Two days ago, I received (and missed) at least two phone calls from blocked numbers. Yesterday, I finally received a voicemail message from one of those phone calls. It was from the RCMP officer who came to my home to record my statement about this blog and my first piece of writing about my former friend, Cpl. Jim Brown. Our friendship was characterized in part by a lot of different behaviours on his end that are more than reasonably troubling. And while I’m the first to admit that I am by no means perfect (I’m really bad at math, for instance — like when some of my estimates of time passed are off by an average of about six months), I was never the one holding a badge. I never swore an oath to live by a higher standard than the people I’m supposed to protect.
This contact from the RCMP was initiated this time because a sealed warrant that is known to contain my name and personal information, was issued some time ago, and now the media has requested its contents be released to the public. Of note, I was contacted by an officer who is no longer handling the case for which I provided my statement (i.e., the Cpl. Jim Brown case), because he was transferred a month ago. He was specifically asked to contact me and ask if I had any reason to be concerned for my safety, my job security, or my reputation, in the event that my name and personal contact information is released to the media as the contents of that warrant are vetted. Having no job and living as transparently as possible, I have no reason to feel that the release of this information will put me at risk of embarrassment (or being fired from a job I don’t have). And though I was concerned for some time about my safety, the last time I spoke with RCMP, I was told that there are no indicators to suggest that I am at risk in this way. This is all beside the point that I have published a total of 17 posts on this subject already — it doesn’t take a quantum physicist to find me (although, like when I wrote my first post on this subject, I’m not exactly going looking to be “found”). However, I am an anomaly among the many people connected to this case.
I was told yesterday by that first RCMP officer, and again today — explicitly and with no room for ambiguity or uncertainty — by yet another RCMP officer, that even if a request is made that my name and personal contact information be censored, the judge can decide to release that information anyway, in full and uncensored. I have been given very little reason to believe that my name and contact information is unlikely to be vetted. I am literally expecting it, at this point. And while I have even less reason to believe that this will expose me to being publicly embarrassed or prevent me from finding gainful employment some day, I am still conscious that I am an anomaly in this regard.
I don’t have children, and I am not at risk of job loss or even a divorce (I’m not married, never have been, and don’t ever expect to be) resulting from the vetting of information about me that was contained in that sealed warrant. But I know that many other people who are connected to this case (to varying degrees) are parents, spouses, at risk of losing their jobs, and at risk of seeing their public reputations tarnished (e.g., teachers, medical professionals, other law enforcement officers, etc. — not the reputation a person holds within the kink community), or at risk of being endangered by the public vetting of their personal information (e.g., if they have escaped a stalker or an abusive lover, for instance). I know at least two people who provided statements who have gone to great lengths to ensure that no one other than law enforcement even knows their surnames. I don’t know if anyone among them is likely to see their name appear in national papers in connection to this case, but their lawyers are entitled to argue on their behalf for keeping that information censored on any vetted documents.
Which brings me to a point of frustration I experienced immediately before finally sitting down to write this entry. The hearing is scheduled to take place in two days (on September 20th) at the Surrey Provincial Court, and that is all that has been shared with the two RCMP officers who have spoken with me multiple times over the past two days. I was asked by the first for any questions I might have, so that when I am contacted again by someone who is better informed than he is, they would be able to answer those questions — but even the second one I spoke with didn’t have the answer I sought. I just wanted to know at what time and in which court room this hearing is taking place. I’m not even sure I’d be allowed to attend that hearing. And even though my situation is anomalous, the idea of my name and contact information being released still makes me feel nervous.
When I reached an administrator for the Crown Counsel, I explained where I stand in relation to this hearing and the currently sealed warrant that contains a lot of information that is about to be vetted (including mine), and I was refused any further information with regards to what exact time this hearing is taking place on that day, and in which court room. I don’t know who the warrant was issued against, either — whether it was Cpl. Jim Brown, Mr. Charles, or the man who published the Re-Sergeance Alliance blog (which addressed Jim Brown, and may have even addressed the matter of Mr. Charles’ photos being leaked along with Brown’s) and was subsequently raided by RCMP on charges of defamatory libel. The first officer who phoned me about this was clearly not even informed of that detail, either. In fact, it’s not at all clear (to either of us) why he was asked to speak with me about it even though the person who is presently handling the case already successfully contacted me. He has been unable to keep track of the proceedings of these investigations for the past month (as a result of his being transferred), and it seems no one is willing to explain exactly why they are asking him to get involved in it again.
I can’t help but feel reminded at this point of how shuffling the responsibility around between two different police agencies, for the missing and murdered women, resulted in the same fragmented communication that ultimately helped Pickton keep killing. Will the RCMP ever learn? What consequences will there be this time?