In the September 20 Star there are two incidents which the SIU will be called upon to investigate. In one case, it appears an individual crouched threateningly on a third floor balcony, possibly with a knife, and was tasered, subsequently falling to a concrete landing below. In another case, it appears that an individual refused to dispose of a knife, and was shot – twice – before four policemen carried the wounded suspect to a nearby hospital.
This is not to prejudge or second-guess the actions of the police (or the suspects) in either of these incidents. The question is, how confident are we, the citizens of this city, on our SIU and their investigations?
Do we have the SIU we think we should have? Does it report to the government structure in a way we think it should? Is its track record outstanding, or are their doubts as to its efficacy? Is it hampered by police union lawyers suggesting officers speak to them before the SIU?
Should their be a public place where every SIU investigation is posted? Do we depend on the newspapers to do this for us?
Our police are a key part of our ability to be civilized and safe. Having that responsibility overseen, in cases of possible conflict of interest, is critical to the integrity of the protection we expect and deserve (and generally get).
So the question remains: if we could, would we change it? What direction do you think the SIU should take to improve its value to us?