Monday, July 2, 2012

City not safe: Cop

Toronto seems more like a war zone than a “safe city,” a frustrated veteran police source said Monday.

“Our shooting stats are way, way up already this summer and it needs to be addressed,” said the veteran copper, adding “politicians like to say Toronto’s safe, but you and me know that’s not the case.”

A case in point, there were three separate shootings over the long weekend - including one where a stray bullet struck an innocent two-year-old girl.

Initial reports said the girl was “grazed” by a stray bullet Saturday night.

In fact, it didn’t just graze her but lodged itself in her leg and likely came from a rifle, possibly even an AK-47, said the source.

The girl was sitting in the driver’s seat of a vehicle on her aunt’s driveway near Keele St. and Sheppard Ave., with her legs outside the vehicle’s door. The toddler usually sits on the kick-bar that leads to the driver’s seat.

“We need to stop burying our heads in the sand and saying there’s no gun

problem in Toronto,” said the source. “Warzones is where this sort of stuff

should be happening, not in Toronto.”

The source, citing the June 2 Eaton Centre shooting spree, said comments from politicians are misleading and sweep an issue that should be dealt with openly under the rug.

Mayor Rob Ford released a statement following the Eaton Centre shooting which advised residents to “just continue living our lives like we do every day.

“It’s been a terrible couple of days but this is definitely, like I said before, the safest city in the world.”

Accused gunman Christopher Husbands is now facing two charges of first-degree murder, plus five counts of attempted murder and criminal negligence causing bodily harm in connection with the Eaton Centre mayhem.

Since then, John Raposo, Ricardo Vincent and Hussein Huessein were all shot and killed, bringing the city’s 2012 homicide total to 25.

And according to Toronto Police statistics, there have been 153 victims of shootings as of June 22 — that’s not including murdered Vincent, Hussein or the injured men this long weekend.

The 153 victims is nearly a 40% increase from the same time last year.

Chief Bill Blair told the city’s police services board last month that most of Toronto’s gun violence is the work of a “small group” of some 2,000 thugs and criminals who are “beyond redemption.”

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