Vancouver’s east side is notorious (by Canadian standards) for prostitution, drugs and crime. I had the chance to check it out last fall and even I was surprised that it more or less lived up to the hype…or maybe lived down to the hype?
In any case, a Vancouver radio host decided to highlight the rampant problems of east side Vancouver by donning a beaver costume and trying to score some heroin by holding a sign saying, well, “I want to buy heroin.” FYI, this is an old news story (early June), but it’s new to me, so there. And the Globe is just reporting it, so I’m at least up there (down there?) with them.
Anyway, long story short, the stunt worked, the beaver got hooked up with the junk, and the Vancouver police showed up to relieve the beaver of said junk.
Juvenile prank or funny attempt to highlight the problems on Vancouver’s east side? Considering the radio station appears to be Fox-owned, I’d opt for the former, but the fact that a guy in a beaver costume can buy heroin does highlight some serious social problems. You be the judge.
Being a good American and with access to a blog (see new year’s resolutions #1, “me, me, me”) I feel like it is my civic duty to be blogging about Obama and Huckabee in a state known for its smiley faced water towers
But instead we’re going to hit two issues and loves of my life at once:
2) Taser related deaths
I give you the latest and greatest (and arguably most distaste-est) in the Vancouver Taser Incident:
When the Revolution come I’m gonna be up front
With my finga on the trigga of a Mossburgh Pump
When the Revolution come I’m gonna be right there
With my nine in my hand and braids in my hair
Yes folks, I am of the firm belief that the gifted lyricist Coolio wrote this song for one purpose and one purpose only…to ready me for the coming battle.
For those few of you who may not know what I’m referring to, let me fill you in. I am talking about an injustice of monumental proportions, an event which has shaken the very foundations of our society.
That’s right, I am talking about “MukMukGate.” What is this, you ask? We’ll, for those of you living under a rock, this all began with the Vancouver Olympic Organizing Committee announcing their cast of mascots for the 2010. You can get the details here, but basically it boils down to a cast of three make believe creatures (a Sasquatch, thunder bird, and sea bear).
Now, if you visit the mascot site, you will notice this cute and cuddly little critter:
Yes, this adorable creature is MukMuk the Marmot. A REAL animal from Vancouver. So is MukMuk another mascot? No, this poor little guy has been relegated to “sidekick” status. A SIDEKICK. This is an outrage, nay, a crime against humanity!
Am I the only one who is upset about this? Of course not. Others who have been following this emerging issue are equally incensed. Here’s what some have to say:
Vancouver Sun Letter
How did this come to pass? Who is responsible for this? I have two theories:
1) An anti-marmot smear campaign orchestrated by the Vancouver wing of the Black Squirrels of Victoria Park
or, 2) Blatant Marmotism – it’s a well known fact that marmots have been persecuted throughout history (The Marmot Crusades, the internment of Marmots during WWII, etc.) and I think this is just the most recent example of this.
So, let us join Coolio, braid our hair, grab our shotguns, and start the MukMuk Revolution!
mukmukmukmukmukmukmukmukmukmukmukmukmukmukmukmukmukmukmukmukmukmukmukmuk mukmukmukmukmukmukmukmukmukmukmukmuk mukmukmukmukmukmukmukmukmukmukmukmuk mukmukmukmukmukmukmukmukmukmukmukmuk mukmukmukmukmukmukmukmukmukmukmukmuk mukmukmukmukmukmukmukmukmukmukmukmuk mukmukmukmukmukmukmukmukmukmukmukmuk
Well, well, well…perhaps the Conservative government of Canada is figuring it out.
It appears that in a move to both calm public outrage over the recent tasering death of Robert Dziekanski as well as send a notice that the government is watching the RCMP, Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day has said that an investigation of the actions of RCMP officers in the death of Dziekanski would include criminal charges if necessary.
What remains to be seen is if this will truly be a meaningful and transparent, or if the RCMP will call the shots.
Here’s an update to my previous post on taser deaths in Canada.
In the video we see a clearly distraught Robert Dizekanski moving furniture, throwing a computer, and apparently having a panic attack. This goes on for a several minutes until the RCMP arrive.
Upon their arrival Dizekanski appears to calm down and seems to cooperate with their instructions. When moved with his back against the counter we can not see Dizekanski’s hands, but there appears to be no movement on his part.
It is at this time that he is tasered for the first time. This is quickly followed by two more shots from tasers. At this point Dizekanski is screaming and convulsion on the ground.
You can view the video here.
CBC’s take is here.
The interesting thing is that the RCMP originally claimed to have tasered Dizekanski only twice. In the video you can clearly hear three distinct cracks as each taser is fired, and possibly a fourth.
So you have four large, armed RCMP members, once suspect who is not physically threatening the officers, and you’re telling me there is not a peaceful way to resolve this situation?
Here’s what I think happened. It’s late, these RCMP officers would rather be someplace else, and they get a call about “some crazy foreign guy” at the airport. They show up, this guy doesn’t speak any English (or French, because as federal employees I’m sure they’re bilingual, right?) and they think “Aw, another stupid immigrant invading our country – let’s waste him rather than take the time to solve this.”
Or maybe the four RCMP are technophiles and were so distraught at seeing a $100 monitor destroyed that they decided to balance the score-sheet with this guys life?
Basically, anyway you cut it the RCMP ends up looking like trigger happy sadists who were all too eager to try out their toys.
I mean, how much meaningful dialogue took place (even hand gestures would have helped!) in the 30 seconds it took the RCMP to pull their tasers? Exactly – none. So, after watching this video, I’d like to hear from all the defenders of the RCMP and tasers now.
UPDATE: This post has been garnering lots of interest, so I thought I’d move it up to the top again and provide a link to a story from the Edmonton Journal. Another “cop said/tasered guy said” case. This time someone is tasered for jaywalking and getting a little uppity. Apparently, “Have you ever heard of a crosswalk?” is Edmonton Police code for “You are breaking the law and I will taser you if you don’t stop walking.”
So, as usual, Jimsey is ahead of the curve on the news. Check out his post on Taser’s from Oct. 9th.
Now, in the span of one week, two people have died as a result of being tasered. One man at Vancouver’s airport died shortly after being tasered by police. Vancouver Police continue to maintain that his death was in no way related to the two blasts from a police Taser.
While police are working hard to deduce what possibly could have killed the man in Vancouver, Montreal Police are now linked to the death of Quilem Registre. Quilem was apparently stopped by police, was unarmed, but must have been enough of a threat that police felt the need to shock him not once, not twice, but SIX times. Yes, that’s approximately 300,000 volts the police felt was required to subdue this man. I think 300,000 volts would stop an elephant, let alone a man.
There are two very revealing statements that came out of this most recent death:
- “If you don’t have that Taser gun, you’re going to have to use your handgun,” said the Quebec municipal police federation’s president Denis Cote.
- When the issue of a possible lawsuit was raised, here is what Taser V.P. Steve Tuttle had to say:
- “We’re 59 and 0 in court. That’s a great record right there because we can get rid of the junk science in a courtroom setting,” Steve Tuttle, vice-president of TASER International Inc. told CTV Newsnet.
There are a couple of things that spring to mind immediately. First, the only option for Quebec police to subdue a person beside the Taser is to shoot them? Remind me not to steal any poutine the next time I’m in Montreal.
Also, that V.P. sounds like a giant ass. You know, the kind who’s mother even wants to take a tire-iron to his head. And junk science? How much money do you think Taser has poured into various “research” projects in order to establish that there is no connection between these and the 14 other deaths and the use of a Taser in the last 5 years?
Is anyone else prepared to get a little pissed about this?