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“Geller launches complaint against York police chief and officer”

8

Good piece over at the Tribune concerning my complaint and the resulting investigation of the policeman and his chief, who threatened a Rabbi should he not cancel my scheduled talk. I will be questioned by the Office of the Independent Police Review Director (OIPRD investigator this morning.

Geller launches complaint against York police chief and officer
August 6, 2013 | Joanne Hill, Jewish Tribune

Screen Shot 2013-08-06 at 7.41.54 PM
NEW YORK-TORONTO – York Regional Police (YRP) Chief Eric Jolliffe and
Inspector Ricky Veerappan are under investigation by the Office of the
Independent Police Review Director (OIPRD) following a complaint by
Pamela Geller.

Geller is a well-known American blogger and activist whose views are considered controversial by some people.

She was scheduled to speak at the Chabad@Flamingo Synagogue last May
but Rabbi Mendel Kaplan rescinded permission for the use of his shul
almost at the last minute.

Rabbi Kaplan also serves as a volunteer police chaplain with the YRP.
Veerappan, who  heads the YRP’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Bureau,
told the Jewish Tribune in May that, if the rabbi had not cancelled
Geller’s appearance at his shul, “we would certainly revisit his
relationship with York Region Police.” The Toronto Zionist Centre
stepped in to provide the venue and Geller spoke before an overflow,
standing-room-only audience; however, she wasn’t willing to let the
matter of the cancellation drop, so after she returned to the US she
filed an official complaint with the OIPRD.

“This behaviour is intolerable from a police officer, whose job is to
protect the citizenry, not to censor points of view he dislikes,” said
Geller. “This case is important for the freedom of speech.”

According to Geller, the OIPRD informed her that they had referred
her complaint against Jolliffe to the York Police Services Board.

Grant Wilkinson, senior investigator, OIPRD, and Mafalda Avellino,
executive director, York Police Services Board, both said they could
neither confirm nor deny the existence of any complaints or
investigations.

However, a spokesperson for the YRP did provide confirmation of the
investigation following the Jewish Tribune’s request for comment from
Jolliffe.

“This issue has become part of an investigative process under the
OIPRD and the chief is not in a position to comment,” said YRP Constable
Laura Nicolle.

Veerappan did not respond to the Jewish Tribune’s request for an interview.

Geller said she is scheduled to give testimony to the OIPRD by Skype on Aug. 7.

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