Sunday, October 03, 2010

Just because "cop" and "cab" are two letters apart...

There is a story just recently posted about a group of three police officers who picked up a group of nine homeless people from whyte avenue and then transported them to the north side in a van that was allegedly 20 degrees. They each have various charges laid against them, and it's a pretty stiff argument, one side declaring it was a courteous act, dropping the people off at a "friend's" house, and the prosecution alledging it was a low-brow way to remove people from whyte ave.
The fact that annoys me the most about this whole case is that there is no mention of the homeless people. No statement from them, no mention of them testifying, and no indication of their feelings on this whole matter. This only unscores how little the actual people in this case matter; they're just homeless people. We just don't want our officers breaking protocal.

Whether it was a favour, which I must confess police are not really in the habit of indulging (they are famously NOT a taxi service), or callous treatment of admittedly drunk people, in a city which used to be famous for its community involvement program, the main point stands; these officers put themselves, and the department, in a very legally vunerable position. If anything had occured (one of the drunk men injures himself/dies, they get in an accident, they need to intervene in a situation elsewhere and leave the van unattended) the force would be culpable for a plethora of reasons, and the officers would be in an even worse situation.
Although I do feel this should be a disciplinary hearing, without the testimony of the homeless people in question to give voice to the tone of the action, it should only be considered an internal matter.

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