2008-05-18

Edmonton City Police deserve to get swarmed: May 14th Edmonton SUN

I haven't had a chance to post it until today, but the May 14th Edmonton SUN letters page indicates that I'm not the only one unsurprised that EPS is being attacked by the citizens it has corruptly failed to protect as of late. Here's a sampling:

Why is anyone in this city surprised that a cop charged in that drunk driving injury accident was suspended WITH pay? Recently, another one was found not guilty after an-already handcuffed woman was hit in the face. Nothing will happen to this one either.

A. Kadach
(The courts will decide on that.)
I agree that the cop who allegedly crashed into a teen's vehicle will most likely be acquitted of the charges. C'mon, this is Edmonton. Public servants scratch one another's backs. If police would do some work, we might not have swarmings or all the drugs and prostitution. Try living on 107 Avenue. It's like another Hobbema.

J. Christman
(It's a little rough at times.)
Re: Lack of civility to EPS officers. Given the recent clearing of the officer who threw a handcuffed woman face down onto the sidewalk and other incidents where the result was an acquittal or a wrist slap, it's not surprising people lose respect for police. The recent swarming of cops could be a decline of civility or a sign of a loss of respect for a broken system that doesn't hold police accountable for their actions on the job.

T. Dafoe
(Interesting theory.)
[indeed it is an interesting theory: one that readers of this blog were able to read about almost two months ago -ed]
In 1996 I witnessed a truck crash into three other vehicles and get stuck under one of them. We held the driver at the scene. His breath reeked of booze and he could hardly walk. Police quickly drove him away. He was a cop. In court, he was found not guilty because he'd had a concussion prior to the crash. Do I have faith that this latest EPS officer will be convicted of drunk driving? No.

P. McCulloch
(Time will tell.)

Re: Cop charged with drunk-driving crash. How does a city police constable manage to afford a $100,000 745i BMW?

Travis Harder
(Maybe he works a lot of special duty gigs.)
Special duty gigs? Or is a better clue in the news story that marijuana was found in the officer's car? (Speaking of the biased nature in which EPS investigates themselves -- and the media lets them get away with it -- is in this byline to the story: "Police haven't determined who owned the marijuana in officer's crashed BMW" So the next time there's pot found in my car, will EPS perform an investigation to learn how it got there? Incidently, another possible answer to how a cop can afford such a car might lay in my earlier posts regarding cops accepting bribes (primarily from bar managers). But good luck getting a clear answer on these questions with the wacko EPS defenders out there.

Case in point: Mindelle Jacob's column from May 14th.
Wanton hooliganism by cop-haters:
It didn't take long for people to, in effect, excuse the goons who attacked Edmonton police officers in two disturbing incidents this week.

According to some of the letters to the editor that have arrived, people have lost respect for the authorities because of perceived abuses of power by the police or because bad cops seemingly never get punished.

Therefore, the thinking goes, we shouldn't be surprised when cynical and frustrated members of the public beat up on cops every so often.

Maybe the two cops who were swarmed and attacked outside a downtown nightclub Saturday didn't deserve it, the argument goes. And maybe the officer who was kicked unconscious Monday when he tried to stop a former student who was stunting in a vehicle outside a high school didn't deserve it either.

But the message the apologists for the hooligans are sending is frightening, nevertheless: Violence against police officers is to be expected because, well, the cops sometimes screw up.

It's unfortunate timing that the news about the EPS cop facing impaired driving-related charges emerged at the same time as the stories of the beaten officers, since this will simply encourage the cop-haters.

Let's be clear. There are bad cops out there and sometimes officers who've broken the law receive such kid-glove treatment - during arrest, trial and sentence - that public outrage ensues. Such incidents deepen public cynicism and can undermine respect for criminal justice.

But it's quite a stretch to imagine that the thugs who attacked these officers were fuelled by anger over police wrongdoing and an unfair system that tends to give bad cops a break.

Make no mistake. This was wanton hooliganism by cop-haters just for the hell of it. And it's a sad commentary on the demise in civility that Edmonton - and Canada as a whole - used to be proud of.

We can debate endlessly what's driving our raging, hate-filled, violent society. Depending on who you talk to, everything from gangsta rap's glamorization of guns and gangs to single-parent families and our crumbling social safety net has contributed to our downfall.

In Winnipeg, it's apparently become a macabre game to use stolen vehicles as weapons to try to run down cops and crash into police cruisers.

Some may remain unmoved - perhaps even secretly gloating - when the police are attacked. But you can be sure they'll call the cops when their lives are in danger.

More than 8,000 police officers in Canada and 930 in Alberta were assaulted in 2006. The same year, there were 1,000 assaults on other peace officers, such as correctional workers, across the country. And between 1961 and 2006, 128 Canadian cops were the victims of homicide.

In the U.S., the figures are even more staggering. Last year alone, 68 officers were shot dead - up from 54 in 2006. Thank goodness there are still many more decent, honest, law-abiding citizens around than barbarians who think it's a hoot to pummel a cop.

Still, it makes you wonder where we're headed.

"Attacking police officers is a very, very significant downward step as far as the evolution of society is concerned," says Edmonton criminologist Bill Pitt. "It's a backlash against any form of authority."

He blames it largely on soft penalties handed out by a "toothless judiciary."

We'll see what da judges have to say about this latest batch of thugs.
"
Jacobs believes "it's quite a stretch to imagine that the thugs who attacked these officers were fuelled by anger over police wrongdoing and an unfair system that tends to give bad cops a break". Really? Why would it be such a stretch? Every day another story of bad cops breaks in the news, and no connection can be made to violence against cops (and ordinary people writing letters to the paper declaring the police to be at fault)?

But by far the worst sentence in the article is this one: "Violence against police officers is to be expected because, well, the cops sometimes screw up."

Screw up? Screw up?? The word that Mindelle is looking for is corruption. And when police are corrupt, there is absolutely no hesitation in my mind at all: they deserve exactly what happens to them.

This is a Third Edge of the Sword challenge to those cop defenders: where was Brown (the drunk driving cop) during the Whyte Ave police civil liberties crackdown? Were either of the two swarmed officers, or the one attacked at a high school, involved in the Overtime sting? Have any of them accessed the police database for personal business?

Come up with that information, and we'll see who the real guilty party is.

Bonus "Edmonton Police don't get no respect" May 13th letters:
Re: COP accused of drunken injury accident. I know the officer is innocent until proven guilty, but I'll bet a month's pay that he'll be cleared of all charges, once the EPS gets through its "internal" investigation. Maybe now is the time to set a strong example that no police officer is above the law.

Tim Schutz
(Good idea, if he's found guilty.)
According to news reports, police are "upset" that one of their own has been charged with drunk driving? And the officer has been suspended with pay? Suspend him with NO pay! I'm disappointed in our system.


Elizabeth Smith
(There is the option to suspend him without pay.)
An allegedly drunk cop runs a red light and T-bones a group of young kids almost killing the driver and gets suspended WITH pay? This just goes to show that cops are above the law. Recently on 50 Street, I had a cop catch up and pass me while I was driving the posted speed. These officers weren't on a high-priority call or they wouldn't have stopped at traffic lights as they did. Maybe they were on their way to protect the doughnuts.

L. Pate.
(Like any citizen, cops should obey speed limits.)
I've spoken on this topic before, though probably not on this blog: lets get some people with cell phone cameras taking videos of these speeding EPS officers. Feel free to post to Youtube and/or send to the media so we can start demanding these officers justify their willingness to disobey the law. (Personally I don't have any problem with speeding in Edmonton anyways: speeding in and of itself isn't particularly dangerous, and the speed limits are all set to low anyways. But if EPS has such a bug up their ass regarding catching us speeding it doesn't bother me one bit to hand these corrupt cops their asses back).
Const. Douglas Kurtis Brown, 29, has been charged with three counts of impaired driving causing bodily harm, three counts of dangerous driving causing bodily harm and driving with a blood alcohol level over .08 and he gets suspended with pay? If police Chief Mike Boyd honestly thinks this is an appropriate way to deal with this he should be fired immediately.

Andrew P. Mclean
(The suspension with pay rankles many people.)
So the officer who is accused of driving drunk and injuring three people gets to go on vacation while the others who he injured, recuperate?

A. Etherington
(Your cynicism is duly noted.)

Well, here we go again. Another of "Edmonton's finest" is involved in a situation where the average citizen would be treated much differently. If this officer is convicted, does it not make sense that he be terminated immediately? Chief Boyd needs to take care of this.

John Cardinal
(The chief is under the gun on this one.)
[and maybe the next swarming target -ed]

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

When a 26 year veteran is arrested he is suspended without pay, before proven guilty. He is treated as guilty until proven innocent. Curtis Brown however is suspended WITH PAY (nice vacation) after testing at over .08 on the breathalizer, running a red light, t-boning a car, injuring 3 people and having posession of marijuana and he is given the benefit of the doubt. The Chief claims he does not have the power to suspend without pay - when he infact does have the power. The Police Commission either backs his decision or doesn't, but HE HAS THE POWER!!!

Feynman and Coulter's Love Child said...

Actually the Chief bowed to public pressure and suspended him with pay.

As for the ACS bribery case, the left turn on Yellowhead and 107th case, the Kristin Wilson case, the Polish stair-pushing case.... they all continue[d] to draw paycheques.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone even given a thought to this police officer's family? How are his kids suppose to eat with no money coming in? Yes, I agree he needs to be held accountable and be punished for what he has done, but do his kids have to be punished as well?

Feynman and Coulter's Love Child said...

Every family of an innocent man held without bail has to worry about this, so I wouldn't be too surprised to learn that it happens to the families of the guilty as well.

richard said...

My sister worked for the Edmonton City Police Department in the eighties. There are old tax records from the 80's she has to prove it. I returned home one day to a cop pot party(the same shit they bust civilians for...they were all smoking). My sister told me many stories but the big one is prostitutes at the police station after hours and how they cheat on there wifes and cover for each other. There were so many more but that was one of the ones that was hilarious. That's what the tax payers are paying there money for and not protection. Congradulation City Of Edmonton. I guess the next bachelor party is on the cops!!!

Anonymous said...

when the guy who works at McDonalds drinks and drives, t-bones anothere vehicle injuring or posibly killing someone How long are they suspended with or without pay? A week, perhaps it's six weeks?

And what about his family or do we only worry about the families of corrupt cops?

Are we truely equal in this scociaty? or are the rest of us simply at the back of the bus While criminals in badges ride free.

Anonymous said...

when the man begins to use his power for his own good and not do the work of the commoner who elected him, its time for a change. the same thing here, the public pays the salary of the pig, the pig (in general not just this pig) takes advantage of it's position and flouts the laws it is supposed to uphold. it's time for a change folks, i want to see a bloodbath of pigs in the edmonton area in the next few years, maybe then the commoner will be heard...