Of all the things that has bothered me, now that I’ve located and read many of the online discussions of the Cpl. Jim Brown case on FetLife, it is the assumption that there was no crime committed and therefore no criminal investigation. How exactly does an otherwise astute thinker become so easily persuaded by such circular logic?
Two days ago, a blogspot page, called The Re-Sergeance Alliance, was opened to the public for the first time — within 24 hours, it was censored again. If I hadn’t received correspondence about it directly, I never would have known about it at all. It just flew right under the radar. However, the first page of The Re-Sergeance Alliance is still cached for the time being. Here are some choice quotes:
[W]e are an ever-growing alliance of dedicated professionals, from within the ranks of the RCMP, Security Service and associated Law Enforcement communities. Our coalition consists of both serving and retired members with one common goal, to restore faith within our Institutions through honesty, integrity and justice. […]
No [RCMP] member reading this can deny that our current state of affairs many examples of which are now being daily exposed in the media, are not simply fabrications or stories that paint us in a bad light, as god only knows they could fill their entire broadcast with our failings. This is not simply due to the actions of those few whom have bought shame to our “once” good name, through absolute corruption at the most disturbing levels, but also through our managerial conduct of literally covering up their crimes and demoting them upwards.
If ever I have been told at any time in the past month that I stand alone in my (informed) opinions (little did you know) and alleged speculations, despite the fact that Coquitlam RCMP have stated point-blank that what I have written about is what the multiple criminal investigations are about, do you believe me yet?
From Depot to a members first post we are trained by our mentors and management that our fellow members are our primary concern and the reputation of the force is paramount. Through our management we quickly learn that reporting another members conduct will only earn us the reputation of being a common “Rat”, and that God forbid you report a senior member, or anyone in the Management structure. No matter what you may have witnessed.
How many corpses have to pile up in video-taped RCMP executions of First Nations men handcuffed in holding cells, or Polish men who can’t speak English, or men and women living in poverty and struggling with addiction — to say nothing of First Nations women whose disappearances are used as a punchline — before we ordinary citizens stand up for justice, challenge the Vox Populi, and risk our “reputations” by exercising our democratic rights? When will we re-arrange our priorities as citizens of this country, and stop apologizing for law enforcement officers who refuse to hold themselves accountable for sentencing someone to death before they have even been heard at a trial? Please don’t wait until it’s one of your family members.
We were taught what appears at first glance to be the truth, yet inside all of us we realize after awhile is nothing but a lie. That it’s the hobby of the press to “Make us look bad”, or that its all an “Agenda”, and the most beloved statement “A few bad apples” song and dance. Every member within every Detachment must know the same Fruits then! The only unanswered question is how do they manage to be in multiple Detachments at the same time?
Is any of this starting to hit home? Does it sound a little familiar, perhaps, to things you’ve been reading lately?
It’s time that we realize and admit that through our dealings, and attitudes towards the public we have become despised. That we have only ourselves to blame for the distrust our fellow Canadians feel. We have covered up to many secrets for far to long! We live in continuous silent fear of our Management, whilst witnessing corruption, lies, deception and harassment.
Maybe it even sounds like something Orwell said? “If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face – forever.” If you do nothing to stand up, this is our fate.
The problem is to have a future we need to reflect and deal with our past.
For those of you unfamiliar with what our past is, what efforts have you made to acknowledge it? Have you stood and sang with the Musqueam at their grave site? Had bannock at a celebration in Squamish or the Friendship Centre? Have you stopped to think about what Christy Clark was actually saying when she claimed that the millions of dollars she spent on Barkerville was to preserve the history of Canada (while her interests were being purchased by Century Group, who have tried to build on First Nations graves)? A colonial settlement is not where Canadians come from. We need to own this, and the RCMP need to publicly take ownership of their role in the residential school system. We need to acknowledge, every day, what it actually cost for us to be sitting here today.
To accomplish this task we need to re-think our methodology, on a daily basis we are instructed that the media is our enemy, consider why this approach is pushed so hard, it’s very simple, knowledge is power. Mix a just a touch of information, a dash of carefully placed spin, a managerial approval, and a smiling PR Member and we have a contained situation. Next cue the story of yet another Member saving a dog from a fast flowing river. You can bet your life we have one extremely traumatized K-9 on the force by now, wondering why his handler continues to heave him into the water. One things for certain I’m sure he has an axe to grind with health services.
We all have a responsibility to critically engage media. This task isn’t simply about questioning things that don’t sit right, or questioning where information came from (such as the two sets of photos leaked to the national news, featuring two different men — both suspected criminals — but described as both depicting just one: Cpl. Jim Brown*). We also need to question our confirmation biases and our cherry-picking. We need to question where our loyalties really are when a spotlight is cast on something potentially heinous. We need to question what our motivations are, and whether we are prepared to be proven wrong.
* Update: After a very thorough investigation of defamatory libel, which included the very page of the Re-Sergeance Alliance blog I am pulling these quotes from, Cpl. Jim Brown has been ruled out as a suspect in all the resulting criminal investigations (although there are still unresolved matters of professional misconduct).
Every member took an oath to protect the Citizens of our country, how can any of us claim to hold to that oath when we remain silent regarding corruption, perjury, rape, harassment and so much more. All of us know of at least one situation, and we are allowing those members to actively remain on the Force, and walk freely among those we took an oath to protect. If any member reading this doesn’t see a problem here, I seriously suggest you turn your tin in and re-think your career choice. Those of you involved with such behavior, warning your time has finally expired. […] For those of you whom think remaining silent is an option, may I remind you that remaining silent makes you complicit to the crime committed.
It’s time the rest of us start thinking about our responsibilities to each other, too. We belong to the earth, and where we once lived as its children, we have systematically indoctrinated each other out of touch with our tribal roots. It’s not too late to adjust the settings on your oath to this planet, and to look in your own back yard before you try to traverse the globe and save the rest of the world from itself.
It’s now time for us to create change, no more excuses, no more secrets.
While the RCMP are pushing their rotten fruits into the light of day, the rest of us have the same responsibility — every day — to those who are relatively under-privileged. Stop avoiding eye contact with the man sitting on the sidewalk. Ask him for his name and say hello to him like a decent human being. Don’t keep making up a list of privileged excuses to prevent yourself from taking a stand against injustice in a public space. Do something about it. If you understand what privilege means, and you comprehend the meaning of the word injustice, then you have a responsibility to take action.
[A]nd apparently our old secret kilted creep known for his special brand of “Art” has become our new mascot! Even though we all know his “interests” dating back to his days with North Vancouver don’t require a simple COC Enquiry, but instead should have him attending parole hearings by now. Yeah sure we all had a laugh when Brown was finally outed after years of corruption, however one wonders once again how many times did our K-9 Colleague go for a swim that day? If anyone followed the Brown fiasco then you already know the sheer number of credible witnesses and intimidated victims that are coming forward to many Detachments and City Police. The Public and Media are just waiting for our leadership to make their decision, and we can’t believe for a second any longer that it will be the right outcome, ending in Criminal Charges. We think its important to remember the determination and bravery of those “unknown” officers for stepping forward in regards to Brown. As when leadership failed, they made the choice!
[…]would you wish Brown attending your wife or child’s 911 call? So once again I suppose our K-9 Colleague will go for a swim, however on the upside I understand we now have the support of the S&M population!
As I’ve been writing about this since a week and a half after Brown was outed on the news, despite pressure from people I once considered my friends to just stop typing, this information in particular hits home. And with enormous momentum (Update: turns out the above quoted passage was all defamatory, libelous, and false; leading to the intiation of a civil claim against the author of this particular passage, as well as two unnamed accomplices, and a high profile lawyer, as the criminal investigations that opened up when this information was sent to RCMP and news media outlets came to a close). When the series of investigations didn’t close immediately, so few people took a hint of what that means. Instead, obeying a reflexive impulse towards confirmation bias, by speculating about how exactly Dr. Webster concluded how unsafe Brown is (and how would any of you know that?), and claiming that he has a stake in the smearing because he wants to take charge of the RCMP. Well, what do you know, but that argument is suddenly starting to look awfully stupid lately.
One only needs to see our leaderships position to constructive criticism by the way they dealt with Webster recently, talk about self-harming, there’s not one of us that after doing some soul searching doesn’t know that what he had to say is valid, honest and highly accurate. However its always preferable to shoot the messenger, while simultaneously shooting the Force in the foot. It wouldn’t surprise any of us that even if by divine intervention Leadership admitted a mistake and approached Webster that he would politely decline and allow our organization to continue down the path to its own demise.
Isn’t that always the way of unpopular opinion? Fire it out of a cannon, or fire a cannonball through it, but don’t ever take it as valid, honest, or accurate, for fear of what that might reveal to you about your own privileges. Your life might actually have to change if you did that kind of introspective work. But your time is running out. We only get one shot at life, so there’s no point in continuing to fuck it up when your mistakes are brought to your attention, is there?
Join with us, stand up and remember who you are, as day by day we are growing stronger!
Indeed, this is exactly what the First Nations have been telling every Settler who stops to listen, even with half an ear, since colonization. If you won’t take it from them, take it from the people you fear, and demand that you receive the respect you are entitled to when you need to call 9-1-1. Because people shouldn’t fear their authorities — we live in a democracy, not a tyranny.