There are two ways I know when a story has been successful. First, I am blessed with 1000’s of hits from you, my dear readers. The second way is when I see someone publishing an article to counter my writing- this happened recently when ScoutMagazine.ca ran a story that included criticism about when I wrote about Irwin Oostinde running sadomasochist club nights at the W2 Media Cafe.
Both of these incidents occurred again over the past three days with my story about VANDU, Vancouver Coastal Health & Vancouver Cop Watch…
Peter’s a writer for the Tyee– a publication that was funded through the TIDES Foundation until recently. It is common knowledge that TIDES is deep in-bed with Vancouver’s DTES poverty pimps- for example, Joel Solomon of TIDES Canada was a donor to at least one of David Eby’s political campaigns. Peter wrote a great informational piece about CopWatch- that said, it is a bit fluffy, and misses out on some of the meat of the story.
His story is titled: COP WATCHING: HOW CITIZEN ‘SOUSVEILLANCE’ IS CHANGING LAW ENFORCEMENT. The premise of his story is that by having people watch the police with modern technology is changing the way cops work. I agree with him- after all, I’ve successfully done the same myself! But, the key word here is successful- and, Vancouver Cop Watch has been anything but.
Shortly after I wrote my story on Cop Watch, they erased a number of questionable postings on their Twitter account. They also sent-out the tweet you see above. As you can see, the only way they are changing law enforcement in this case is by promoting stories about people being able to shoot the police!
The change they will see from such behaviour is a change in the way the police relate to citizens on the street- with more anger I would guess…
Peter begins by mentioning the Paul Boyd case– where VPD were caught on film fatally shooting a man five years ago. Yes, the film was vital evidence, but Peter misses out on one of the key points in this story. Our old friend David Eby heavily promoted the Boyd incident when it came out but nothing came of it until just a few weeks ago.
David has a habit of jumping on the bandwagon every time someone complains about the police- he’s a well known cop hater. Even just yesterday, Dave was called-out by the police for grandstanding on incidents where the investigations have not been completed. Then, there’s the Adam Smolcic case, which was a complete fabrication- this didn’t stop Eby from jumping all over it like a fly on shit. Imagine if Dave was more discriminate in his complaints- the Boyd case may have been treated more seriously five years ago!
Peter’s article next mentions the case of Robert Dziekański, a Polish immigrant who was tazered to-death by the RCMP shortly after he arrived at Vancouver airport. This is another example of where filming the police has been successful- but, Peter misses an important point here in relation to Cop Watch. Both the Boyd & Dziekański cases depended on serendipity. Neither happened because of a Cop Watch patrol- and, to date, CW have not had a single successful case of filming the police. Quite the opposite…
Instead, Vancouver Cop Watch have been working hard at dividing the police from the people. Take the above screenshot as an example. They ‘caught’ the police enforcing health, safety & licensing laws by stopping an illegal food vendor, and tried to make the cops look bad using the word ‘terror’. If you ask them if Harsha Walia promotes terrorism with the Black Bloc, they will get all angry at you- so, why is this okay with the police?
Peter quotes one of the co-founders of Cop Watch saying:
“We have sent a chill up the spine of the beat enforcement team. I know the inspector of district 2 has told us that. Some cops are actually scared of us because we’re filming them. Some cops don’t mind.”
I’m sure they are scared of Cop Watch- scared of having their pictures published online and labelled as terrorists for simply doing their jobs! He also quotes:
“We do sometimes go over a bit of the line where, if we come across a police officer who is really bad and really violent and abusive to the community, we will publicly out his personal information. We will say who his family members are, who he is, who his wife and children are, everything. We do everything short of putting out his personal home address.”
Well, yes, that’s certainly going over the line a little bit. I was thinking of publishing Ann Livingston and Dave Eby’s personal information, but I figured they wouldn’t appreciate that. But, this isn’t the only way they cross the line- I’d say that calling the RCMP the “Royal Canadian Murder Squad” is a few steps too many also.
The last, and possibly most important, commission’s in Peter’s story is when he discusses the involvement of David Eby’s BC Civil Liberties Association legal observers. True, the legal observer team was created during the Olympics- but, they were mysteriously recalled on the day that Harsha Walia’s beloved Black Bloc smashed-up windows at the Hudson Bay Company and got into a street fight with the police.
This is a good example where the politicalization of police observers can become a problem. After all, if Eby knew that the Heart Attack event was going to happen- why didn’t he report it to the police? Wasn’t he required to do this as an officer of the court? And that, my friends is the reason that we should never have let politicians wear civil libertarian hats. Pimp hats are optional…
I’ll leave you with some video of the results of that day.