Saturday, January 24, 2009


What the hell is going on?

A 47-year old man is trying to support his family. He is delivering newspapers at 2:30 in the morning.

Was he a surgeon is his country of origin? A physicist? Who knows?

What we do know is that he has claimed - and there is considerable evidence to support this claim - that three off-duty police officers with no apparent provocation attacked and beat up and robbed this man.

We are told that the three officers, each from the burbs, each with very few years under his no doubt considerable belt, each drunk, yelled racial insults at this newsy and threatened him further with the famous taser treatment ... which, given current realities, is not much different from saying, "We're going to kill you."


Vancouver Police Chief, James Chu, thankfully breaking the usual closed-mouth protocol, has spoken publicly to assure us that some legal process is now at hand.

How many more examples of dreadful police behaviour can Canada bear these days?

Have the leaders of these teams not addressed their ranks lately and urged them to carry their tasks and their shields with pride and honor? Has no one taken charge and advised officers across the land to clean up all and every bad acts?

Last weekend, we made the mistake of trying to engage a police officer in a conversation.

We stepped off the curb at a four-way stop intersection and the police woman simultaneously and in no apparent urgent hurry looked right at us as she drove in front of us at a crosswalk.

When we saw her a few moments later, we dared ask her, "If then police don't respect the rules or regard pedestrians, how can we expect any one else to?"

She didn't apologize. She ranted on about how "no harm was done," apparently not seeing the harm in bad public relations.

Soon, one of her colleagues joined the circle and glared menacingly at us. We expected drawn tasers at any moment.

We thanked her for her time and offered the Safeway Universal, "Have a nice day."

I have been a fan and supported of the police all my life, and in theory, I continue to be so.

But loyalty is being strained daily by these shenanigans.

As if the YVR story is not sorry enough, now we have three drunk rogue cops beating up on "brown people" at Georgia and Burrard. They were stopped by the interventions of passers-by.

Do the police forces of the land really want to keep such representatives in their uniforms?

Yes, give them their due process.

But when the truth is told, show them the door and ask more of the next batch of recruits.

Ask for civility.

PHOTO: Phil Khan, father, husband, 3AM newspaper delivery man on a cold January night, and victim of random attack by 3 men who brag that they are cops


Anonymous said...

Shocking, absolutely shocking, yet I am not surprised. Police in Canada, for too long, have been given a free pass and I think it is time that rogue police officers be given the toss.

Martino said...

These three scumbags should be fired on the spot, and their unions shouldn't put up a fight.

However, they'll get probation, community service, perhaps a few months "on administrative leave".

It'd be nice to think that officers of the law would be held to a higher moral code than the rest of such luck. No wonder no one really respects the police anymore.

Anonymous said...

What the abusers have done are below moral standards. Will this case be swept under the carpets? Will they be fired? Will the inquiry take 8 months? Thankfully there were pedestrians who stopped up for justice. They must be applauded for many have retreated because they are scared of the invisible force.

Chris M said...

Totally disagree with you on this one David.
This is trial by media and everybody reading the articles is jumping in with both feet.
If the off duty officers are guilty (remember innocent until proven guilty) they should be canned.
To act as if every police officer is corrupt is ghastly.
the blogs are going crazy with nasty,ignorant comments. Police are butchers,etc,etc.
Any wonder why some really good officers are very tired?
When was the last time someone said "thank you" for doing the lousiest job around these days?
No, I'm not a cop or married to one.
It seems we aren't allowed to be racist,prejudiced, anti any religion but it sure is acceptable to be anti-cops (copism?)
You met a cranky cop, so what!
I've met many a cranky teacher,lawyer,doctor,priest and I don't paint them all with the same brush.

Dave C. said...


What we need to keep in mind is that the behaviour of law enforcement personnel will likely reflect the labour pool from which they are selected - our society. It is inevitable, it seems to me, that in spite of the careful screening that is in place, there will be errors in the selection process. Unfortunately, the "bad apples" that escape initial detection do irreparable harm to the dedicated and trustworthy majority.

But I totally agree that once a bad apple has been identified and confirmed, there should be no hesitation in removing them from a position of trust. The public, and their trustworthy colleagues, deserve no less. What seems to be lacking is an independent method of ensuring that improper and illegal misconduct especially while on duty will result in a prompt dismissal.

Not Your Wife said...

I am sad for those officers who put in their time, take the abuse and manage to stay mostly civil in an uncivil society. I have met many of them and the best ones seem to figure out a way to communicate that gets past the "tough guy' image. Unfortunately, the "customer (the public) is always right" is a pedagogical argument. We kow that's not true---but police must be held to a higher standard than most BECAUSE our safety and security is in their hands.

Some of these young ones watch too much tv, I think. That being said, watch Dennis Leary in "The Job" if you want to see what the job can do to you...most who work undercover seem to go a little crazy, taking on the personnas they must take on to catch the bad guys (there's a particularily interesting study about women undercover cops). You couldn't pay me enough money to take on the rough crap they take (and let's face it---2000 gang bangers/wannabees vs 1200 cops = an unfair fight). Yet, most of them decompress, eventually.

As for these three, they are a sad discredit to their profession.

David Berner said...

Chris M.

If you bother to read what I actually wrote, you will see that I have not tarnished all with the same brush.

I have been clear and consistent about my support for the police.

I have also spoken in this post about due process.

Nobody needs you to defend either the indefensible ot those who haven't been attacked.

David in North Burnaby BC said...

"You met a cranky cop, so what!
I've met many a cranky teacher,lawyer,doctor,priest ..."

Teachers, lawyers, doctors and priests don't go about with tasers and guns and routinely use them on people.

Anonymous said...

Let's just stop all this racism and just have drunken off-duty cops beat up anybody regardless of race, colour or creed. End racism now!!!!

NRF said...

When the respectable cops speak up and condemn the ugly actions of their colleagues, I might adjust my viewpoint. But, look at how the RCMP initially lied about the YVR homicide, protected the four killers and still employ one of them who drunkenly killed an innocent cyclist. Now Jamie Graham directs an investigation of brutality in the Victoria jail cells. This is the same officer who refused to cooperate with an investigation of brutality when he headed the Vancouver PD. More innocents will die or be beaten unnecessarily until we invoke real civilian oversight of all police.

Andrew Culture said...

Hmm, I always try and find the other side of the story in these reports, but this is a bit scarey.

Andrew Culture

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