“The courts might not work anymore, but as long as everyone is videotaping everyone else, justice will be done.” Marge Simpson
Writing a bi-weekly opinion column, like any gig, has both up’s and downs. There are weeks when the amount of local information coming at us is staggering to say the least. Then there’s the weeks with little bits and pieces that could go somewhere but don’t have quite enough meat on them to make for a satisfying meal. And who am I not to leave you satisfied.
So instead of fussing with the appetizers, let’s get right to the main course that is on the minds of many in the world, most in the country and certainly everyone in the province.
Bad cops, bad cops (it’s almost maddening how that theme song immediately pops into one’s head).
Ok, now this one I’m really struggling with. You see I’m a big fan of the underdog. It’s something in my blood that continually wants the masses to be wrong so I try to root for the million to one shot. However after the third time watching the now famous ‘taser/speak English or die’ video, I can’t find anything positive to say about those particular RCMP officers.
It’s safe to assume everyone has seen the video where four RCMP officers come upon a confused man speaking a foreign language in an airport (crazy, I know) then proceed to taser him leading to his quick death. They appeared to have chosen tasering over talking and there is absolutely no way to cut that cake without having the taste of gang murder left in your mouth. And that sucks.
The debate shouldn’t be around tasers it should be around ‘cop culture’. Granted it’s one of the worst jobs in the world. No one calls you when they’re having a good time and they usually have to do things that result in people calling them names I can’t legally print in this paper. These day’s their job is all the more difficult since previously if things went wrong it could be easily covered up. Now however everyone and their dog has a video camera running at all times (I’m serious, there are dog cams).
But while the RCMP gets raked over the coals lets save a few of those hot embers for the Vancouver airport who apparently have no way to deal with a confused person who doesn’t speak English.
Well, now that this straw has completely broken the camels back people are expecting, nay demanding a complete overhaul of ‘cop culture’. This is not going to be easy and most definitely a herculean uphill public relations battle. But if the RCMPolice don’t have the people on their side they have nothing.
And when tragedy strikes things can go two ways. It can further plummet down a PR pit like the U.S. did after that 9-11 inside job. Or it can be used as a catalyst for positive change. Here’s hoping the later prevails.