Wednesday, July 31, 2013

A Kid With a Utility Knife Gets Mowed Down. In Montreal, a Guy With 182 Firearms Who Shoots at Cops Gets a Non-Lethal Rubber Bullet.

Isidore Havis is a lucky man.  He's especially lucky that he lives in the Montreal burbs, not in Toronto.

71-year old Havis is in a Montreal hospital with a possible broken bone received when Quebec police decided to take him down with rubber bullets.  18-year old Sammy Yatim lies in a funeral parlour after a Toronto cop went after him with nine, 40 mm. hollow-point bullets.

Havis was armed and actually fired a round at the cops who surrounded his house.   Yatim waved around a 3-inch knife but actually attacked no one, least of all the cop who unleashed a fusillade of fire into his body.

Montreal cops spent 20-hours to resolve the standoff with Havis.  Toronto cops are said to have taken roughly two-minutes to gun down Yatim.

Sorry, Toronto, this problem with your police force didn't begin with the execution of Sammy Yatim.  It's been around for a long time, many years.   You've let these rabid dogs in uniform have the run of the place.  Maybe it's time you culled this pack before there are more kids lying helpless, bleeding out on your streetcars.


Elliott Taylor said...

The fate that befell that disturbed young man in Toronto is a symptom of the same problem that caused Saskatoon police officers to abandon First Nations men outside the city limits, or a Vancouver police officer to forcefully shove a disabled person out of their way, or four RCMP officers to taser a confused Polish immigrant to death for the crime of wielding a stapler. Law enforcement no longer sees people, just events.

When our law enforcement professionals stop seeing the person, and only see a problem to be handled, people die. When they rely more on their use of force model than their own common sense and empathy for their fellow man, people die. The more we dehumanize lawbreakers, the more easily will we turn first to lethal force.

This is why Harper's "tough on crime" efforts can only hurt us. We will brutalize and dehumanize criminals and be taken down the same road that Americans have traveled, where the police routinely use the "comply or die" approach to law enforcement. And eventually we'll even find a way to justify shooting a teenager in cold blood just because the officr with the gun perceived a threat. Sammy Yatim's execution proves we are already well on our way down that path.

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Lorne said...

As I mentioned in a comment on another blog, Mound, the probelems with the Toronto police and its leadership were exacerbated by the wanton abuse of authority they engaged in during the 2010 Toronto G20 Summit. Both the force and Chief Balir escaped virtually unscathed, lending even more fuel, I suspect, for their unmitigated arrogance and more than occassional contmept for the public.

It seems to have reached the point where, to paraphrase Masloww, when you are a gun, everything else is a target.