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At one point last Sunday night I was trying to ease the spy car out of the parking lot and onto Clifton Hill. But thousands of people were in Niagara Falls - it was the American 4th of July holiday weekend. I watched the two young police officers who were working hard to direct road and foot traffic safely out of the congested area. Both were dressed in black and they weren't that easy to pick out of the crowd. I became a bit alarmed for their safety.
When I was finally able to squeeze into the street, I rolled my window down and told them that they needed to put their vests on.
They both frowned and eyed me with suspician.
Finally - probably after running my face through his mental photo gallery of known sixty year old female, Caucasian, Canadian terrorists, one said, "We already have them on, Ma'm." (Or, 'mom', hard to tell with all the street noise.)
By that time though, I was through the intersection and there was no going back to tell them that I meant orange traffic safety vests not the Kevlar bullet proof vests.
Sometimes, it seems that the public's communication with the police is like that. Messages get crossed or misunderstood.
Sometimes lines get drawn in the sand.
The Toronto Police Service Board's decision to hold a civilian led inquiry into the G20 events has done a lot to ease the tension.
And the right thing to do.