OPEN SEASON ON NATIVES IN SASKATOON / 2007

OPEN SEASON ON NATIVES IN SASKATOON

With law enforcement in love with the Tazer as a form of non lethal control of suspects, I find it odd that Saskatoon police simply use a bullet in containing Native people.

Within a weeks time police used lethal means to subdue Native’s in a series of two shootings. Dwayne Charles Dusthorn was shot dead in his tracks for threatening people with a knife and an unnamed Native woman was shot in the chest for wielding a blade as well. Granted they posed a hazard to constables that arrived at the scene. But my question is why did they not use their electric toy the Tazer? What really smokes my shorts is the fact highly trained professionals can’t seem to disarm anyone and chooses to simply whack the suspects. As a former bodyguard I’ve disarmed many pinheads who’ve posed a hazard with guns and knives to my clients with barely a scratch. So here are these guys with vests and other body armor, trained in street combat that simply shoot people who pose a threat.

Saskatoon has a horrific track record when dealing with the Aboriginal population. There is a strong distrust of the RCMP in this region as it is. Why, because of the freezing deaths of Aboriginal people who were simply dumped outside the city limits to face the elements by police in past years. Only after Darrel Night came forward to tell of his plight at the hands of authorities did it become all too apparent this was a reality. Darrel was dumped in the same region other Natives who’ve died of exposure were found frozen to death. To the chagrin of local constables, he survived to tell the tale. And they call us savages, ma ma mia.

Though the RCMP is conducting an investigation, the Federation of Saskatoon Indian Nations is also conduction an investigation of their own. Under the guidance of Chief Lawrence Joseph and a special investigative Unit hopefully the truth will be known about these two incidences. In dealing with the conduct of the officers in question Chief Joseph quoted the focus of their investigation;

“Whether all options were considered, what the circumstances are and whether these police officers had any previous experience in dealing with aggressive situations and whether the situation called for lethal force. We will be very much involved and making sure the investigation is done in the best possible way.”

Further he said;

“We have a long-standing history as First Nations People in Canada and in Saskatchewan where there’s a lot of mistrust with police agencies. It’s very troubling and what can we do to prevent this? What can we do to ensure that justice prevails for all citizens of Saskatchewan, which is everyone’s human right?”

Personally I’m not too impressed with this so called non lethal Tazer business anyway. With all the deaths associated with this new toy in the law enforcement arsenal on both sides of the border though. The zapping of an 80 year old granny was the frosting on the cake for me a few months ago. Of course you heard about the Polish guy who died from a Tazer attack at a Canadian airport eh. His crime was freaking out and tossing luggage, the death of a bi polar woman was also sad. The list goes on and on. But even in light of these so called non lethal assaults on the public at large, why wasn’t a non lethal alternative used on Natives in Saskatoon in the first place? Why is a bullet always the first choice when dealing with the Aboriginal community? It is not to say all constables or police are haters and there is just cause for lethal intervention at times. Personally, I have many friends in law enforcement who shake their heads at this kind of conduct as well.

Hopefully Chief Joseph and the Federation of Saskatoon Indian Nations will have an answer for this series of horrific events in the last week. Maybe the shootings were justified but maybe they were over kill, literally. Only time will tell and I eagerly await the results from the FSIN Special Investigative Team and now, so does the rest of the world.

Your Devil’s Advocate
Buffalohair
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Creativity is the byproduct of a fertile mind

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