Despite the overwhelming public horror and disgust surrounding the October 14 death of Robert Dziekanski at the hands of Taser-wielding RCMP thugs at Vancouver International Airport, the British Columbia Association of Police Chiefs is unrepentant about continuing to use this potentially fatal instrument of torture. In fact, the Vancouver Police Department is ordering up a few more to fry anyone who makes life a little too difficult for the boys in blue.
Before the knuckle-dragging cop lovers creep out of the woodwork to give this page the usual rhetorical beat down, let's bear in mind that Vancouver is a city where citizens are snatched by police officers, taken for a midnight ride to Stanley Park, and beaten senselessly. If that's not bad enough, Vancouver's 'finest' also have a bad habit of people dying in their custody. In both cases, it appears the objective of the Police Complaints Commission, instead of finding justice for those victimized by police harassment and brutality, is to protect the Police from those complaints. These are high times for the badge bullies, with the Conservatives bleating about 'serious time for serious crime' in Ottawa, the BC Liberals' criminalization of poverty through the 'Safe Streets Act' and the 'Non-Partisan' Association's shenanigans of 'Project Civil City' at 12th and Cambie. To celebrate our new Police State, a round of tasers for everyone!
To hear Police Chiefs Association President Gord Tomlison is to hear a deluded and misbehaving small child make up excuses to keep his favourite toys from being taken away:
"Potent drug cocktails turn average people into unstoppable aggressors bent on our destruction and often theirs".
Wrong. More often that not, those potent drug cocktails destabilize those aggressors to make it easier for them to be killed by a taser.
"Organized crime has high-powered weapons that our body armour can't stop. "
Wrong again. If the weapons belonging to organized crime or too powerful for body armour, how are the cops going to get close to use a taser? When did the police stop handing out guns?
"Even reaching down to help a gunshot victim carries with it the modern day threat of contamination from blood-borne diseases"
Three strikes and he's out. I've seen more than enough police officers at Emergency wards in hospitals around Vancouver that they would have easily learned by now that no one is electrocuted to death by using latex gloves.
Next week marks the 10th anniversary of the 1997 APEC summit in Vancouver, where student demonstrators were attacked by the RCMP because they chose to speak out and stand up to the oppressive regimes in places like China and Indonesia that our government believed would be good trading partners. Those protests set the stage for 1999's 'Battle in Seattle' at the World Trade Organization meetings, and the massive anti-globalization protests that followed, but aren't widely remembered by the public. It could be because the Mounties' weapon of choice at the time was pepper spray rather than a Taser. This page is certain that the way things are going, our memories of Downtown Eastside riots of 2009 and the 2011 General Strike will be far more 'shocking' and disturbing.