This Is A Thursday Morning

FTLComm - Tisdale - Thursday, July 12, 2001
It was a few minutes after five that I noticed that western sky filled with tiny Microsoft clouds (PC users would recognise the clouds on the Microsoft Windows programme) Little puff balls diffused across almost all of the sky.

I got up to see how it was doing on the eastern sky and the picture above is the emergence of the sun upon this new day. The wonder of a sunrise is often not the sky but the unusual quality of light that sweeps across the streets, trees, lawns and rooftops.

At five in the morning the news, the daily litany of events from this trouble world are still not into the morning mode as CBC's first daily news cast is the comprehensive 0600 news and that seems to set the theme for the day as news writers set their quests for the day's happenings and go hunting down the stories that will be on the following morning.

As I gazed at that sky this the burst of morning light slashing across our street and smelled the very agricultural air, this Saskatchewan day I truly had high hopes for this twelfth of July 2001

Today, the world news tells of shooting in Palestinian villages, peace talks in Ireland that are going now where and everyone in Toronto (which considers itself the whole world) holding their breathe to see if the Olympics will be in China, Toronto or Paris.

The Saskatchewan local news is leading with follow up of a story from yesterday afternoon, where we learn of the expansion of Capital punishment in Canada. As all of us know we have dispensed with Capital punishment in the 1960s, but in recent years the police have decided to take over as judge, jury and executioner.

It is so easy to turn on the police and bash them for their misdeeds, not because they are obvious, but because their misdeeds seem to be normal operating procedures. Ensign has been publishing daily since May of 1998 and during that time I have to say that I am appalled at the numbers of people who are killed each of these three years by police.

  • The crimes for which police kill people are as follows:

  • Being an Indian

  • being drunk and disorderly

  • holding a knife in your hand and making a threatening gesture

  • taking to many pills

  • and adding to the list was yesterday's case of having a seizure.

The two cities in this province have redefined the role of police from maintaining order and keeping the peace, to being adult bullies who occasionally kill Indians.

Let's consider Regina first,

as yesterday's case occurred in front of a charity mission where the thirty-two year old Indian man suffered a seizure. Everyone has seen someone suffer this horrible indignity and it is essentially a misfiring of the brains programme causing the individual to flop around, froth at the mouth and often loose control of bodily functions. Paramedics were attempting to restrain the victim when a policeman arrived, the flailing individual was out of control and hit the policeman and for that he was killed. The policeman attacked the semi-conscious man with pepper spray and he was dead in minutes. His police chief said that though he knows that pepper spray sometimes kills people, the officer acted properly.

This is the same city where a deeply troubled teenage boy was surrounded by four policeman and a police dog, he had a knife in his hand and in front of his terrified mother, the police put four bullets through the kids heart.

This is the same city were a distraught and truly upset young woman staggered out into the street with a pistol in her hand and was gunned down by Regina city police.

In Saskatoon

there is more than ample evidence of the police force operating a death squad that routinely took Indian people out of town and left them to die in the dead of winter, or took an intoxicated individual and release him to die on the streets in the cold.

It was from Saskatoon that a frantic and distraught Indian man drove his pickup into the country to be stopped by the RCMP, who have shown themselves to be the willing assistants of the Saskatoon police force by whitewashing their investigation of the death squad operations, helped out by shooting the man to death and his widow announced this morning that she is suing the RCMP for wrongful death.

Not one of these incidents listed above resulted in any prosecutions, all of the officers involved had killed with immunity. We might call it the 007 "licensed to kill" mentality that pervades Saskatchewan law enforcement. The two Saskatoon police charged with one of the attempted murders in Saskatoon were only charged with unlawful confinement not attempted murder, their victim survived so it is doubtful if they will even lose their jobs for their work, because there is every indication that they were just doing what Saskatoon policemen do.

I look out on this beautiful morning and realise the horror of living in a society watched over by killer cops and I know why. Unfortunately so do you, we all know why this is happening. The wonderful world of the sixties gave way to the brutal poverty of the eighties and nineties, crime seems out of control in the high unemployment cities and the police see things that we can not imagine. Poverty is horrible stuff and these police people, each having entered their career because they are highly motivated and almost every one of them driven with a need to be "in control" to be "assertive" arrest people who will not come to trial for a year and will get off because the jails are full and killing a few seems like a good idea, if not a good idea, it might just put the fear of police in the poor people's minds and if you live on control and assertiveness, that's what you want.

Take any police officer and ask him or her about any of these cases, including the one on the street in Regina yesterday and you will see that person put up a plausible defense, give rational explanations and look with disdain upon you for even bringing the matter up. Police see the world as "we" and "them", civilians are not police officers, they are not law enforcement officers, they are to be subjugated and controlled, and yes folks, sometimes killed, just to let them know who's in charge. Think about it this way, who is a threat to you, yes, you personally, a baggy panted youth that needs a shave and hair cut, or a person wearing an armoured vest, gloves, carries a loaded handgun and drives a big fast car with a shotgun between the front seats and knows that he can do anything he wants with total immunity?

It could have been a great day, but then for the man who had the seizure his life ended yesterday and I can still get up and take a picture of the sunrise and belly ache about things.