airline pilot, musician, urban farmer, grow op owner/operator, unreconstructed socialist, purveyor of profundity, irreverent jack(ass) of all trades.
Hasta la Victoria Siempre Che!
It's only my opinion, nothing more, but I do believe that if an inquiry were held and witnesses were compelled to testify under oath (the whole nine yards - notebooks, files, timelines, who knew what and when) we would find out that the police investigation wasn't all that it should have been. The four individuals alleged to have been part of the rape were not interviewed by police until 10 months after the rape was reported to police, according to the mother's recent statements. This doesn't strike me as being a very vigorous investigative technique.
It has also been suggested by some (not the police themselves) that the investigation was ongoing. Here is a quote from a statement made today on the HRM Police website:
"In light of new and credible information that has recently been brought forward to police, HRM Partners in Policing are reopening the investigation involving Rehtaeh Parsons."
This would indicate to me that the file had, in fact, been shelved (ie. was no longer being actively pursued). Clearly the investigation had been wrapped up and the police were not going to put any more effort into the file unless something drastic happened (like an alleged rapist presenting himself to authorities and demanding to be arrested and charged). More importantly, the mother's recent statements indicate that the police had said as much to her and her daughter. It could be argued that this news added to the young woman's sense that the pain and suffering she was going through was never going to end.
I'm not convinced by arguments that the police were just biding their time and waiting for the right moment to 'pounce' after having obtained that crucial piece of evidence that would make their case in court. Apparently, the most damning evidence was in their possession shortly after the incident was reported by the victim and they were certainly aware of the distribution of the photo which clearly falls under the current legal defiinition distribution of child pornography. Now it's possible that a 15 year old boy, even when confronted by detectives with photographic evidence of his participation in an alleged rape, could be a 'tough nut to crack' (Al Capone take note!) but I find that difficult to accept on the face of it. The police also claimed that, even having the picture of the alleged rape in progress, and knowing whose phone camera it was taken with and distributed from, without knowing who actually put his finger on the button to take the picture they were helpless to act on this information. I'll keep that anemic standard in mind should I ever decide to turn criminal.
The investigation has now been officially "reopened" based on information that the police claim has surfaced in the last few days. It would seem to me that the media storm surrounding this case has maybe done some good. Perhaps, too, the police found it unnerving having Anonymous breathing down their necks and, apparently, using their own investigative tools to uncover more damning evidence. For those who doubt the efficacy of the Anonymous approach, a recent case in Ohio had been shelved by a limp and overprotective (of the boys) law enforcement team, only to be reopened and prosecuted with resulting convictions, based on information obtained and provided by Anonymous.
The police didn't commit this crime. But perhaps the police weren't sufficiently convinced, due to their own preconceived notions or lax application of proper behavioural standards to teenage boys, that a crime had been committed.
The ensuing harassment and bullying campaign probably did as much to drive this young woman to end her life as the original rape. We need to have legal penalties for this kind of thing, keeping in mind that we're dealing with people who can generally hide behind their 'minor age' status to protect them from the full force of the law. We seem to be able to put strict conditions on all kinds of offenders. I don't see why it should be that difficult to impose penalties on little Johnny and little Suzie if they are found guilty of online harassment. You can do all kinds of things to a teenager, short of flogging, that will lead them to see the error of their ways.
Finally, and although I don't completely disagree with you OB, why is it that when little Johnny grows up to be an armed robber or thieving crackhead or rampaging school shooter, we demand full accountability and personal responsibility from the "scum", but in this case we are instead dealing with what you termed a "societal problem"? Shouldn't the same standard be applied to all?
Stephen Harper's Conservatives don't support the medical use of marijuana and it's obvious that a few senior officers in the local RCMP organization agree.
Rather than concentrate scarce resources on hard targets such as organized international criminal gangs utilizing Nova Scotia as an entry point for high value drug shipments, they choose to break up 'medical marijuana rings'.
I support my local law enforcement, but not in these 'witch hunt' activities against the medical marijuana community. It's just lazy police work.
Always enjoyed your "Sustainable City" column. Not sure about the "roving reporter" thing but good luck in your new role Chris.
I think pot should be legalized. There is no logical argument against legalization. If you think so, I refer you to booze and cigarettes and while both can be detrimental to one's health, I support both being legal. Just don't blow your smoke in my face.
Currently, pot is illegal. You might might think that, because of this fact, the police were just doing their job. But if you think that is what just happened then you don't understand how police departments allocate resources. Also, high profile drug enforcement actions, like this most recent one, act as magnets for more resources. This is how self-perpetuating bureaucratic empires grow. Too bad they didn't manage to take down a meth lab or bust a prescription drug ring or snare a large shipment of cocaine bound for Montreal through our 'leaky' port. These are serious drug enforcement challenges here in Nova Scotia. But I guess busting some folks for growing pot for their friends and neighbours will have to do. A decision was made at a fairly high level that this investigation was worth the time and money spent and that other police investigative work should take a back seat.
Stephen Harper's fear of widespread "Reefer Madness" is unfounded and unproductive and also just another example of how he and his colleagues are mishandling federal resources.
Also, because it is Christmas, I'd like to wish Stephen and Laureen and her RCMP girlfriend a very Merry Christmas and I hope they had the opportunity to spend time together during this holiday season.
The collapsed cod fishery isn't primarily an economic problem. Like many of the challenges our industrial society faces, it is first and foremost an environmental problem. All else flows from this fact. The fishing industry did experience a negative economic impact, but this followed from a failure to give proper respect to ecological limits. You can't take huge catches of cod year after year without consequence. They are (or were) a finite resource. Sooner or later, without properly factoring in sustainability, you reach the bottom of the barrel.
We are plagued by failures of this kind. Ecological limits are real. I think we ignore them at our peril.
HRM By Design established, with a lot of public input, a development plan for our community. It's nice to see our elected representatives adhering to the Plan instead of routinely granting yet another exemption to a developer.
The beauty of the global Transition movement is that it is moving forward in spite of the resistance that many national governments have displayed towards coming to grips with the challenges of climate change and the post-peak oil energy transition.
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