Thursday, May 23, 2019

Tasers aren’t the enemy

On June 23, 2004 Robert Wayne Bagnell died. According to a coroner's jury, he died of "restraint-associated cardiac arrest" due to acute cocaine intoxication and psychosis. And not, because Vancouver police officers used tasers to arrest and control the out-of-control man.According to the report in the Vancouver Sun Bagnell's family were "disappointed" the coroner's jury didn't make any reccomendations. Such as . . .. . . what exactly? Bagnell was the author of his own misfortune and nothing the family says will change that. He was on cocaine over-drive and destructive and violent. The police tried to just keep Bagnell contained until he came down and was more responsive. Circumstance forced their hand and the police opted to deploy tasers, considered non-lethal, to restrain and control Bagnell. As happens sometimes when a taser is used on someone with a cocaine-fired heart, the electrical shock has an adverse effect on their cardio-vascular system. And sometimes when that happens, the already over-loaded heart shuts down. We can debate whether or not that is tragic in a different forum, but suffice to say that in all the cases of this type of thing happening, it was never a result of the taser use, but the result of what the people do to themselves. But the hand-wringers seem to want to blame the police and force them to stop using tasers. The very thing they cry for when a cop under attack by some loser with a knife shoots the transgressor and the...

The last Rae Day

As much as he tried to be conciliatory and magnanimous, the angst on the face of Bob Rae as he reluctantly let go of his passionate, all-consuming ambition to be the Prime Minister of Canada was all too evident.  And, so too must have been the angst in the boardroom of Power Corp, where Rae's brother, John, is part of the ruling class, oops, sorry, senior management.But wait, Michael Ignatieff is still part of the ruling elite "entitled to their entitlements" class of the Liberal Party of Canada isn't he?  Well, that's a little hard to say.  He's been absent from Canada for much of his adult life.  On the surface he seems more centrist than the former NDP Premier of Ontario could ever claim to be.  And whatever ties to Power Corp. he may have, it seems to be only a friendship to the Raes.  Well, so far.What is clear is that, with the notable exception of Stephen Harper, every Prime Minister in office longer than the time to have a cup of coffee in the past three decades, owes his allegiance to Power Corp.  Then, add the likes of Maurice Strong (he of the UN Oil for Food scandal) and Paul Volker (former chair of he US Fed and current Barack Obama advisor) to the mix and their influence – dare I say dominance - over North American government is complete for the last 40 years.And there's the rub isn't it?  There is no ability to control...

Hypocrites need to move on

The very-public saga of West Vancouver PD Constable Lisa Alford has taken on a life of its own. The smug self-rightousness of the media in the way they have pursued this officer and the Police Department has been filled with their own unique brand of hypocrisy. Alford was involved in an motor vehicle accident a year ago after consuming alcohol at a social event in the West Vancouver police station. Following the MVA, she was arrested and charged with driving under the influence. She accepted her responsibility at every step of the way. She pleaded guilty, ready to take whatever punishment was her due. She never sought, nor did the system offer, any slack or preferential treatment. She didn't seek any "alternative measures," adult diversion, a healing circle or claim it wasn't her fault because, Boo-hoo-hoo, she wasn't breast-fed as a child. No, she made a bad error, admitted it and took her punishment like a man . . .well, so to speak.Now the Chief Constable is being made to do a Mexican Hat Dance simply because the optics are bad. And, some smug, self-righteous commentators are actually calling for a "full independent inquiry. "Damn the expense, Man! The cops were drinking!Now, it needs to be said that the event was a social function and didn't involve on-duty officers. But please, to suggest that we should have a "full independent public inquiry" because there was drinking going within the confines of a police station where many people have their...

Using a sledgehammer to swat a Gnat

With the gag orders in place it is hard to get any information on what is happening with the outrageous action by Chief Jack Beaton in searching and seizing a computer from Jann Vahey who ran a website critical of his management. Even normally loquaicious lawyers are behaving like Trappist monks. However, if one diligently keeps one's ear to the ground, it is usually possible to at least get a glimpse into the situation. It is after all, a police department and cops do like to talk. With the pressure from the media heating up, including a lead editorial in the National Post headlined Calgary's Strongman, my sources tell me a move is afoot from within the Police Commission to get Jack to put this matter to bed. And promptly too, I'm told. The black eye the Service is getting arising from this sordid affair, is getting darker with each media hit. Negotiations are apparently ongoing, with Beaton pushing for a quick closure and admission of wrongdoing by way of an apology to the Service at large. Considering Vahey was defending the Police Service from the ham-fisted management of Beaton, that is rich indeed. I also believe, though I can't get anyone to confirm it with all the respective gag orders in place, that Beaton has demanded Vahey appear before a select group of police officers and answer their questions. If I were Vahey, I sure as hell wouldn't do it. A bunch of Beaton...

Climate of Doubt

In the wake of the costliest gabfest in the history of man that has just concluded in Copenhagen and  that achieved absolutely nothing but a $100 Billion shakedown of America and its allies, I found myself in plane from Toronto to Vancouver. Flying over the frozen prairie of the North American west,  I was staring down at a frigidity only known to those hearty enough to choose to reside there. I was also privileged enough to have borne witness to history last Sunday at the Edmonton Airport as I travelled to catch a flight and the temperature was a bone-rattling minus 46 with a wind chill that took it to minus 58. I thought I was developing Taurette’s Syndrome. When I went out I had an inadvertent reaction: F***, F***, F***! Now admittedly, I am not a scientist. I’m an old time cop, investigator and professional cynic.  In that role I know that there are always three sides to any story and people will always “guild the lily”  to achieve maximum personal benefit, whatever the circumstances in which they find themselves.  And, I have to also state that I neither stake a claim to being a Global Warming believer nor a ‘denier,’ to use a phrase coined by the  wild-eyed, foamy mouthed, true believers. Do I believe the climate is changing?  Yes, certainly.  Just as it always has.  Is it warming as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the UN creation designed to fleece the wealthy western democracies, uh ,...

Privacy rights for escaped con latest corrections joke

Just when you think the insanity in Corrections Canada cannot get any worse, they prove it can. (See Escaped prisoner enjoys privacy rights )As I contemplated that particular bit on nonsense, I received the following from retired Vancouver Police Inspector, Bob Cooper. It needs to see the light of day.Leo Knightleo@primetimecrime.comAlthough there is never a lack of horror stories involving Corrections Canada, this one's a beauty. A convicted killer escapes from prison and Corrections Canada is more concerned with his privacy rights than they are about the safety and security of the law-abiding populace. Citing provisions of the Privacy Act they refuse to release his photograph to the news media saying that the inmate would first have to sign a release! If this is even true, which wouldn't surprise me, then the Act is in serious and immediate need of amendment. I rather suspect this is a case of an overzealous bureaucrat taking the most narrow interpretation of the Act, otherwise why would they photograph convicts to begin with? Perhaps for a Before and After version in which the piercings and tattoos are 'photoshopped' out and replaced with gowns and mortarboards demonstrating the success of present day 'enlightened' Corrections practices. Either way this incident speaks volumes about the prevailing attitudes at Corrections Canada brought about by decades of institutionalized liberal philosophy which has held sway since Trudeau was elected. This mindset was articulated by then Solicitor-General Jean-Pierre Goyer who announced in 1971 that...

Cop gets benched for telling the truth

There was a certain inevitability to Calgary Police Service Constable Shaun Horne getting suspended by the department for his outspoken comments after a Justice of the Peace released a career criminal without so much as a "By your leave" to the officer.Horne called the decision by JP Kristine Robideaux a mockery and a joke, which of course it was. After all, the man in the dock had already amassed 65 criminal convictions plus a great many other arrests in cases that he wasn't charged and convicted given the vagaries of a fundamentally broken system.I should add by the way, that after Robideaux released the man over the objections of Cst. Horne, he didn't abide by his conditions and failed to show for his next court appearance. Yeah, I know, big shock huh?Well possibly Robideaux was shocked. But, I suspect no one else connected to the justice system was. Robideaux, as an aside, is a lawyer by profession and also doubles as a board member for the Legal Aid Society. Legal Aid Societies across Canada have been plagued by incredible inefficiencies as they struggle to meet their objectives while being abused by lawyers representing major organized crime figures in complex conspiracy cases. (See Legal Aid System is flawed for more on the subject)Now there's no question that Cst. Horne should not have said publicly what he did. Certainly not in the manner that he did at any rate. That was unprofessional. But the message it sent was bona fide and...

Politics of policing bar the right way

For a number of reasons, the debate has been raging in the Vancouver area about the potential amalgamation of the various police services into a regional police service. The new Chief Constable of West Vancouver Police Department, Kash Heed, weighed in with his comments that it was high time for a regional police force. In the aftermath, I spoke a number of times on various radio talkshows essentially explaining that the talk of this has been happening since at least the 70's when I was a baby Mountie transferred into the Lower Mainland.I received an email from a friend who is from BC, but is now a cop in California. The problem is the politics of policing. A nebulous term perhaps. But it is a prevalent issue. Here are his thoughts pasted in:Hi Leo, I thought I would add my observations to the current media storm of police dept. amalgamation in metro Vancouver. I think it will never come about for the following reasons: 1. Unlike in Toronto, Montreal, and Ottawa it is not the simple task of amalgamating a bunch of smaller agencies with one larger agency. That's why it went so smoothly in those places. 2. Vancouver has three police masters to appease: V.P.D. , the R.C.M.P., and, the smaller municipal depts. as a group. Both V.P.D. and the R.C.M.P. have the attitude their way is the only way and would never surrender to the other. The sdmaller "munies" at least work operationally as part of both...

Flight path to Haiti blocked by liberal thinking

For a clear example about how screwed up this country is, look no further than the top two stories on today's Prime Time Crime.The first story is from the Washington Post and tells of a new border security initiative from the Canadian government that will cost $368 million over five years. Well, that's great. Five years after September 11 and someone finally made a decision to improve the security on our porous border. Yet, right under that good news story, there is a piece from the Globe & Mail that defies all logic. Canada won't deport a hardened criminal, a gang-banger, pimp and all-around piece of dog crap because something bad "might" happen to him in Haiti. So, Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day announces that we are going to invest in protecting our borders but we can't toss out an immigrant who has not led a productive life for a minute since he's been in this country? What's wrong with that picture?As former Vancouver police officer Bob Cooper said, "What good does it do to spend millions of dollars on new fences and not fix the gaping holes in the existing ones?"What good indeed?The saga of Jean-Yves Brutus, a Haitian born immigrant in Montreal, epitomizes the problem with the wolly-headed thinking in this country. Brutus has been a member of a Haitian street gang in Montreal called Crack Down Posse. They engage in drug dealing, pimping, assaults and murder. Nice folks. He has been back and forth through the...

Media distorts not reports

Media distortion runs rampant today in all manner of issues and stories.  One need look no further than so-called Global Warming as an issue or the tasering of Robert Dziekanski as a story, to understand the power of the media and the truth distortion that occurs to fit their ideological concepts. What concerns me most about this is that the role of the media is to inform and to shine light into the dark corners where those in power try to hide things.  Think Watergate and the yeoman's job done by Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein.  And those were certainly the lessons I learned as a green-as-grass puppy on the police desk in the newsroom of the now defunct Montreal Star studying in wide-eyed wonderment the methods of City Editor John Yorston or grizzled vet of the police desk Bob Taylor, or the oh-so-well connected Paul Dubois. They didn't make news or 'spin' news.  They reported it.  They were fair and balanced but they always worked to get the story and hold those responsible accountable for what they did.  They never created a story.  But they worked tirelessly to get the story. And they questioned everything. Not so today I'm afraid.  Newsrooms today are filled with reporters whose only source is a fax machine and don't question the pablum being served up by the spin-meisters.  Look no further than the slack the mainstream media give the Pivot Legal Society in Vancouver.  The next time...

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