the government collects, uses and displays sex and gender information on government forms and products.

Ontario: New Law Limits Level of Window Tinting, Cyclists Rejoice

Update: see previous post – January 16, 2010 Tinting Motor Vehicle Windows

Row of parked bicycles.
Row of parked bicycles.

see source

Cyclists in Ontario are applauding new laws that go into effect today and will reduce the amount of allowable window tint on vehicles.

New laws prohibit the front windshield from being tinted after market and stipulate windows to the right and left of the driver must not block more than 30 per cent of light.

There will be no new limit for rear windows.

While the law technically goes into effect today, they only affect cars built after Jan. 1, 2017.

Oliver Swainson, who manages City Cyclery in Windsor, Ont., says tinted windows make it difficult for cyclists and pedestrians to know whether the driver sees them.

So, he approves of the changes.

“You can’t tell that that driver is seeing you and it’s almost like Russian roulette as you pass in front of that car,” he said. “If you can see that they see you, it’s a sign of recognition that you’re both aware of each other, you’re not going to hit each other.

“When you can’t make that visual eye contact, it’s very nerve-wracking for both.”

It’s a view shared by police in Ottawa.

A police board report issued in March called the current Ontario laws regulating window tint “vague and problematic.”

“Windows that have too much tint can obstruct the view of the drivers and can make it difficult for pedestrians to make eye contact with drivers prior to stepping off the sidewalk to cross the road safely,” the report reads, in part.

Police also say less tint makes it easier for them to look for distracted drivers, who may be on their cellphone, for example.

Also known as light or tint meters, photometric meters are used to determine how much light passes through a car window.

A police officer in Gatineau, Que., uses a light meter to test the tint of a car window. A report coming before the Ottawa Police Services board on Monday will urge Ontario to match its rules with those that exist in Quebec.
A police officer in Gatineau, Que., uses a light meter to test the tint of a car window. A report coming before the Ottawa Police Services board on Monday will urge Ontario to match its rules with those that exist in Quebec. (CBC)

In Quebec, drivers can be ticketed anywhere from $154 to $525, depending upon the size of their vehicle, if their front side windows fail to let in at least 70 per cent light.

Not ‘end-all, be-all’ solution

Some cyclists say the new laws could prevent “dooring” incidents because they may now be able to see inside the car sooner as they approach — even though changes will not be made to rear window tint.

“If you can’t see effectively out those side mirrors, you have increased risk of striking a cyclist,” Swainson said.

Swainson said the new laws are “not the end-all, be-all” solution.

“It’s one more small step in making our streets safe,” said Swainson, who has been struck at an intersection in the past.

The last update to the province’s laws around car window tinting was in 1990.

Nationwide, approximately 7,500 cyclists are seriously injured every year in Canada, according to CAA. Sixty-four per cent of cyclist deaths from traffic crashes occurred on city roads — those with a speed limit up to 70 km/h. The remainder occurred on rural roads.