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Quebec police raid the Lev Tahor

Lev Tahor member Uriel Goldman stands outside the Chatham courthouse on December 23, 2013. Photo Greg Holden

Lev Tahor member Uriel Goldman stands outside the Chatham courthouse on December 23, 2013. Photo Greg Holden

By Greg Holden

The Lev Tahor in Chatham had unexpected visitors tonight as members of the Quebec police, armed with a sealed warrant that was signed by a Chatham judge this afternoon, searched two homes. A sealed warrant means the reason for the search is not disclosed by police.

Spokesperson for the Lev Tahor, Uriel Goldman, said “They were looking for documents because that is all they took. No computers were in those houses. Eight Quebec police sat in a van outside waiting for something to happen, but nothing did. This is very frustrating for the community, they left papers all over, mattresses on the floor and coming just days before court decisions affect us. They made the children go outside in the cold, even a baby when the baby has a high fever.” Goldman suggests the search was conducted to place pressure on judgement being made in the following days on two court rulings.

No-one was arrested and no charges were laid. Police left the scene carrying one box of materials after the three-hour search.

The items police were looking for was made clear. Computers and documents. What information the police expected to find was not made clear.

Acting as legal counsel for the Lev Tahor, Patricia Duffield, from Duffield Paralegal Services, was visiting the group when the raid began just after 5 p.m. “Children were sleeping when they arrived and were moved to other houses. One home was overturned, ripped up baseboards and things like that.” Duffield saw the warrant and said much of the information on it was blacked out as part of it being sealed. “Quebec police said it was part of an ongoing criminal investigation.”

The Chatham-Kent police attended the scene, however they did not take part in the search. Praising the Chatham-Kent police was Goldman, “They were very nice to us. They said that they could never do a search such as this, they would have to tell us the reason for it.” Duffield also said the Chatham-Kent police were pleasant and had no information except that there was a warrant. “The Quebec police were not pleasant. All they would say is that it was part of an ongoing criminal investigation”, Duffield said. “Trying to get information was like pulling teeth. They threatened people with arrest if they took pictures.”

Two children from the Lev Tahor were apprehended in Chatham for a five-day period and a court decision is expected on Friday. On Monday a Chatham court will render a verdict on the fate of 13 children that could be sent to Quebec and placed into foster care for at least 30 days. The Lev Tahor are accused by Quebec authorities of fleeing just before legal proceedings by Children’s Aid in Quebec. They have come under intense scrutiny by the Chatham-Kent Children’s Services, with the Lev Tahor saying as many as eight visits a day and questions about their sexual behaviour being asked. Now they have the Quebec police to contend with, except no-one can say why or for what.

  • Michael J. Kaer

    A sealed warrent? What the fuck is up with that?

    • Michael J. Kaer

      And the Quebec police threatened our right to photogragh them. There is no law I know of that stops me from filming cops. What do they have to hide? They are just being bullies.