Monday, February 26, 2024

The eyes have it

Yesterday's announcement by the BC Crown Counsel's office that there would be no criminal charges laid in the tasering of Polish immigrant Robert Dziekanskie should come as no surprise to anyone with the ability to think and analyze what they were able to see with their own eyes in a little over a minute of very available video, broadcast widely on news stations in Canada and on the internet. I said at the time that the RCMP members who responded to a violent and apparently emotionally and mentally unstable man at Vancouver International Airport did exactly as they were trained to do and now the Crown Counsel has backed up those members.  That Dziekanskie died is sad indeed to those that knew and cared for him.  Albeit, the information that has come to light in the intervening time seems to indicate that there were precious few of those. No indeed, the bloodlust whipped up by the media seems to have been all about their own particular ideology which in general is to play "gotcha" journalism and, in specific, is to attack the actions of the police.But despite the attempts of the assembled media hounds baying for the blood of the RCMP members in this case, the Crown has made the correct decision and the police officers involved have been vindicated in the actions they took on that fateful night.But, let's be very clear, every media outlet in this country all but called this an execution of an innocent man at the...

Jack be nimble

I'm left even more puzzled by the explanation provided by Calgary Police Chief Jack Beaton for his trip last week to the People's Republic of China.Beaton told Calgary listeners of QR77 that he was amazed that members of the National Police didn't speak English. He said that going over, he expected about half the force would speak English. No, really, he actually said that.So, what other reason could there be for saying something that blindingly naive?He says he was over there on behalf of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police. Okay. Who paid? The Chiefs or the taxpayers of Calgary?The trip was, ostensibly, having to do with "community policing" and Beaton was going to do some recruiting and "spreading the message" while in the most populous communist country on Earth.Community policing huh? That to me sounds as dubious as recruiting for a Canadian Police Service in a corrupt, communist country with a largely peasant population that is for the most part, uneducated and monolinguistic.In China, the National Police are the enforcement arm of a totalitarian state whose citizens are not allowed to exercise any of the basic freedoms we cherish in Canada.Community policing? Give me a break.So, what is this really all about? I don't know, but it smells a whole lot like a poorly thought-out justification for a public servant globe-trotting on a meaningless junket.Leo Knightleo@primetimecrime.com

The RCMP must investigate Trudeau

It’s been a stunning 24 hours in Canadian politics since I wrote about former Attorney General and Minister of Justice Jody Wilson-Raybould taking a wrecking ball to the Parliament of Canada. (True North)

A day late and a dollar short

I was sent a web link today to a recently launched website disturbingly critical of the Calgary Police Service.  I looked at the website and am very troubled not only by the content, but by the fact they have linked primetimecrime.com as though we are somehow a part of this vitriolic diatribe.  For the record, primetimecrime.com has absolutely nothing to do with www.calgarypoliceinfo.com and I fervently decry any connection to anyone who would dare to publish such a site unsupported by evidence.  In looking at the information published, little seems new.  Rather, it all appears to be a regurgitation of things that happened on former chief Jack Beaton's watch.  Beaton deserved to be criticized and I wasn't shy doing just that.  But he has retired and there is a new Chief Constable.  And the new Chief Constable seems, to this observer at least, to be making a lot of right moves.  No police department is perfect and no one should expect perfection of the Calgary Police Service. But, since the departure of Jack Beaton and the installation of Rick Hanson as Chief, the CPS is in the best shape it has been in since the early 90's. I don't know who or what is behind the publication of the website but I can suggest that whoever it is is still fighting a battle that is long since over.  He or she just doesn't seem to realize that simple truth.There were a great many reasons to criticize the CPS under Jack...

Perceptions are skewed

It's heartening to know that Vancouver is, yet again, the world's most liveable city according to the Britmag The Economist. Also, according to The Economist, one of the reasons for the selecetion is that the crime rate in Vancouer is low. Really? Oddly enough, in the same week, the Vancouver Police Chief Constable Jim Chu held a press conference to state publicly that the crime rate (specifically property crime) was too high and that the Department had to go the extra mile in hiring a hundred new recruits in the coming year.Anyone who is a regular visitor to downtownVancouver doesn't have to be reminded that the property crime rate is too high. The chunks of broken glass at their feet is reminder enough. The Vancouver Board of Trade has made the issue the subject of at least two major reports and presentations of which I am aware. But, a significant issue nonetheless.In every aspect and in every study, Vancouver is the property crime capital of North America. So, the world's most liveable city? Methinks not.Leo Knightleo@primetimecrime.com

True to form, released murderer reoffends

There is no doubt that the justice system in Canada is fundamentally flawed.  But every now and again, a case that perfectly illustrates the fact comes to light.And so it is with a story out of Winnipeg about the exploits of an utter waste of skin named Martin Junior Hayden who for 32 years has been a boil on the butt of  society.In July 2000 Hayden and two other equally talented knobs attacked 33-year-old George Terrence Monias.  They invaded his home, beat him with fire extinguishers and one of the idiots, Valentino Ben Harper, dropped a fifty-pound  (20 kg) television on Monias’ head as he lay supine.Needless to say, Monias died as a result of the attack.  In the first demonstration of a justice system gone wrong, Hayden was allowed to plead guilty to manslaughter.  He was given a mere eight years in prison. That was the second demonstration of how badly the system is broken.The killing of Monias was planned and deliberate and those involved should have been charged and convicted of first degree murder.  The sentence then would have been life in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years.But no, this is Canada and we must give every opportunity to thugs. So, after serving two-thirds of his sentence, Hayden was released.  And, being the thug that he is, it only took a matter of a few days before he very nearly killed someone else and evidently, for no apparent reason. At three o’clock in the morning Hayden confronted...

Cops do it right despite criticism

In the week since Graham McMynn was abducted the Vancouver Police threw every resource possible at the investigation. The stated “24” investigators working on the case cited in the media reports was thrown out by police as a number, but was no indicator of the actual police resources utilized in this very challenging investigation.A hint of what really went on came on Wednesday morning when over 100 officers mustered in a Vancouver armoury to get briefed on the plan to rescue the young man.During that week as well, the police were hampered in their efforts by some elements of the broadcast news media who simply would not do as they were asked and refused to “blackout” the story so the police could do their job. With a kidnap victim’s life hanging in the balance, one has to question the judgment in those newsrooms.But the story that really stuck in my craw was the piece done by CTV’s Lisa Rossington when she “tracked down” the rental car used by the kidnappers to abduct McMynn. Rossington spoke to someone in the car lot office who said the police had not contacted them, implying that somehow the police were incompetent. Given that the girlfriend of the victim was present at the time of the abduction and was the one who gave them the information about the vehicle, did Rossington really believe that the police wouldn’t have followed up on their only solid lead from the get-go? It strains credulity...

Liberal posturing fails to get at root of gun problem

Federal Justice Minister Irwin Cotler's announcement on manadatory minimum sentences for gun crimes proves yet again that they just don't get it. On the face of it the Liberals need to show they can be tough on crime. After all, with Mr. Justice Gomery's final report due in February we will be going to the polls within the next six months whether or not the opposition can force an election earlier. And, any announcement from this government that appears to do anything to stem the rising tide of violent crime is welcome. But realistically, Cotler's most recent foray into the debate about manadatory minimum sentences is nothing more that political posturing. And the Liberals can posture with the best. The real issue is the illicit drug trade and the turf wars that go along with it. Organized crime in its many forms is at the centre of all of this and any attempt to deal with the gun violence in our cities needs to recognize this at the outset. And it is on the issue of organized crime that this government fails miserably.Look at the report released by FINTRAC last week claiming they had identified over $2 billion in suspected money laundering and terrorist financing. Hey, that's great guys! Now, if you don't mind, could you answer this: What have you done about it?The short answer is nothing. They claim to have made 142 disclosures to law enforcement. Great. Now what are they going to do with it without...

Justice failed

I'm stunned. I have seen all manner of stupidity and hand-wringing social engineering nonsense coming from our courts in Canada, but nothing I had previously seen prepared me for the blatent nonsense which emanated from the BC Court of Appeal in the case of American accused murderer Vernon Maurice Walker. Walker is accused of shooting a man in a Seattle alley in June , 2005. A witness picked him from a photo array of six individuals. But this identification wasn't good enough for Mr. Justice Ian Donald. Unbelieveably, he actually believes it was his duty to pontificate on the legitimacy of the photo identification and decided to release this 'alleged' murderer.Walker came to Canada betting on the lenient criminal justice system in the hope that he would be able to hide from American justice after 'allegedly' committing a murder. And, just to prove his intentions were well-placed, Mr. Justice Donald gave credence to him with his flagrantly stupid judgement.Yes, stupid. For I cannot fathom what great leap of mental gymnastics could possibly lead the supposedly learned judge to reach the conclusion that an eyewitness is not good enough to meet the test of whether there is a case to be met in the jurisdiction the murder was committed.And that is the point. It is not within the purview of Mr. Justice Donald to determine guilt or innocence. But rather, it was his duty to determine whether there was sufficient evidence to have the individual placed before a court in...

Doing what is right

As the Gomery Inquiry uncovers layer after layer of Liberal dirt and it becomes clearer to every Canadian that the word corruption is synonymous with the name of the "Natural Ruling Party," we need to understand there are a couple of other areas of abuse at play in our country also worthy of our attention. Not the least of which is taking place in Calgary as the Police Chief, Jack Beaton has outdone old Uncle Joe in ensuring voices of criticism are muted. The story from the Calgary Herald on Saturday, featured on the front page of Prime Time Crime, tells how the chief dusted off a seldom used civil court ploy, called an Anton Piller order, to search the private home of the woman believed to be behind two websites critical of him and his administration. (I will be writing on this subject in a column to be published tomorrow.) Beaton is doing everything in his power to not only mute the criticism, but, in my view is embarking on a witch hunt to ferret out those members of the Calgary Police who dared cooperate with the webmistress or indeed, ever had any email communication with her or the site. Rank and file members of the Police Service in that city have long been critical of things like the favoritism shown "certain" members, or the shading of incidents like a police car being fire-bombed by a jealous ex-lover of the officer's mistress, a Sergeant pointing a service...

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