The SQ – We’ll get to the friggin’ bottom of this

Calling out for justice, members of Montreal’s black community have asked for an independent agency to investigate the death of an N.D.G. man who died two weeks ago under police custody.

Rohan Wilson was a young black man with no history of medical problems and no criminal record. Police ruled that his death was of natural causes, but would not allow Wilson’s widow to view his body until three days after his death. Now MUC police say it could take anywhere from six months to a year for the family to receive autopsy results.

Say what? It’s not like they’re handling some prehistoric fossil or anything; have a look at the body and bury it already.

Stating she no longer has faith that the police can impartially handle the investigation, Wilson’s widow stated,

“If this is a natural death, then why is it so hard to get an explanation?… We don’t believe the police can investigate the police.”

Fortunately the Montreal Police have come up with a dandy solution to remove any indication of impropriety. Announcing they will now take themselves out of the process, the Montreal police force has now made the sensitivedecision to turn the investigation over to…

you guessed it,

The Surete Du Quebec!

Ya, I’m scratching my head too. Isn’t this like asking John Ashcroft to investigate allegations of civil rights abuse at Camp X-Ray?


William Hung and the Rebirth of Irony

On the day protesters were alleging ousted leader Jean-Bertrand Aristide was a victim of a coup d’etat in Haiti, William Hung was set to make his triumphant return to American Idol.

Hung is a singer who cannot sing, a dancer who cannot dance, an entertainer devoid of personality. Yet he has become an ironic rallying point for many Americans too tired to protest or to care.

I remember clearly for the entire week after 9/11 I thought we had finally seen the death of irony. The event would finally and forever wipe that smirk off our American faces.

Now irony is back, that smirk has become a shit-eating grin. Up is down. Black is white. Bad is good. There are WMD; there are no WMD.

Here is a nation that trusts Comedy Central’s Daily Show as a reliable source for news. Where NPR is seen as the last bastion of journalistic integrity. Please shoot me if I waddle into retirement listening to Prairie Home Companion.

I can’t see day for night. John Kerry is a democratic clone of George Bush. John Edwards isn’t any better. People put faith in Edwards because he looks presidential; and because he guided us to safety in all those dinosaur movies. Oh, sorry, that was actor, Sam Neill. Well, they do bare a resemblance. AND, Neill played the President in one of his movies – the Omen III. Wait a minute, in the Omen III the President was the devil.

Oh, I’m so confused.

Colin Powell says it is a lie that Aristide was forced into a helicopter. Powell is a man of integrity. I don’t believe a word he says. It’s not that I particularly care about the situation in Haiti, I just can trust what I see and what I’m being told.

So keep singing William Hung. If people say you’re a star, then why not, let it be so. I’m too tired to even care.


CECILIA ZHANG – Are you as confused as I am?

Can someone tell me what-the-hell is up with the Cecilia Zhang investigation in Toronto? The nine-year-old was taken from her home in North York over four months ago and I still can’t figure out whether investigators are working on the assumption that she was kidnapped or that she is dead. I understand the issue of witholding investigation information is sacrosanct in Canada, but a few hints would be helpful to an increasingly jittery public.

Last week’s Toronto Star reported the revelation that Cecilia’s picture would now be posted in taxi cabs throughout the City. Forgive me, but isn’t this move about four months too late? And what are police looking for anyway? Evidence that she is alive and walking the streets of Toronto? That she was sold into slavery? Signs she was abducted and killed?

It seems not even the investigators are sure. Crime Stoppers Detective, Jeff Zammit stated in the Star, “It was coming up on the four-month anniversary last week and we want to get the message out that Cecilia is still out there…”

Yet in the same piece Zammit goes on to say,

“We don’t want people to forget just because it’s been more than four months… Crime Stoppers solved a case last summer in which a fellow was wanted for murder 18 years ago and a tip came in.”

Huh? Is she out there or is she dead?

Apparently Cecelia’s parents have reached the limits of their frustration with the police as well. In a demonstration of do-it-yourself justice, last week the Zhangs offered a deal to any possible abductors that would bypass a police investigation in exchange for the safe return of their daughter.

Dear Toronto Police: Did you ever get the feeling your being shut out?


Hugo Bernier Trial Delayed – Again

There is word in from Quebec that the judge trying the Hugo Bernier case has decided to move the trial from Sherbrooke to Montreal. Bernier was arrested in September 2002 for the murder of Julie Boisvenu. The twenty-seven-year-old’s body was found in a ditch near Bromptonville, six days after she disappeared after leaving a nightclub in downtown Sherbrooke. Bernier was another of those repeat offenders who – surprise, surprise – was mistakenly granted early parole.

The case was originally scheduled to go to trial last fall, but was delayed until the spring of 2004. This current decision will further delay the proceedings for an additional six to eight months.

Julie Boisvenu’s father, Pierre-Hugues Boisvenu – a man a greatly admire and consider to be a close ally – is expected to call a news conference next week protesting the delay of justice and calling for greater appreciation for victims’ rights.


Don’t Kill Me!

Seems there was a big Hells Angels bust in Montreal. You’ll notice I don’t write much about the Quebec biker wars. There are two reasons for this:

  • They are done to death by other writers.
  • I enjoy my life. I don’t need my kneecaps taken out by a shotgun blast.

    (thanks to Colby Cosh for the the hitherto unfamiliar “li” tag)

  • Category:

    and i found a place it’s dark and it’s rotted

    I don’t know which is more pathetic; this story, or the fact that I still read the Gazette.

    A “public-security officer” (whatever-the-hell that is) from Mascouche, Quebec was suspended for five days without pay for locking a man in the trunk of his patrol car.

    Where’s Joe Pesci with that veal knife when you need him.

    The man – apparently drunk and stinking of urine – was wrapped in plastic and driven home in the trunk. The officer didn’t want to anger his boss by stinking up the inside of the patrol car.

    Sounds like a creative solution for me. I don’t see the problem. Oh right, the guy could have died. Forgot about that.