"Fear will keep the local systems in line"

By now you and the rest of the planet (and possibly other planets in galaxies far far away) have heard about the disgusting story out of Lethbridge last Monday when cops tackled and bloodied the nose of a girl for the crime of carrying a chunk of plastic.

The case shocked the country and the world and even got the attention of William Shatner:

The details of the case are sickening. CBC:
It started when police responded to two 911 calls reporting someone in a stormtrooper outfit was carrying a firearm along the 500 block of 13 Street North, the Lethbridge Police Service said in a release issued Tuesday.

The woman in the costume was actually trying to promote a restaurant on May 4, or "May the Fourth" — a day Star Wars fans celebrate as Star Wars Day. It's a pun on the iconic line in the movies: "May the force be with you."

A passerby was shooting video of the stormtrooper in a parking lot outside the Coco Vanilla Galactic Cantina — encouraging her to march like the menacing soldiers do in the movies — when police showed up.

"Get down on the ground," shouted one officer, while another approached the costumed woman carrying his long-gun.
The man shooting the scene on video — which was later posted on YouTube — can be heard expressing his amazement that the police didn't realize the woman posed no threat.

And as he watched the police action from the door of the restaurant, owner Brad Whalen called out, "It's a plastic gun!"

"Are you serious?," he said, as three officers handcuffed his employee, now lying face down on the ground.

Whalen told CBC News the police appeared to continue with the takedown even after his employee had thrown the plastic gun to the ground. She was handcuffed while face-down on the pavement, which left her with a bloody nose, he said.
This is 50,000 shades of insanity. As Kate McMillan says, the first thing we need to do is publicly expose and shame the 911 callers. At bare minimum the transcript of the calls must be released so we can determine exactly what information was provided to police.

Secondly, and this is the key:
 Somebody on the Lethbridge Police Service needs to be fired over this. There can be no wiggle room. A person currently on their payroll needs to be unemployed.

The idiotic Lethbridge Police put out an ass-saving (they think!) press release (emphasis mine):
The Lethbridge Police Service has initiated a service investigation into the actions of several officers who responded to a report of a firearms complaint Monday morning.

On May 4, 2020 at approximately 11 a.m. police responded to two 911 calls reporting a person in a Storm Trooper costume carrying a firearm along the 500 block of 13 Street North. Upon police arrival the subject dropped the weapon but did not initially comply with further police directions to get down on the ground. The weapon was ultimately confirmed to be a fake firearm and the female subject, who indicated she was an employee promoting a local business, was not charged. The female sustained a minor injury but did not require medical attention.

Upon reviewing the file and additional information, including video circulating on social media, Chief Scott Woods has directed a service investigation under the Alberta Police Act that will look into whether the officers’ acted appropriately within the scope of their training and LPS policies and procedures.
As the matter is now under investigation, police will not conduct interviews or comment further in order to protect the integrity of the ongoing investigation.

In response to a number of public comments and inquiries being received, police advise the community that regrettably we do not have the capacity to respond to every individual call and message.

A public update will be provided after the investigation has been completed and reviewed.
Shatner was involved earlier so I feel comfortable paraphrasing Spock from Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (which by the by is probably the second-best Trek film and better than any Star Wars film made after 1982).

If the officers did not act appropriately within LPS policies and procedures the officers need to be fired.

If the officers did act appropriately within LPS policies and procedures than LPS Chief Scott Woods needs to be fired and a new police chief hired on the sole condition that these procedures be rewritten.

On Friday ASIRT officially took over the investigation. Curiously in LPS's latest press release they mention explicitly it's in response to a number of media inquiries. This sure sounds a lot like Shiny Pony's excuse for groping Rose Knight at a concert in BC: "if I had known you were reporting for a national paper, I never would have been so forward". In the LPS case it's "well as long as a bunch of hick local reporters are the only ones who care, we'll sweep it under the rug".

Meanwhile as the Viro Fascists (mostly) take a backseat to people upset over the heavy-handed police response you'll see a bunch of nonsensical defenses of the cops activities.

The above is the usual nonsense when police overstep their bounds: "don't you think Blue Lives Matter"? (In fairness to Leroy at the bottom, he's stating a realpolitik fact rather than a philosophical "should"). The main problem with this is that in a battle between protecting innocent members of the public and risking their lives, police officers are obligated to risk their lives. After all we equip them with special powers and assault-style guns designed to kill people and the defensive-only body armour that are continually being denied to members of the public. They took an oath to protect the citizenry, not themselves. While certainly nobody thinks police shouldn't have any ability to protect themselves, that cannot be their full mandate. We wouldn't expect the police to dive into icy cold water to save somebody drowning, for example. However if there's at all a risk of an innocent member of the public being harmed, then officers should be willing to risk bodily harm of their own to avoid that, especially in cases where they initiated the confrontation.

The second phase of that is the victim-blaming: she did something wrong by having a toy gun. She committed no crime. In fact, if that had been a real (unloaded) .22 rifle she still would have committed no crime, and it would have been inappropriate for the police to tackle or arrest her under any circumstances. That flimsy defense carries absolutely no weight with me. For those keeping track, when you approach it with this mindset the fact that it's a plastic gun and they knew that before they tackled her no longer makes any difference. The officers could have slowly walked up to her, asked her to place her gun on the ground and step away from it, and inspected the "weapon" without pulling their own guns or laying a finger on her.

The third defense, the one that says she needed to be faster following the police's instructions is also ridiculous. Did police in Canada literally learn nothing from the Robert Dziekanski incident? That it's entirely possible for a person not to hear/understand what they are saying? Also, again, if this is the procedure than change the procedure

There's a new reaction though that wasn't around before April 20th: the "this is all okay because don't you guys remember what just happened in Nova Scotia?" This is the same brain-dead mentality that causes people to sign off on taking AR-15s away from law abiding civilians because that will prevent a guy pretending to be an RCMP officer from killing a real RCMP officer and using her gun to commit crimes. The thinking is that the police are more scared than ever of ordinary people being armed to the teeth and killing them. Okay fine, but that only happened to one girl in Nova Scotia. Do you know who suffered a lot more? People who literally died thinking they were being murdered by a real RCMP officer.

If "but Nova Scotia" is to be used as a guide to anybody, it's more likely that these 3 uniformed "police officers" acting like dumb thugs were criminals in disguise intending to murder her, and she was within her rights to shoot all 3 Lethbridge police officers in the head and kill them before they could kill her!

Somehow I don't think the nation's police forces really want to "be" with that.