As part of my ongoing commitment to the ‘counterculture’, which is an increasingly meaningless word, Continue reading Lounging around
Dear Friend of the BCCLA
Normally at the end of the month we’d send you a list of the rights violations we’ve been working on. This month I want to tell you about what might be the biggest issue we’ve ever uncovered. Thanks to our contacts made over our recent northern outreach tour, and our partnership with strong aboriginal organizations like the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs, we have been able to uncover three videos of what we believe are abusive interactions between aboriginal men and RCMP officers in Williams Lake, as well as what appears to be clear retaliation against a local media outlet for trying to tell the story of RCMP and aboriginal relations in the community. We’re sending the information to the media this morning.
Lloyd Gilbert was tied to a chair for over three hours and forced to urinate on himself in what we thought at the time was an isolated incident of problematic policies and lack of judgment. It proved to be the tip of an iceberg. Lloyd’s video led us to Curtis Billy.
Curtis Billy was sitting in his cell when he was tackled by Warren Brown, the head of the RCMP in Williams Lake and pinned down by four RCMP officers. Bleeding and in pain, he was dragged into court for his trial. His lawyer demanded to know what happened and the matter is back in court today with Staff Sgt. Brown testifying. Curtis was allegedly refused medical attention, even though he said he was having difficulty breathing. His video led us to Oren Mostad.
Oren Mostad was punched repeatedly in the booking area of the Williams Lake RCMP detachment after he pulled his arm away from an RCMP officer and was then tackled to the ground. He says he was asking why he was being arrested after showing up at the station to ask why the RCMP had seized his guns. He was never charged with any offence in relation to the hunting rifles, but the incident in the video caused police to believe the officer involved had been assaulted, and Oren was charged with assaulting a peace officer. Oren’s video led us to information that yet another video of a separate incident might exist. We’re still following up on that one, and who knows where that video will take us.
The head of the RCMP in Williams Lake is Warren Brown. Brown is the first man in on Curtis Billy and the voice in the media defending the decision to tie Lloyd to the chair for three hours. When he read a local news story from WelcomeToWilliamsLake DOT ca saying RCMP officers were harassing aboriginal customers at a local bar, Brown appears not to have investigated the serious allegations. Instead he cut the media outlet from the RCMP press release distribution list and personally sent them an e-mail saying so and advising them not to report the contents of his e-mail.
When our team started digging, we found a B.C. Supreme Court case that said that Warren Brown had started work as a Delta Police Department officer. While there, Brown was investigated by his Chief for of deceit, discreditable conduct and abuse of authority and then was forced to attend a discipline hearing. The BCCLA doesn’t know if there ever was a discipline hearing. At some point, either before or after that hearing, Brown quit Delta PD and moved to the RCMP.
Thanks to your support, we uncovered this story and will be making it public this morning. We wanted you to be among the first to know, because you made it possible. Of course, as usual, the RCMP will be investigating and will be the investigated, but we’re working on that issue too.
We’re counting on you to ensure accountability for the RCMP not just in Williams Lake, but across British Columbia. $100 a month makes a huge difference because it makes us possible for us to invest staff hours in education, litigation, and advocacy. $50 a month means that we can keep pushing for the release of the Clayton Alvin Willey video from Prince George and get justice for his untimely death. Even a pledge of $10 a month means we can do outreach to people in communities like Williams Lake that would otherwise never hear from us and lack resources for knowing and protecting their rights.
Your dollars are an investment in justice and RCMP accountability to ensure better policing for everyone.
The executive director of the Elizabeth Fry Society talked at church today. I’ve bitched about Sheriff Arpaio for allowing a woman to deliver her child in irons, and today I found out, while tears exploded out of my eyes THAT CANADIAN CITIZENS WHO GIVE BIRTH IN JAIL DO SO IN HANDCUFFS.
My disgust for the Canadian ‘justice’ system has never been greater. No… words.
Sounds like a soccer score, but it’s more like a comment blown through a vuvuzela.
My initial reaction when I learned that the BC Liberals think it’s a good idea to axe the mandatory inquiry after a death in custody was, wow. No more coroner’s inquests into government embarrassments. Maybe articles like this will magically go away.
Then I thought, you know, just because I’m a tubby left leaning atheist with queer sympathies and anarchist tendencies doesn’t mean I have to even react to it. After all, a 51 year old white woman who lives quietly in Burnaby (honestly, my neighbours probably wouldn’t even know I was here if my cats didn’t crap in their gardens, and if my brother’s car didn’t rumble in and out of here twice a day) doesn’t really need to put ‘death in custody’ on the top of her most feared methods of checking out. I’d just pull out all of my priviliges and a harassed looking lawyer would show up and I’d waltz out of whatever misunderstanding had occurred.
Then I thought, well, sheeeeit. It’s not like the BC Liberals do 5/8ths of a listless denial about deaths in custody right NOW, so why should anybody care that they are legally mandating what’s happening in truth in the cold light of spring, 2010?
But won’t someone please think of the children? I tried to think of how an appeal to the interests of children might get spun by the BC Liberals.
There are hundreds upon hundreds of children growing up in BC – and other places, thank goodness – who want to be po-po when they grow up.
They want the gun, the badge, the pulling prostitutes over and getting free blow jobs in cars. They want the skittery way meth-high teenagers deke down alleyways just before the Tazer comes out.
I kid, I kid. Really what people want when they grow up wanting to be cops is to be on the right side, to catch dirtbags, to jail pedophiles, to bust drunk drivers. Nobody who wants to be a cop when they are little thinks about the mental hardships and physical perils of being po-po.
Right now all police departments are having a bitch of a time hiring. The RCMP nationally is looking to hire 8000 newbies in the next five years to handle resignations and retirements. Things are so bad that they are hiring – so I have heard – people with known mental illnesses.
So I guess one way of looking at it is that the BC Liberals are canning inquests into deaths in custody as a recruiting ploy. Come and join our police forces, all those with barely concealed personality problems and contempt for minorities! If you get a little enthusiastic with a scumbag and he or she dies, not only will you not lose your job, your badge or your benefits, you’ll never have to face the scorn of the public and you’ll be able to sleep at night knowing that it was all a tragic misunderstanding.
Good job, Kash, hope that works out for you and your somewhat tinted kinfolks in the years ahead. Yeah, I know you were the first Indo-Canadian chief of police in Canadian History, and that you have a storied career. I just have one last question to ask. Given that the Chief Coroner in BC is a political appointment given to a retired cop, do you have your eyes on that job after your political career moves away from you? Cause if the omnibus bill passes, the Chief Coroner’s job just got easier. That’s what I call planning ahead.
Peace love and anarchy,
Okay, thanks to the incompetence being shown by the cops and the Crown in Victoria (and no, I’m not talking about it on my blog because I don’t have permission to) I FnCKING HATE the cops and their apologists in the halls of the legislature of BC – and everything to do with them right now. But this latest is FnCKING OUTRAGEOUS. They are hiding it in an omnibus bill. The BC government wants to END mandatory inquests into deaths in custody.
Get off your asses and protest. If you think that giving cops a licence to kill teenagers, immigrants and First Nations people, and that the right of the government to appoint a retired cop as Chief Coroner, makes BC a better place to live, you can go back to sleep now.
I don’t know if any of you have been following along after the career of Joe Arpaio, the meanest sheriff in the US. He’s actually a full-bore sociopath, from what I can gather, whose office and cadre of patriotic meanies have been abusive towards pretty much anybody they could abuse while they had their guns strapped on. The ACLU has had at least three motions in play at any given time against him for the last five years. Here’s a timeline of his reign of terror, and I fail to see how you could call it anything else. One that reaches into 2009 is here.
If ever there was a reason to distrust democracy, it’s in his person. He’s been re-elected five times.
Anyway, a whole slew of emails which were supposed to have disappeared, to his advantage, have reappeared. Now things will get interesting.
I’m recollecting several times a day the choir singing in church on Sunday. It was so good I cried. Marcy told me after church she could see me grinning in the back as she addressed us… and well I know that feeling of what it is like to see a friendly face up there.
I am doing a lot better, although I wish the weather would decide it’s spring. There are skunk cabbages in Lynn Valley now, so it is officially spring by my standards.
Equality is a chimera, but it must be encouraged to be real.
Bawled my eyes out this morning. I read of an encounter between a little autistic girl and a little Down’s syndrome girl in a restaurant. The two girls ended up hugging and sitting together to eat their meal while their moms got kinda teary. Honestly, if I didn’t personally know the woman who wrote it and could attest to her complete veracity, I would have sworn it was one of those darned feelgood stories that veer around the internet from time to time. As it is I feel marginally better about human beings.
Jeff’s going to write a post about Gizmo. It’s not much fun; Gizmo is not well.
ScaryClown went downtown with a buddy after the hockey game and he said that insane was the kindest way of putting it. He’s also never seen so many drunken hot women.
I was 45 minutes late getting home last night because some ffffing idiots had a fender bender and didn’t move the cars down a side street to swap info. Iggerunt putzes.
The weather is mild, mild, mild; I see forsythia everywhere, and there are already rhododendrons in bloom on the SFU hill.
I just gave more money to BCCLU, and they repaid me by defending the pro life group on the UBC campus. Oh how hard it is to have higher moral standards than the people we disagree with. In fact, I’m not sure it’s permanent. I’ll go back to being a jerk now.
How???? by mentioning the Correction, yet again.
But then again, we need all kinds of brains to make a world.
I wonder how the hell they are going to spin this.
It ain’t the rise of the machines that scares me… it’s the creeps behind the panopticon.
The BC Civil Liberties Association, which, Darwin aid me, I gave money to last year, has requested through Freedom of Information to have the street closures for the Olympics publicly available. They’ve requested three times and the Integrated Security Unit has told them to suck wind.
I AM FLEEING THE CITY FOR THE OLYMPICS. Jeff, you can stay here if you want to, but this is boned.