Dec 16/97: Stoney Point trials continue


Tried to stop beating, court told

London Free Press
Tuesday, December 16, 1997
John Hamilton

SARNIA - A native testified Monday he drove a car at police outside Ipperwash Provincial Park in September 1995 to stop officers beating a band councilor.

Warren George, 24, of Stoney Point, said he hoped to rescue Kettle and Stoney Point band councilor Bernard George, who was taking a beating, by forcing police back and possible get him inside the car.

Warren George testified in Ontario Court, provincial division, he was among protesters who threw rocks at police wearing riot gear "in case they were going to take us away, put us in jail."

He said police armed with plastic shields and wielding batons had marched in formation to the gate of the camp and "rushed at us." Police, he said, were "trying to intimidate us" by "pounding their shields" and "banging their gloves together."

The confrontation between police and natives occurred about 11 p.m. on September 6, 1995, following a clash outside the park.

Two days earlier, a group of natives had entered the park as it was closing for the season and refused to leave, arguing they were reclaiming land where a burial ground had been desecrated.

Dudley George, another protester in the park, was shot and killed by police during the confrontation. OPP acting sergeant Kenneth Deane was later convicted of criminal negligence.

Saw Attack

Warren George testified he saw officers attack Cecil Bernard George, 43, after the band councilor left the park in an attempt to negotiate with police.

He said he saw Cecil Bernard George being dragged behind a group of officers who were "kicking him and clubbing him with their batons."

George said he ran to his car and followed a bus that was driving out of the park at the police. He said his aim was to force the police away and maybe get him (Cecil Bernard George) into the car."

George aid as he drove his car, an officer jumped in front on the vehicle, with his two hands gripping a gun held about waist high.

George said he ducked below the car's dash board and swerved to the right "to try to avoid being shot."

He testified one officer fell across the car hood and a second fell backwards before he stopped the car and started to reverse back to the camp.

Muzzle Flashes

George said he saw "muzzle flashes" and heard shots as police fired on the car and "the side window exploded on me."

Cross examined by prosecutor Henry Van Drunen, George denied he had concocted the rescue alibi after a youth who drove the school bus was acquitted when he used the same defense.

George is charged with dangerous driving causing bodily harm, criminal negligence causing bodily harm and assault with a weapon, the car.

A second native, David George, 26, also of Stoney Point, is charged in the same trial before Judge Greg Pockele with assault with a weapon, a piece of wood, and assaulting police.

Lawyers start their summations and arguments today after Dave George's lawyer, Peter Hatch, said he wouldn't call any defense witnesses.

The prosecution took a week to complete the case against the two accused.

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