‘Canadian police: one can be shot without explanation’

© Neil Hall
The problem of policemen shooting people without being provoked has affected Canadian police over the past few years, Alessandro Bruno, Editor-North America at Proactive Investors told RT.

RT: Anonymous have threatened revenge. What are they talking about?

Alessandro Bruno: First of all, it’s unclear what the motivation is. The shooting occurred in Northern British Columbia in an area called Dawson Creek. Allegedly the person was someone protesting the construction of a new dam on the river, because British Columbia is looking to expand power sources and it is the one solution they have found, but there has been some protest. So that is the first cause.

The investigation will likely be buried as other RCMP [Royal Canadian Mounted Police] investigations have been in the past. Because this is not the first time that the RCMP is involved in such a shooting...

The RCMP is almost like the FBI in the US. It covers issues of national concern. Then each province has its own provincial police, and in cities have their own city police. So, it’s one of the three layers of the Canadian police system.

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As far as retaliation [yesterday], we had the incident in Canada – a website was attacked - called Ashley Madison. It is a strange business that organizes affairs for adults. It has apparently 37 million users throughout North America. Anonymous has threatened to release the names of all the users. It is a strange retaliation. The only connection to Canada is that the website is based; I believe the ownership is in Canada.

Perhaps you can imagine these people are computer hackers, and they probably looked for websites that they could hack easily. And the shooting happened last Thursday, and the website was cracked [the day before yesterday], so it gave them a few days.

Also yesterday the RCMP website was also down. The RCMP denied that it was hacked, but most people believe that there is some connection to that. Apparently, the website is working now. It was down for a few hours. That may be part of the campaign.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) © Ben Nelms

RT: Why did the policeman decide to pull the trigger without being provoked?

AB: That is a big problem. This comes down to the issue, and many people are concerned, because it wasn’t so common in Canada not that long ago...  where the police shot first and asked questions later. But this has been a problem that has affected police throughout Canada over the past few years. There was an incident, which I almost witnessed because I was nearby, in Toronto, about two years ago: A young man was alone in streetcar. I’m not sure what his problem was, we never found out, because the police did not give him a chance. One policeman shot him 9 times, while nobody was on the streetcar. That caused quite an outrage, and there has been a trial going on. But that was Toronto police. The RCMP can also use pepper spray and tasers. It was just surprising to me why don’t they use the tasers more often because they are safer. 

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Even though, there was an incident involving a new Polish migrant who came to Vancouver, again British Columbia, and he was probably needing medication. Anyways, he got somehow lost and confused inside the terminal at the airport upon arrival, and he was tasered by RCMP officers, and he died. They probably didn’t know what he suffered from and the electric shock was fatal.

So these are just two incidents that come to mind, but there have been others. And strangely, the incidents have happened all under the current government, the current Prime Minister Stephen Harper who has been in power for 10 years. [Harper is] very conservative, even more conservative than the former Conservative party, and I might say internationally perhaps a controversial figure.

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