Gratuitious violence unnerving

For over 30 years that I've been around policing and crime news, I have become inured to violence and man's inhumanity to his fellow man. I don't like to think that I have become any less caring as a result, but certainly I don't get shocked, for the most part, by the violence inherent in our world today.Even the daily horrors being described in the trial of Robert "Willy" Pickton haven't managed to shock me. Now, to be fair, we have known for years what to expect out of the Pickton trial just by being able to read between the lines with what has been published since he was arrested five years ago. With all the discussions about the finding of victim DNA we pretty much knew the likelihood of the type of details we are now hearing, so I'm not sure I understand what the current fuss is about in the debate over the way the media is reporting on the trial.But, having said all of that, I've been following the trial in Edmonton of two men accused of killing 13 year old Nina Louise Courtepatte in the spring of 2005.Courtepatte's broken, battered and abused body was found on the fourth fairway of the Edmonton Springs golf course in Spruce Grove, Alberta. The official cause of death was blunt force trauma. The autopsy report also noted she was sexually assaulted. Just from that depiction, we knew that nothing good happened that night on the golf course.But, starting from...

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...

Server problems

Many of you may have noticed that the front page hasn't changed today. Well, that is because our soon to be ex-web hosting service has server problems and seems to feel that 24 hrs is a suitable time frame to have it fixed. I apologize for their poor service and will endeavour to be back online as soon as possible. Thank you for your continued support. Leo Knight [email protected]

Surprise over Israeli attack plans a surprise

The Sunday Times story about Israel having a plan to use low-yield nuclear devices against the Iranian nuclear production facilities generated headlines expressing horror around the world today. But really, wouldn't it surprise you more if Israel didn't have plans to eradicate Iran's nuclear production program?The former terrorist who is now the President of Iran, has been crowing about their nuclear capability for months now. When he does that in the same breath as he vows the state of Israel should not exist, well, how would anyone expect Israel to react?Born of war and depending on its ability to fight off those who would rather see its demise, Israel has long said it would take whatever steps it deemed necessary to ensure its survival as a nation state. If that includes a proactive nuclear strike, well then that is precisely what they will do. The only real surprise is that anyone seems shocked by the story.The mullahs and their devotees have been spoiling for this fight for years. The rocket incursions by Hezbollah last summer were little more than a measuring stick to guage Israel's stomach for a fight and how the observing world would react. Predictably, the mainstream media, the Eurocrats and the UN fell all over themselves to condemn Israel for fighting back.The mullahs are betting that Israel won't do anything like stage a preemptive attack on their nuclear facilities for fear of again suffering the withering condemnation of western intelligentsia.I'm not sure...

Hang ‘em high

The biggest story of the day is, without a doubt, the execution of the Beast of Baghdad, Saddam Hussein. Try as I might, I can’t seem to get terribly worked up about it.In the hours after photos and video of the hanging were rocketing around the internet, Sweden, Switzerland and the Vatican all issued statements decrying the execution of a man that was directly and indirectly responsible for millions of deaths. I don’t get it.Ever since they dragged his lice-bitten ass from a rat hole it was clear his days were numbered. The only mystery was why it wasn’t done in the forecourt of one of his former palaces and broadcast on big screens around the country.Saddam was little more than a bully. Only he took the bullying to violent extremes. Think of Joe Stalin without the finesse.All the lefties, hand-wringers and anti-American types lined up and in unison began decrying the barbarism of the execution. It’s amazing they don’t get nosebleeds, so high up on the higher moral ground they claim to be perched.The best one though had to be the American lawyers who had petitioned a US Judge to halt the execution because - wait for it - Saddam still faced a civil suit in America. Perish the thought the Iraqis might hang one of history’s most prolific mass murderers before he could play in the great American pastime.The media hand-wringers were prominent and fast out of the gate. (Around the World, Unease and Criticism of Penalty...

No time for boasting

In the days just before Christmas, Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair made headlines (Blair boasts victory over city gun crime - National Post, Dec. 21, 2006) by claiming that his force had achieved a victory in the battle against gun crime. Blair cited rapid response unit tactics as the primary reason that unrelated homicides were down nearly half from the record setting year, 2005. He also brought with him stats that showed the number of shooting occurrences were down from 237 to 198 and the total number of shooting victims were also down from 321 to 276.He boasted that the Toronto successes were being studied by other police forces seeking to achieve similar results. Unfortunately, less than 48 hours later, headlines screamed (Guns blaze across city ) that Blair may have been a little premature in his pronouncements. A day before Christmas, in a 24 hour period, one man was shot dead in a dispute and six others were wounded, including two innocent passers-by, in separate incidents.To be sure, Toronto has improved in 2006 over the previous year that culminated with the Boxing Day gun battle in a downtown mall that resulted in the death of 15 year old Jane Creba.But realistically, the numbers have declined this year to more traditional levels and seem to show that while in 2005 there was certainly a spike in handgun violence, the problem is far from being solved. I take no issue with a Chief wishing to do a little personal horn-blowing...

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 [email protected]

The Lunatic fringe

While I would never credit the Anti Poverty Committee with any significant ability to engage in any level of critical thinking, they seem do have outdone themselves today for blatent stupidity. While reading my morning Province newspaper, I came across a newsbrief stating the anti poverty group had planned a march on the downtown office of Vancouver MLA Lorne Mayencourt. According to their website, they are intent on presenting Mayencourt with their "People's Budget." They are demanding that the BC Liberals spend the budget surplus on housing the homeless and raising welfare rates. They are, apparently, planning on "direct action" if Mayencourt doesn't speak to them. They also said the expect the police to respond in a "violent manner." Given their performance last week in the three hundred block of East Hastings, it would be more accurate to say they will do everything they can to force the police to engage them physically. Well, I guess they will get what they want then. Mayencourt will, unfortunately, be unable to meet with them when they show up on his doorstep. He is on holiday in Mexico. Idiots.Leo [email protected]

Judicial musings right on point

The comments of Calgary Police Constable Shaun Horne have stimulated a lively debate over the problems with the justice system in this country. Horne said the system is a "mockery" and a "joke" and got slapped by the weak-kneed management of his department for his trouble when he was suspended a week without pay. Lost in the discussion this week were the comments by Court of Queen's Bench Justice Pat Sullivan when sentencing Barrett Darr, 22, for cold-bloodedly leaving his 17 year-old girlfriend to die in a ditch after he rolled a stolen SUV. When sentencing him to 33 months in prison, Mr. Justice Sullivan said something that speaks to exactly what it was that caused the frustration in Cst. Horne to boil over. In referring to the easy ride Darr had been given in his many previous trips through the revolving door of justice, Sullivan said, "Maybe if we hadn’t been so soft in the beginning, maybe if the judiciary had tightened the harness earlier on, perhaps we wouldn’t be here today."Almost a throw-away line really in the sentencing hearing, but oh, so terribly telling. The justice system has been getting softer and softer to the point where it is very hard to do something egregious enough to actually go to jail. Conditional sentences have become all too common in our criminal courts with the advocation of house arrest seen by the chattering classes as a suitable replacement for jail. Mr. Justice Sullivan got it exactly...

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...