Tuesday, June 24, 2014

RCMP - Are they protecting us, or their jobs?

A few years ago when I was raising my 6 year old daughter in a small town on the West Coast of Vancouver Island, I arrived at the Elementary School to pick her up as always.  I waited and waited, and when all the kids had left, I entered the school to ask where my daughter was.  I was getting worried.  The office ushered me into the principals office, where I was told that I had to go to the RCMP office to get her.  I was now extremely worried, but they wouldn't tell me anything further.

I arrived at the RCMP station where I was taken to an interview room and grilled for about a half hour.  Finally the officer told me that he was confident that I hadn't abused my daughter.  I was in shock.  How could they even think this?  Well, I guess my daughter and her friends were playing 'Harriot the Spy' and I had even bought her a small notebook to keep her spy notes in.  I had watched the kids spying on me and everyone else that walked or drove by, and thought nothing of it.  Supposedly one of the kids had drawn some kind of picture in the book, and one of the parents had seen it and called the police.

After discovering the reason for my interview and my daughters immediate removal from the school, I asked the RCMP officer why none of the other kids parents were here.  Obviously if some sexually explicit pictures were drawn in the book, and it was now determined that it wasn't my daughter, perhaps one of  her friends may have drawn the picture - and they may be the one being abused.  The officer informed me that they couldn't do anything about that unless someone filed a complaint.  Because the notebook had somehow disappeared, I told him that even without seeing it, I would file a complaint against the other parents to make sure their children were safe.  No way.  Needless to say, my daughter was completely traumatized by the situation, both the school principal letting her be taken away, and to make matters worse, by not identifying the undercover policeman as RCMP.

My second incident with the RCMP was a few years later after we had moved to Port Alberni.  I had purchased an older boat with an inboard engine as well as a 9.9 kicker engine chained to the back of the boat.  One night the kicker was cut off and stolen, and it was my understanding that this had happened numerous times all over town.  When I reported the incident to the RCMP the next day, they said an officer would drop by to get my information, but that they probably couldn't really do anything about it.  It was recommended that I contact the local Pawn Shops and give them my motor description and serial number.  The RCMP never did come and take a statement, but fortunately I had insurance to cover my loss.  What is it exactly that the RCMP do?

The last incident happened to my son last Thursday, June 12, 2014.  He is a commercial fishing deckhand and had just delivered their catch in Zeballos BC.  This is the story I got from my son while under the influence of morphine at Victoria General, waiting for neurosurgery.

After unloading their catch, my son and another deckhand got a hotel room for the night.  They had a few drinks and met with some old friends in town.  They had been delivering in Zeballos for about 10 years and my son knew many of the locals.  They were invited to a house to celebrate one of their friends birthday.  A lot of drinking ensued and the party broke up early and they thought everyone had gone home.  Because the two boys hadn't eaten anything for some time and the party was over, they decided to return to the boat and get some prawns and bring them back to the house.  There had been a fire out back of the house, and they thought they could get it going and cook some dinner before returning to the hotel.

They got back to the fire and threw a couple of pallets onto it to get it roaring again (pallets are readily available in BC and are given away free usually).  My son sat down on one of the nearby lawn chairs and it immediately broke.  He chucked it into the fire too.  Somehow the fire or their commotion woke someone up inside the house, and before my son knew it, a girl had come out and hit him in the face with a rock and told them to leave.  That is the last thing he remembers.

He assumes that some of the guys had not actually gone home earlier as he had suspected, they were still at the residence.  He and the other deckhand were attacked from behind, and the last thing my son remembers is that his friend was lying unconscious by the fire, and there were a group of people beating him with a rock, a two by four and some metal object and forcing him towards a cliff overlooking the ocean.  He was fighting for his life before being beaten unconscious like his friend, but it was another guy that hit him - with a hammer.  They then stole his two gold chain necklaces, and this may have been the motive for the attack.  Another deckhand had witnessed this incident and got the two boys away from the house and back to the hotel; where he called 911 and an ambulance.  He probably saved their lives.

From what I have now heard, my son and his friend are being charged with mischief under $5,000; and nothing, so far, is being done to the guys with the clubs who seemed to be trying to beat the two boys to a pulp.  You've got to be joking.  I am sincerely hoping this is not true, and if the Port McNeil RCMP do NOT press charges against these people and not the two boys, really what use are the police?  If so, I will be writing my MLA, MP, the RCMP Complaints Commissioner and anyone else that will listen.

I must say that I am really losing faith in our RCMP and am wondering if they are capable of doing actual police work.  I know they are good at issuing insignificant tickets to motorists, but assume this is only to justify their positions and pay for their own salaries.  Have they lowered their standards over the past years so much that this, and other similar incidents, are a reflection of that change?  If nothing happens to these people in Zeballos, I will have totally lost faith in our RCMP to protect us - and shame on them.  If you could see the lasting physical damage that was done to these two fishermen, you would know that this was attempted murder, or at the least, more than one count of assault with dangerous weapons.

Let's hope these RCMP do the right thing and I don't totally lose faith in our justice system in Canada.