Dr. Dawg

Racism and police impunity

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A police officer (see photo) armed with a metal pipe beats and blinds an unarmed Black teenager who was just walking down the street with friends. The cop’s brother assists in the attack. They break his jaw, nose and wrist for good measure. Their colleagues arrive, and together they cook up some charges to pin on the kid.

Two police forces are involved. Both cover up the incident, failing to report it, as required, to an oversight body. The boy’s lawyer has to report it instead. The oversight body, which has had a shameful history of complacency, finds the evidence so overwhelming that it charges the two thugs with aggravated assault, assault with a weapon and public mischief. This, despite the fact that cops routinely ignore the body’s requests for information and cooperation.

The bogus charges against the kid are dismissed. The whole thing doesn’t get into public view until more than seven months after the incident. One police chief defends his man—claims he did not identify himself as a police officer, and, being off-duty, he was therefore outside the force’s jurisdiction. The kid’s lawyer, however, has 911 tapes that prove the contrary. Whoops! The Chief is forced to have an investigation—but gets another troubled police force to do it.

Sounds like the US, eh? But it’s not.

The young man’s name is Dafonte Miller. The city was Whitby, Ontario. The cop is a member of Toronto’s finest. The Toronto police chief trying to alibi the thugs is Mark Saunders, truly the Uncle Ruckus of Canadian policing.

Canada’s cops assault and rape and kill Black and First Nations people with near-impunity, assisted by the judicial system. Meanwhile, they ignore or shrug off the deaths of minorities at others’ hands. In Thunder Bay, for example, the killing of a First Nations woman by a young racist punk is being treated merely as an assault. Her death at his hands has led to no upgraded charges. The perp shouted “I got one!” as the truck he was in sped off—but somehow, this isn’t a hate crime, according to the police and Crown. In the same city, numerous First Nations kids have drowned under suspicious circumstances. Police complicity after the fact—refusing to take these deaths seriously—has become so notorious that a special investigation of the department has been ordered.

In Ottawa, a bruiser named Daniel Montsion, one of the highest-paid police officers in Ontario, beat an unarmed Black man to death in front of witnesses, using reinforced “brass knuckle” gloves. He is presently enjoying a two-and-a-half year paid vacation: his trial will not be held until early 2019.

It goes on. And when brutal cops are (rarely enough) brought to justice, that “justice” has proven to be more than merely merciful. So it will be interesting, in a clinical way, to watch the outcome of the Dafonte Miller case, in the light of so much history.

Justice? Real justice? I wouldn’t hold my breath.

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This page contains a single entry by Dr. Dawg published on July 28, 2017 2:53 PM.

Boy Scouts of America and the gathering storm was the previous entry in this blog.

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