Montreal Police Officers Still Continue To Kill — With Impunity

Montreal Police Officers Still Continue To Kill — With Impunity

By N Oji Mzilikazi

24 November 2014

On November 11, 1987, Constable Allan Gosset shot and killed 19-year-old Anthony Griffin in the parking lot of Station 15 police station— upon his fleeing the police cruiser. The Black teen was unarmed.

As informed by the Augustus v. Gosset court transcript, Griffin was ordered to stop by Constable Gosset, and threatened with being shot. “Anthony immediately stopped and turned to face the respondent Gosset, shifting his weight from foot to foot; he did not stand perfectly still…At that instant, a gunshot hit Anthony in the head.”

Gosset blamed his killing of Griffin on the accidental firing of his gun. Expert testimony proved otherwise. As reported in the April 24, 1988, Toronto Star,  The hammer of Gosset’s .38-calibre Smith and Wesson Police Special was tested — cocked “1,115 times to see if it might slip back into place by itself. The gun stayed cocked every time.”

Although Quebec Superior Court Justice Derek Guthrie stated, “such a use of force [by Gosset] was neither necessary nor justified in the circumstance,”Gosset was acquitted of manslaughter in the death of Anthony Griffin, and found not guilty of racial discrimination.

Fast forward to February 13, 2014: A Sûreté du Québec (SQ) police officer in an unmarked black Camry and travelling at 122 km/h in a 50 km/h zone, crashed into the Kia sedan of Mike Belance who was taking his 10-year-old (step) daughter and 5-year-old son to school. “The police car did not have any lights flashing or siren blasting, and was not responding to an emergency.

The impact drove Mr. Belance’s vehicle several metres off the road. Four days later, five-year-old Nicolas Thorne-Belance died from his injuries.

Although Quebec Criminal Code states it’s an offence for one to operate a motor vehicle in a manner that is dangerous to the public, and should the infraction cause the death of any other person, the offender is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment, Quebec’s Director of Criminal and Penal Prosecutions (DCPC) released a statement saying that based upon “all the facts — all the evidence,” it would not press charges against the officer involved in the fatal car crash.

To add insult to injury, and as if damn-ass is printed on John Public’s forehead, DCPC spokesman René Verret stated, The Crown prosecutors knew the officers had important work to do, and for them it was necessary to go at a certain speed.”

What important work?The officers weren’t tailing a serial killer, or someone suspected of murder, or an armed and violent offender. They were tailing a non-violent person; an individual suspected of corruption, breach of trust and illegal political party financing.” What’s more, three other unmarked police vehicles were tailing the suspect as well.

Given the modus operandi of the police, if the driver in question had lost sight of the suspect’s vehicle, the others most certainly would have him in sight. Plus the officers involved in the operation knew the suspect’s name, address, the vehicle he was driving, and have access to surveillance cameras that allow them to pick up his trail. There was simply no reason for the officer to speed; drive more than twice the speed limit to keep the suspect in sight.

The officer responsible for the death of Nicolas Thorne-Belance ought to have been charged with at least criminal negligence causing death.

Montreal Police Constable Marc St-Germain was sentenced to two years in prison for the 1994 crash of an unmarked SQ cruise that killed four fellow officers.

St-Germain, a breathalyser-test instructor and his buddies were out celebrating the end of a 10-day breathalyser-machine course. St-Germain was reported to have had three beers and five glasses of wine.

The jury found St-Germain negligent, but not drunk. (Can you imagine the shame and disrepute it would bring to the police force if its breathalyser-test instructor was deemed drunk?) As light as the sentence handed down to St-Germain was, at least justice appeared to be served.

Justice cries out for Nicolas Thorne-Belance, but the DCPC chose to be deliberately blind.

Since the Crown refused to prosecute the officer, the Crown has made it clear that Black life is of no value. Nicolas Thorne-Belance life and the possibility of what he might have achieved or could’ve been do not matter. Like with the killing of Anthony Griffin at the hands of a police officer, Black lives do not matter.

Despite police propaganda of violent felons lying in wait to take a policeman’s life, a law enforcement officer has a higher chance of losing his/her life to a traffic related incident than to firearms — and that applies equally to Canada and America.

If you don’t believe me, feel free to peruse the American National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund website and the Canadian Police & Peace Officers Memorial Ribbon Society website.

Since traffic-related incidents kill more police officers, speeding is extremely dangerous for police officers (as well as the citizenry). Verret’s justification of the officer breaking the speed limit via “certain speed” is necessary (to pursue a non-dangerous suspect) is disingenuous to say the least.

The deaths of 19-year-old Anthony Griffin and 5-year-old Nicolas Thorne-Belance beg the question, “What does it takes to convict a white police officer that kills an unarmed Black person or an innocent Black child?

Sadly, there was no mobilisation from Montreal’s English speaking Black and West Indian community over this travesty of justice. Not a peep of activism from its well-known community leaders and community activists. Not a show of solidarity and support to the family of Nicolas Thorne-Belance… Maybe they are waiting for City Councillor Martin Rotrand and CDN-NDG Borough Mayor Russell Copeman to lead the charge.

Nicolas Thorne-Belance life matters. Black lives matter. The police should not be allowed to kill the innocent and those who were not guilty of wrong-doing at the time of their death — with impunity.

Branding, Pimping Bob Marley As Ganja Overlord

Branding, Pimping Bob Marley As Ganja Overlord

By N Oji Mzilikazi

November 23, 2014

Though Bob Marley has been the de-facto face of marijuana since 1973, when the album jacket of Bob Marley and The Wailers – Catch A fire, was of him smoking a phat spliff, Robert Nesta Marley must be turning in his grave to know that after a rich and lasting legacy of redemption songs, his heirs have teamed up with a U.S. private equity firm to create and market Marley Natural, a marijuana brand — that cannot but diminish his brilliance.

For all the joys, highs, munchies, and medicinal benefits linked to marijuana, today’s cannabis is far different from those smoked twenty years ago, and far different than the weed Bob Marley used to smoke, extolled.

The long tooted “naturalness” of marijuana is a thing of the past.  Today’s cannabis is more potent — more dangerous — more damaging to the brain — and increase the likelihood of chronic users developing schizophrenia; “laughing when there ain’t no joke,  bluesing when there ain’t no blues.”

Who would’ve “thunk” after a lifetime of “fighting against ism and skism,” Bob Marley would, in death, be integrated into the vampire Babylon system.


Canada’s “Public” War On ISIS

Canada’s “Public” War On ISIS

By N Oji Mzilikazi

November 22, 2014

It is one thing for Canada to join the “Coalition of the Willing” to combat the threat of ISIS, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (also known as ISIL), and another to boast of its exploits.

Far from impressing Canadians as to the contribution and “greatness” of the Canadian military, exposing its military operations could only fuel animosity among sympathisers of ISIS and further encourage Canadian recruitment to ISIS.

Didn’t anyone in Stephen Harper’s Conservative government or the Canadian military read Al Qur’an, Sura II: 190 – 193 that scripturally bless Jihad — justifies Jihad in defence?

“Fight in the cause of God, those who fight you” — it commands, and that positions the aggrieved to be an unrelenting enemy and to pursue blowback at home. Especially, considering that an official war against ISIS has not been declared.

The Canadian military ought to just do their thing and be quiet about it — until…

Kenneth Cole Pimping Haiti

Kenneth Cole Pimping Haiti

9 November 2014

Kenneth Cole recently “opened a boutique in Haiti that the designer says will bring commercial and humanitarian benefits to the poverty-stricken Caribbean country.”

Designer stores pander to the moneyed, and exert tremendous pressure on those without to be fashionable. The last thing Haiti needs is a Kenneth Cole store.

Haitians would be better served if Kenneth Cole had opened a factory in Haiti to produce some of his goods. Haiti needs industry, not predatory business and overpriced goods— to further distress the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.