Dr. Dawg

Cops in the news

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RCMP dolls.jpg

…but only for the moment. We lose track, the threads are broken, and you have to dig for the middle and the end of news stories that once seized our attention. If it’s not deemed “news” by the media, we stop thinking about it. It’s only natural, then, that the powers that be have learned to run out the clock.

The latest RCMP outrage in BC is the Tasering of an eleven-year-old child. Only one officer was involved instead of four this time, and he didn’t Taser the kid to death. And at least it wasn’t as bad as pepper-spraying a baby. But still…

Errant cops get soft landings in Lotusland. Take the Robert Dziekanski case. As everybody knows, the would-be Polish immigrant was killed by four RCMP officers in the Vancouver Airport in 2007. Since then there has been a major inquiry—Braidwood—whose final report last June shredded the officers’ testimony and set out the stark facts of that tragic event in plain language.

The BC Attorney General’s office immediately promised a review of its original decision to let the Mounties walk, but there hasn’t been a peep out of it since then. The officers are still on duty, running around with their full weapons belts, serving and protecting. Maintiens le droit, baby.

One of those officers in particular is a real gem. Cpl. Monty Robinson, the lead officer in the Dziekanski killing, had another death on his hands a year later. This time it was a hapless motorcyclist, Orion Hutchinson, who got in his way and was run off the road.

Robinson left the scene of the accident without attending to the injured man. He then claimed that his high blood-alcohol level was due to downing a couple of shots at home, and that he had not been impaired at the time of the collision.

He received a ninety-day driver’s licence suspension, which he appealed. The appeal judge flatly refused to believe his tale.

Local police wanted him charged with impaired and dangerous driving causing death, but, once again, the top dogs in the BC Attorney General’s office decided otherwise. He was charged only with the lesser crime of obstruction of justice.

Robinson pleaded not guilty in March, 2010. What happened?

Well, he’s going to a preliminary hearing this month—more than a year later—which will determine whether he should even stand trial for that.

It’s not only the RCMP who get off lightly in BC. Three drunken municipal cops whaled away on a newspaper carrier and then tried to have him arrested for assault. Witnesses said otherwise, and the lead offender was given—wait for it—21 days of house arrest for his unprovoked assault. Ooo, that’s gotta hurt.

A second officer was never charged. The third has just been convicted and is awaiting sentence, no doubt with a broad smile on his face.

Who will guard us from these guards? Not their superiors, not their political masters, not the courts with their wrist-slap sentences.And, in fairness, this isn’t merely confined to BC, but is a systemic sickness right across the country. We only need to think of the G20 police riot, for example, or the treatment of Stacy Bonds right here in Ottawa by cops and their allies in the Crown Attorney’s office.

But none of this is an issue in the current election campaign. Why ever not?

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This page contains a single entry by Dr. Dawg published on April 10, 2011 11:08 AM.

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