Crime & Punishment

Crime and justice comment and analysis

Archive for July 2005

All bluster and spin

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While sipping on a Sunday morning coffee, I just about spit it out over the infernal cat when I read the Calgary Sun’s “blow job” on that city’s Chief Constable Jack Beaton. ( Top cop to focus on gangs)
Quite apart from anything else, it seems quite disingenous for the Calgary Sun to refer to the tumultuous tenure of Beaton given that the paper has virtually ignored the main story in its entirety for the past eight months to a year.
It’s a funny thing really, a major metropolitan daily acting as though everything was fine and dandy in the city police service despite the majority of police officers expressing in a survey that they had no confidence in its management, despite a variety of criticisms against the senior management including formal complaints and civil suits filed against the chief himself.
The rest of the media in Calgary covered the bullying tactics of Beaton as he exercised extraordinary methods to silence the authors of a website critical of him. Once complete, then Beaton conducted a witch hunt to further silence people who had the unmitigated gall to email the website authors. The witch hunt even attempted to reach right into the office of the Minister of Jutice. But not the Calgary Sun.
It’s extraordinary really. And now they give mere mention of the sordid chapter in a piece extolling the virtues of the Chief as Beaton finally allows there is a gang problem in that fair city. That’s rich.
Calgary has had a “gang” problem for a number of years now. Ask any police officer. Indeed, ask any police officer involved in organized crime investigation in either Edmonton or Vancouver and they will tell you of the triangle of organized crime between those cities.
It’ s all about drugs and it’s all about the power and money that go hand in hand with drugs. To suggest, as Beaton does in the story, backhandedly, that the police will easily handle the problem is naieve in the extreme. To further claim that they will do it as they handled the Hells Angels is frighteningly ridiculous.
The Calgary Police Service merely won a battle in a much larger war against organized crime and the Hells Angels when they successfully concluded an investigation that resulted in the arrest of a few patches. The city expropriated their clubhouse and forced its relocation. That is all.
The war against organized crime is being fought on many fronts by many brave men and women. The gang problems that arise in all cities is merely a by-product of the bigger war. It needs to be recognized and fought properly and never trivialized.
I take no issue with elements within the media that want to support law enforcement. No one in the media defends the police more than yours truly. But, to ignore significant and substantial criticism in favor of lobbing softballs at a problem that grows daily is merely playing sap to the problem itself.
Leo Knight

Written by Leo Knight

July 31, 2005 at 3:09 pm

Posted in Crime & Punishment

Fighting back against the Hells Angels

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Friday’s raids on properties belonging to the Hells Angels East End chapter were a welcome shot across the bow of the outlaw biker gang.

Well, welcome for most honest law-abiding citizens I should say.

I listened this morning to Vancouver Chapter member Rick Ciarnello flapping his gums on CKNW on the Peter Warren show. For the most part he got a shellacking from callers only to have the blustery biker call them “stupid” for calling it as they saw it.

But Ciarnello, for all his propaganda, did make a good point when he refused to equate his club members with members of the federal Liberal party. The Libs are currently embroiled in the Sponsorship scandal that clearly defines the systemic corruption that has come to epitomize the Liberal Party of Canada.
Smart on his part I suppose. Despite the hundreds of murders attributed to the Hells Angels in this country, not to mention the arrests in chapters across the country, any suggestion that the Hells Angels were somehow comparable to the federal Liberals was somehow beneath him.

The day after the search warrants were executed we were treated to the vision of long-time East End member John Peter Bryce wailing and whining about the fact the police hit the clubhouse hard, using big tools to open the metal reinforced doors. Bryce whined that there were people there who would have opened the door if asked.

Well, whatever. The Hells Angels use hang-arounds, puppet gangs and prospects to provide security for the clubhouses. The chances of a wannabe allowing voluntary entry to a police officer knocking on the door asking “by your leave”, into a clubhouse are somewhere between slim and bugger all.

But we’ll allow Bryce his make-believe world. But I suppose he has to play “let’s pretend”, after all, one of the individuals caught in the latest police dragnet was his own son. It would seem the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree.

But at the end of the day, Bryce’s bleatings are just that. The Hells Angels, as an entity, may not be a criminal organization as a whole. In fact, the outlaw motorcycle gang operates in a cellular structure with individual members running their own “business” and using their gang status as their ultimate weapon of intimidation to ensure their “business” is successful.

But much of that may be little more than semantics. The police in BC have served notice in this investigation that the bikers do not have immunity from the law. They also said in their actions, that they will not be intimidated. That was their message to John Peter Bryce and his brother members when they smashed their way into their fortified clubhouse.

Leo Knight

Written by Leo Knight

July 20, 2005 at 6:06 am

Posted in Crime & Punishment

In a world gone mad

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As I watched events unfold in the UK this past week, I couldn’t shake the feeling the world has truly gone mad.

In Gleneagles at the G8 conference, events pretty much unfolded as predicted in last week’s entry. The anarchists, waited for what they perceived as the right time and attacked the police lines.

The police, ready as ever, repelled the assault and made a couple of hundred arrests over the course of three days.

The media consistently referred to the anarchists and mayhem-makers as ‘protesters.’ They are nothing of the kind. Sir Bob Geldof called for a day of protest. Many thousands answered the call, lending their voice and their presence in support for the cause. They are protestors.

People who hide behind balaclavas, armed with tire irons, bottles, rocks and petrol bombs are not protestors. They are thugs and need to be treated as such, especially by the media who seem to think they are the victims.

As it was all unfolding according to script, the unthinkable happened in London. A series of bomb blasts turned the city into absolute chaos, shutting down the transit system and leaving 55 dead and hundreds wounded.

The world was horrified. Well, except for the followers of radical Islam and quite likely the anarchists who were arrested in the violence at Gleneagles. They of course will blame Tony Blair for blindly following Bush into Iraq and whatever other nonsense their moribund brains come up with.

There seems little doubt that al Qaeda factions were responsible. There is also little doubt the blasts were designed to cause maximum terror and maximum commotion especially when the bulk of the country’s security apparatus was busy in Gleneagles with the G8.

This type of attack may be all that’s left to them. In the post 9/11 world, security, especially on the North American continent has been substantially improved. What Mohammed Atta and his cohorts were able to achieve that horrible day is very unlikely, if not impossible in today’s world.

US and coalition forces as well as security forces from around the world have captured or killed many of the leaders of al Qaeda. The primary battle front in the War on Terror is in Iraq. But that doesn’t mean the enemy has no ability to bring the fight to other countries. The events of this week clearly show that the enemy, though wounded, is still very, very dangerous to Western civilization.

We, in the west, including Canada, are at war. We have been since the fall of 2001. The enemy are the believers in radical Islam. They can attack anywhere, anytime. And they will remain dangerous until they either give up, which is unlikely, or are eradicated as a threat.

For some reason our politicians seem to think that same sex marriage was the most important issue facing the country this summer. And they have managed to lead the lapdog media into believing that too. To accept that, as they have done, shows how delusional they really are in this mad world.

We in Canada, have yet to experience a terror attack on our shores. But it will happen sooner or later. That seems as inevitable as the sun coming up tomorrow or Paul Martin lying to suit his position of the day.

Martin and his Liberals are governing during a time of war. The first and primary duty of any government is to protect its citizenry. We have seen no sign of that from them as they chirp and harp about the right of gay people to marry.

If governing is all about priorities, in this world gone mad, it is hard to believe – nay, conceive even – that our government cannot see the how badly they are failing in their duty.

Leo Knight

Written by Leo Knight

July 10, 2005 at 3:43 pm

Posted in Crime & Punishment

A long, hot summer

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Sorry I haven’t posted for a while, but I have just returned from a most welcome respite golfing the fine tracks in the Okanagan. But the nose is firmly back on the grindstone now.
I couldn’t help but notice the news today that the black-clothed buttheads have resurfaced in Edinburgh and wasted little time in attacking the police deployed in the annual charade that surrounds the G8 meetings.
Wait for it. Today’s clashes were only the beginning. Gleneagles is, unfourtunately a little too close to civilization to be holding the annual meeting of the leaders of the free world.
This has become an all too frequent event and the accompanying riots are too much to take. And watch as the mainstream media refer to the anarchist buttheads as “protestors” as though they were there to actually there to do anything but attack the police and then whine like petulant children when they get what they were asking for – a proper ass kicking.
Remember Svend in Quebec City? “Waaaaahhhhh . . . a rubber bullet put a hole in my pants!”
Now, don’t misunderstand me, I don’t give a fig when they get their ass kicked nor do I care that they get it at all. What I do care about are the cops on the front lines who have to exercise all possible restraint as these perfectly good examples of oxygen wastage plan their mayhem while the media plays along instead of calling it what it really is.
From the petrol bombs, the tire irons, the rocks and bottles, the cops are going to see it all. And when they take action you will listen to the poor “protestors” whine and whimper about the brutality exercised by the men and women paid to protect society. And the media will eat it up.
Oh yes, I’ve seen it all before. . . APEC, Seattle, Quebec City, Genoa. The story is always the same. Only the locations change. When it didn’t happen was at Kannaskis. It was too remote with security controlling the access so that the buttheads would have had to befriend a grizzly bear to get near. The attempts that were made in Calgary were thwarted by the excellent efforts of the Calgary Police Service to, literally, cut ’em off at the pass every time a stunt was attempted.
Oh yeah, and there was the meeting in China where none of the buttheads showed up because there, they would have really met with treatment unlike anything they now claim as police brutality.

Leo Knight

Written by Leo Knight

July 5, 2005 at 4:34 am

Posted in Crime & Punishment