Charge Dropped Against Michael Bryant Part 2

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Stockholm

I agree that the legal/justice/police system can be very inequitable. Where I differ from many people posting here is in where i think the line of inequity is drawn.

I think that the system is often unfair to people at the very bottom, especially visible minorities, people with substance abuse issues, people who are inarticulate etc...and the real distinction is really between how people like that are treated compared to everyone else.

I don't think that Bryant got better treatment because he was the former AG of Ontario. I think he got the similar treatment what any man (or especially any woman) who was lower-middle class or higher and reasonably articulate would have received in case like this. If it had been a 28 year old Chinese-Canadian women who worked as an admin. assistant driving a convertible who got involved in the same altercation and was reasonably articulate and able to explain ewhat happened - I doubt very much if she would have even been charged in the first place,

madmax

Nonsense Stock

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aaf_QImUH_s

 

 

He hit the Cyclist ONCE, Then hits a 2nd time HARDER, all against a RED LIGHT. Then tries to leave the scene. His foot is NOT on the BRAKE but applied later. WHen you Drive a Standard your foot moves from the BRAKE to the GAS while the other is ENGAGED on the CLUTCH.

 

Why is he moving forward against a RED LIGHT?

 

THe third time Bryant Moves forward, in an attempt to leave the scene of an accident.

 

ANYONE ONE BE CHARGED and CONVICTED under this scenario.

 

That is before the escalation of events.

 

I am certain that this cyclist might not be the only person who would act out after being hit not once BUT TWICE and then the driver leaves the scene.

 

I expected nothing less.

 

 

DID ANYONE EXPECT BRYANT TO BE CONVICTED?

 

Did Bryant received a breathelyzer test?

 

 

Stockholm

Its hard to claim that driving around a corner to a safe place to park and then immediately dialling 911 is "fleeing the scene" of an accident.

madmax

LOL Try watching the video !  

Your comment is absurd in the face of it.

Life, the unive...

Stockholm wrote:

Its hard to claim that driving around a corner to a safe place to park and then immediately dialling 911 is "fleeing the scene" of an accident.

This is why this is such a farce and shows how Bryant received special treatment.  If in no other way that his story was believed without any real test of its merits.  His story is not consistent with what can be seen in the video as I pointed out in the previous thread.

If you watch the video and listen to/read the eyewitness accounts from that night Bryant does try to flee the scene.  He potentially bumps Sheppard once (it is not clear in the video) or at least revs right up very close to his rear wheel.  Bryant then jumps forward again and this time whacks into Sheppard with a fair amount of force, knocking him to the ground.  This action contradicts Bryant's account and it can be seen clearly without going into who was at fault for later events.  It should have been an indication to Peck and the Crown that all was not what it seemed with Bryant's account.  Yet, because of his station in life Bryant's account, despite clear contradictory evidence, was excepted whole cloth, a special perk few of the rest of us would be given.

After this intial 'altercation' Bryant then does try to flee the scene as he does not stop.  He backs up, swerves around Sheppard and begins to move forward at some speed.  So he is leaving the scene- it is clear even if he later claims not to.  This is when Sheppard, the car and Bryant all become entangled and at this point it is unclear how or what caused this.  We do know from the video evidence that Bryant crosses the line into the oncoming lane and that several objects strike Sheppard from the video and eyewitness accounts.  It is not clear though whether Bryant or Sheppard is the author of this swerving, or whether it is the result of a tussle between the two.  One contradictory bit is the claim that Sheppard was on the passenger side, which would have put him a long way from the steering wheel.

Later after Sheppard is left dying Bryant goes a short distance away and makes his call.  Perhaps he thought better of it and finally did the right thing that night, but no matter how you slice, dice, or spin it, Bryant is seen leaving the scene of the orginal confrontation/accident.  It is hard to prove that he is fleeing the second incident that resulted directly in Sheppards death though I suspect if this was a high profile person killed, not a high profile person doing the killing, that charge would have been made to stick.

There was plenty to charge him and go to trial on if the powers that be were even remotely interested in simple justice.  That they did not says all we need to know about who our system works for, let alone the demonization of Sheppard that has occurred since.

Tommy_Paine

I don't think that Bryant got better treatment because he was the former AG of Ontario. I think he got the similar treatment what any man (or especially any woman) who was lower-middle class or higher and reasonably articulate would have received in case like this. If it had been a 28 year old Chinese-Canadian women who worked as an admin. assistant driving a convertible who got involved in the same altercation and was reasonably articulate and able to explain ewhat happened - I doubt very much if she would have even been charged in the first place,

 

Well, we dissagree fundamentally.  And that can lead-- particularly in this case where emotions run high-- to some snippy dialogue or worse.

I'd like to thank you for not going in that direction.  

 

And I will say, with genuine sincerity that I hope no personal experience ever shatters what I know to be the above illusion; and that I wished we all lived in a province where what you said is true.

Here's to that day.

Cheers, Stockholm.

 


N.R.KISSED

Unionist wrote:

No, LTJ - what I'm saying is that I believe she is exaggerating. As in, making things up.

 

 

You mean in the way that Bryant and his defence team didn't. OF course cars routinely "lurch" 30 feet and naturally one panics when a bicycle is stopped in front of you.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Well Stock I guess you have your world and I have mine.  Strange though, it seems they overlap in geography.  I think this highlights my view that class in the end overrides all else.  What Heed, Jaffer and Bryant have in common is not ethnicity it is class. They believe in and fight for the corporate system and that gives them their privilege.  If any of those three were not part of the ruling class they would not have been treated with anything approaching the same deference.  Of course if you happen to be non-white and poor then it is open season for the ruling class.

The Special Prosecutor idea was supposed to be about taking high profile cases involving politicians out of the hands of the regular prosecutors who work for the government and therefore have a potential for a conflict.  No one said it was because the prosecutors were untrustworthy it was only that their monetary relationship with the government made for an appearance of a conflict.  

On its face it is a good idea to have a Special Prosecutor so there can be not even a hint of bias or conflict.  But when the politicians are appointing the Special Prosecutors it lends itself to abuse.  In BC the government appointed a lawyer who donated to the party and Heed's campaign directly to investigate Heed, the Solicitor General.  Like the prosecutors Peck in Bryant's case had a potential conflict and certainly the perception of one.  Avoiding that very thing was the original reason for the Special Prosecutor so WTF.  

http://www.theprovince.com/news/Vancouver+Kash+Heed+reinstated+solicitor...

http://www.cbc.ca/canada/british-columbia/story/2010/05/05/bc-kahs-heed-...

http://www.cbc.ca/canada/british-columbia/story/2010/01/28/bc-wao-wei-wu...

http://forums.ratedesi.com/showthread.php?t=288809

Tommy_Paine

 

 

Appearance of Conflict is conflict of interest light, and corruption light.  Like smoking light cigarettes will only give you cancer light.

 

Fidel

N.R.KISSED wrote:

Unionist wrote:
No, LTJ - what I'm saying is that I believe she is exaggerating. As in, making things up.

You mean in the way that Bryant and his defence team didn't. OF course cars routinely "lurch" 30 feet and naturally one panics when a bicycle is stopped in front of you.

Anxiety? Anthropophobia? Cyclophobia? Is there a fear of lowly working class people?

Unionist

N.R.KISSED wrote:

Unionist wrote:

No, LTJ - what I'm saying is that I believe she is exaggerating. As in, making things up.

 

 

You mean in the way that Bryant and his defence team didn't. OF course cars routinely "lurch" 30 feet and naturally one panics when a bicycle is stopped in front of you.

I don't recall ever suggesting I believed anything, let alone everything, in Peck's report. What I do recall saying, from (literally) day one, is that I'm not a big fan of mob justice. Anyone prepared to convict based on who someone is, rather than what they did, is very dangerous and regressive in my view. I've seen the results.

I also said, from the day the video came out, that I can't figure anything out from it. I'm still there. I'm glad that others have such a clear view and conclusion. I can't even begin to understand where that comes from.

I'm having a problem here these days. I'm listening to some fellow progressives who have convicted an individual PURELY because of who he is and who his victim was (the rest - drawing amateur armchair conclusions from blurry videos - is window-dressing); who are suggesting that the burning of a bank may not be such a horrendously regressive and reactionary stunt; and who think it's important to rally everyone to defend the "right" of a handful of people in another society to cover their faces and show them only to women (but don't seem to understand or care about the rights of the Québec nation to determine its own affairs). In some cases, these are the same fellow progressives who talk about how badly women are treated in Afghanistan - in other words, they are consistent in wanting to bestow their superior values everywhere.

There's a deep divide here, and I think it requires discussion as to how it arises and how it can be overcome - because it must be overcome.

Fidel

Unionist wrote:
In some cases, these are the same fellow progressives who talk about how badly women are treated in Afghanistan - in other words, they are consistent in wanting to bestow their superior values everywhere.

In that particular case, I believe it has been your opinion all along that Afghanistan's civil war had nothing to do with Afghan women and their struggle for basic rights, and that the evil Soviets were to blame for everything from 1978 to 1992 with something of a blank spot on the CIA's record between 1992 and rise of the US-friendly Taliban government in Kabul from 1996 to 2001.

I never wanted for Bryant to be lined up against a cement wall at dawn without blindfold or cigarette. A punishing slap on the wrist might have satiated an angry mob though more than letting him off Scot-free.

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

 

Unionist wrote:

I'm having a problem here these days. I'm listening to some fellow progressives who have convicted an individual PURELY because of who he is and who his victim was (the rest - drawing amateur armchair conclusions from blurry videos - is window-dressing); who are suggesting that the burning of a bank may not be such a horrendously regressive and reactionary stunt; and who think it's important to rally everyone to defend the "right" of a handful of people in another society to cover their faces and show them only to women (but don't seem to understand or care about the rights of the Québec nation to determine its own affairs). In some cases, these are the same fellow progressives who talk about how badly women are treated in Afghanistan - in other words, they are consistent in wanting to bestow their superior values everywhere.

There's a deep divide here, and I think it requires discussion as to how it arises and how it can be overcome - because it must be overcome.

That is patently unfair. You are mixing apples and oranges and misrepresenting what is being argued. In the Bryant case, the only case under discussion in this thread, no one here has convicted him of anything. Not even a speeding ticket. And that is the issue. Not that he is convicted, but that he has been spared the worry of ever facing a possible conviction of any offense. Not even a speeding ticket despite a man being dead directly resulting from his action. Bringing to light and examining questions and reconciling conflicting evidence is exactly the role of an open court process.

But, then again, here has been a man convicted here. The dead man. A case presented without cross-examination of the evidence, access to witnesses, or discovery, left the man who is dead portrayed as drunken and imbalanced character loose as an angry cyclist on Toronto streets in an environment labelled by local media as a "War on Cars". And he nor his survivors nor anyone else will ever have the chance to rebut those characterizations and present another snapshot of both himself and what happened that night.

I have asked for and not received any example of another case not involving a high profile suspect where a street altercation turned violent and then deadly and where all charges were dropped without a need for a trial. Probably because except in the case of absolutely clear self-defense it just doesn't happen.

And that is the issue. That due process was circumvented in a way it never would be for any lesser mortal. I find it disturbing I need to explain that to progressives and especially progressives well acquainted with class, privilege and the application of law.

Stockholm

Fidel wrote:

I never wanted for Bryant to be lined up against a cement wall at dawn without blindfold or cigarette. A punishing slap on the wrist might have satiated an angry mob though more than letting him off Scot-free.

He didn't get off "scot-free". He lost his job, was publicly humiliated and I would conservatively estimate that between hiring a lawyer and private investigators and Navigator etc...this whole affairs has probably cost him several hundred thousand dollars.

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

He has his health.

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

There was NO court decision.

Fidel

Who was handling the affair, the Ministry of Health? Because that would explain everything.

Fidel

Stockholm wrote:
He lost his job, was publicly humiliated and I would conservatively estimate that between hiring a lawyer and private investigators and Navigatoretc...this whole affairs has probably cost him several hundred thousand dollars.

Excellent. Why don't we just refer to the defendant as O.J. Bryant from now on?

By Scot-free I meant that his personal freedom wasn't curtailed in any way by a decision that came down heavily in his favour. As in, they seemed to have forgotten all about the other person in the altercation who lost his courier job and will not only never earn an income ever again, he won't enoy his pension either. Consider that.

N.R.KISSED

Unionist wrote:

N.R.KISSED wrote:

Unionist wrote:

No, LTJ - what I'm saying is that I believe she is exaggerating. As in, making things up.

 

 

You mean in the way that Bryant and his defence team didn't. OF course cars routinely "lurch" 30 feet and naturally one panics when a bicycle is stopped in front of you.

I don't recall ever suggesting I believed anything, let alone everything, in Peck's report. What I do recall saying, from (literally) day one, is that I'm not a big fan of mob justice. Anyone prepared to convict based on who someone is, rather than what they did, is very dangerous and regressive in my view. I've seen the results.

I also said, from the day the video came out, that I can't figure anything out from it. I'm still there. I'm glad that others have such a clear view and conclusion. I can't even begin to understand where that comes from.

I'm having a problem here these days. I'm listening to some fellow progressives who have convicted an individual PURELY because of who he is and who his victim was (the rest - drawing amateur armchair conclusions from blurry videos - is window-dressing); who are suggesting that the burning of a bank may not be such a horrendously regressive and reactionary stunt; and who think it's important to rally everyone to defend the "right" of a handful of people in another society to cover their faces and show them only to women (but don't seem to understand or care about the rights of the Québec nation to determine its own affairs). In some cases, these are the same fellow progressives who talk about how badly women are treated in Afghanistan - in other words, they are consistent in wanting to bestow their superior values everywhere.

There's a deep divide here, and I think it requires discussion as to how it arises and how it can be overcome - because it must be overcome.

I'll stick to the Bryant case if you don't mind.

I am not a fan of mob justice either, yet that is precisely what has been unleashed by Bryant, Navigator, the press and the narrative presented by Peck's report against Darcy Sheppard and this is something that they are clearly guilty of and for this reason Sheppard should be defended.I have consistently argued that there are serious flaws in the narrative being presented by the defence, the manner in which this narrative has been constructed and the uncritical manner in which this narrative has been broadly accepted.(Not by you specifically). From the beginning of this incident that narrative was one that Darcy Sheppard was a violent and dangerous individual and Bryant was blameless in all his actions and had no other choice but to act as he did. What has alwasy been critical for me is that a counter narrative be presented and  assumptions be challenged.

What is interesting about the Peck document( as expressed in one of the links above) is the questions that are left unasked. The acceptance of the defence narrative without any attempt to construct a counter narrative. It is as compelling in what it focuses on as what it ignores or rejects. What is compelling is that the focus on character directs our attention to a focus on action. By focusing on alleged previous incidents involving Sheppard directs the readers attention to the point in which Darcy confronts Bryant which conveniently skips up to the lead up to that confrontation. And it is the lead up to that confrontation that is critical.

What is clear is that prior to Darcy latching onto the vehicle, Bryant first bumped his bike  then shot forward and knocked him over and then Bryant fled the seen of that original accident. It wouldn't really matter if Sheppard were a serial baby crusher at this point anyone who had been knocked over by a car would be justifiably angry. Yet Peck doesn't want to focus on that. The focus is so clearly on Sheppard and his later action that Bryant escapes scrutiny. The legitimacy of Bryant's actions seem to be defended on the basis of Sheppard's subsequent actions. All of this is highly problematic  because within the original incident lies the possiblity of alternate outcomes and manners in which Bryant might have behaved differently. Bryant could have stopped his vehicle at the firwt contact with Sheppard's bike he could have stopped after he knocked him over. i don't understand how Bryant could be panicked before he knocked Darcy off his bike. Yet he chose not to. What is also missing in the scrutiny of this first encounter is the plausbility of the defence, the stall and lurch defence. I acknowledge i am not an expert on automobiles but I do drive now and again and I have had a vehicle stall and then started in gear and had it lurch forward. I have also witnessed vehicles lurch forward in similar circumstnces. That said I have to confess that I do not understand how a vehicle can lurch forward 30 feet, usually if you lurch you break quickly but maybe there is something that I'm missing.

So I have never convicted Bryant of anything. I am remain unconvinced by the explaination of his actions and I remain unconvinced by the justifications for his actions.

In terms of the responsibility of the left. I think it is always our responsibility to provide counter narratives and critically challenge offical versions. I am surprised when "evidence" and forensics provided by official sources is not questioned. We know from experience that forensics and "evidence" has been used to justify miscarriages of justice.

IN term of the outcome I am not surprised, I have very little faith in the criminal justice system.

In terms of the video it has always been clear to me that the Bryants car shoots forward and knocks Darcy off of his bike. I am as surprised as you are that you don't see what appears rather clear to me from the footage. What Peck's report does acknowledge is that this did occur.

500_Apples

I wonder if I would take justice inyo my own hands were I in the family of Darcy Shepard.

He was assassinated by a privileged asshole drunk on power.Vigilante justice is the only possibility of justice. The pain for his family must be unbearable.

Tommy_Paine

 

I wonder, too, 500 Apples.   But in other cases where there have been gross miscarriages of justice where you'd think there was more than enough reason for some people to take such action, rarely does it occurr.

I have to believe that when this kind of thing happens to your son, or daughter, the trauma puts you in a different place than what those looking in from a distance are in.

 

You know, I've known young guys like Darcy Allan Sheppard.   And yeah, anger, substance abuse... and I've known them to eventually grow up, deal with the root  causes of those symptoms and become good fathers, good citizens.   Such a waste, such a murder of potential, and a society wide ability to write that potential off as having no value.

But we know-- if we did not know before-- where it is people stand.

And we have a nakedly Tory (in the classical sense) system that has sent signals to it's members that they can lie to convict the innocent with no consequence (Dr. Smith)  or drive drunk and speeding with no consequence (Jaffer)  and run a man down with no consequence (Bryant)  and the system will do, or not do, whatever it takes to protect it's own.

So yes, 500 Apples, if one of mine gets run down by a drunken Jaffer or Bryant the next time he panics.  I would imagine I would have a visit with them.  And after having a visit with them, I'd be coming to see the prosecutors who gave them the green light before.   And then maybe, if I was able to get down so far on the list, I'd be coming to see the good folks at Navigator, and the good journalists who also played a part in all this.

 

And no, I imagine I wouldn't be coming to play pinochle.  And when I got done visiting, I wouldn't run or deny anything I did, either. What would be the point.  Everything would already been taken from me.

But that's sitting here.  I tend to think it's not where my head space would be if something that terrible did happen.

I hope I never know.

 

Tommy_Paine

 

The idea that the economic loss is punishment enough for the professional class is a dubious assertion lacking evidential support in the first place, and a fairly classist philosophy in the second.

 

For those with a memory, let's turn our minds back to Conrad Black's attempted thievery of his employee's pensions.  Those unfamiliar with the case might be shocked to learn that Conrad excersized his "get out of jail free" card here in Ontario.  Whatever legal fees he may or may not have had to pay in his deffense, or political donations he had paid or did pay in that deffense (did I say donations? perhaps I meant bribes.... interchangable words)   was-- for a time at least-- more than recouped because the attempted theft surely enhanced his resume for Hollenger investors who thought that Conrad's inability to understand the difference between what money was his and what was others wouldn't cross class boundries, but instead would work to their economic advantage.

 

Similarly,  Bryant's ability to have the judicial system turn itself inside out to allow him to walk isn't going to do anything but enhance his resume.  People will want that POWER, make no mistake.  Though they might be wise, for reasons of potential liability and lower over all insurance rates, not to include a company car in the contract.

As far as the cost of his deffense, including the PR firm, we don't know if that wasn't pro bono in recognition of services past rendered.   Or to be rendered.  

And let's not forget that Bryant's primary deffense team was paid for by us, Chris Bently and Peck being on the provincial payroll.

 

Now, just to be sure, next time I am in Toronto, I will look into the faces of those panhandling on the streets to see if Micheal Bryant, Dr. Charles Smith or Rahim Jaffer is amoung them, but somehow I doubt the kind of economic loss a poor or working class person experiences in our court system is of the same scale that professional people face after being ritualistically exhonerated.

 

It's why the left used to believe in a graduated income tax, before it went along with the tory philosophy of flat taxes... sorry, we are calling them comsumption taxes now, I think... it recognized that a few hundred thousand dollars was substantially different to those with millions that it is to those with dozens.

 

 

Tommy_Paine

 

An orthodox sceptic would have difficulty on a jury convicting anyone.   Depending on one's mood and biases, there's a lot of wiggle room in that word "reasonable".

In a province where prosecutors find it "reasonable" to turn a blind eye to exculpatory evidence, or witnesses who lie in support of the Crown's case, it's telling that every T has to be crossed and every i has to be dotted for Micheal Bryant and Rahim Jaffer.   And others of a certain class, less recently.

 

Yes, some want to see the evidence in such a way that convicts Bryant just on the basis he's a Liberal, or rich or whatever.   And some reflexively want to see the evidence in such a way that the disturbing picture of how our system works just goes away and leaves them alone.

 

A while back, years ago in fact, some guy here in London was going around opening up rub n' tugs, and city council reacted by creating by laws that targeted these businesses specifically, in an underhanded-- and what proved to be illegal way.   I thought that was wrong, but a freind reminded me that this business owner was surely not fit to be the poster boy for liberty and freedom. 

So, Micheal Bryant is now our poster boy for the way our courts ought to work.  That you can't be convicted (sorry, tried)  for something unless the evidence is such that it could pass muster with the most orthodox sceptic.

 

Why did we start with Bryant?   Why didn't we start with Stephen Truscott?  Or Guy Paul Morin?  or William Mullins-Johnson?  or many, many others, and more to come?

 

But hey, if you want Micheal Bryant or Rahim Jaffer as your poster boys for good justice, knock yourself out.

Unionist

N.R.KISSED wrote:
From the beginning of this incident that narrative was one that Darcy Sheppard was a violent and dangerous individual and Bryant was blameless in all his actions and had no other choice but to act as he did.

I agree with you, and I do not accept that "official" narrative in the least. The problem is this: I have seen no conclusive evidence whatsoever (and I'm deliberately saying that in an extreme way, because I believe in the presumption of innocence) that Bryant committed any criminal act. I can't comment on provincial traffic offences.

N.R.KISSED wrote:
What is clear is that prior to Darcy latching onto the vehicle, Bryant first bumped his bike  then shot forward and knocked him over and then Bryant fled the seen of that original accident. [...]

So, two things:

1. Based on the video alone (because tragically Sheppard is gone), the Crown would have to have a reasonable prospect of proving that Bryant deliberately aimed his vehicle at and struck Sheppard.

2. There is no such offence as "leaving the scene". We clarified and discussed that [url=http://www.rabble.ca/babble/canadian-politics/bryant-charged-ii#comment-... the day after the incident[/url]. It's called "failing to stop", and here it was:

Unionist wrote:

For those who are interested, here is the Criminal Code re failing to stop at the scene of an accident:

Quote:

Failure to stop at a scene of accident

252. (1) Every person commits an offence who has the care, charge or control of a vehicle, vessel or aircraft that is involved in an accident with

(a) another person,

(b) a vehicle, vessel, or aircraft, or

(c) in the case of a vehicle, cattle in the charge of another person, and with intent to escape civil or criminal liability fails to stop the vehicle, vessel, or if possible, the aircraft, give his or her name and address and, where any person has been injured or appears to require assistance, offer assistance.

So if he stops and does what it says, he can leave.

N.R.KISSED wrote:
So I have never convicted Bryant of anything. I am remain unconvinced by the explaination of his actions and I remain unconvinced by the justifications for his actions.

I agree. But in order to lay criminal charges, you need positive evidence of action and intent.

N.R.KISSED wrote:
IN term of the outcome I am not surprised, I have very little faith in the criminal justice system.

I agree. But that doesn't condemn that individual Bryant in that particular incident. And yet, we have people here calling him a "murderer". I limit myself in such judgments to calling the U.S. and Canadian and NATO militaries and the Israeli regime and such "murderers". But people here condemn Bryant because he's rich, a Liberal, drives a fancy car... and they look for ways to find him guilty. What the hell is that? And why don't you please comment on that phenomenon?

 

Unionist

Tommy_Paine wrote:

But hey, if you want Micheal Bryant or Rahim Jaffer as your poster boys for good justice, knock yourself out.

If you want a "poster boy" for our justice system, check out Fredy Villanueva's story. Check out the coroner's inquest, where untold public funds are being spent to vilify poor Hispanic youth and justify the actions of cops - who approached a groups of kids committing a serious crime (playing dice in a park - contrary to some alleged bylaw), and ended up shooting and killing one and wounding others. The kids were unarmed and never touched the cops.

Actually, the more I think about the real crimes that take place daily in this country - against POC, FN, the poor, working people, the homeless, women, LGBT - the real indictments of our racist and classist justice system, the real indignities suffered - the more astonishment I feel at this "bike vs. car" and "rich vs. poor" allegory that some see in this sad but ultimately not very important Bryant-Sheppard tale. I guess we can't control what outrages us, so we'll all have to just go with our own instincts here.

500_Apples

Unionist, this Michael Bryant case is the flip side of Hispanic youth being shot by police. You can't have one without the other.

Life, the unive...

What a load of condescending crappola.

In my posts I never went beyond what is clearly visible in the videos and eyewitness statements reported that night.  The entire video is unclear.  However, the portion up to the striking of Sheppard by Bryant is quite clear.  Bryant says he stalled once.  Yet the video clearly shows him 'lurching' forward twice.  Already the narrative fails.  Bryant clearly strikes Sheppard from behind.  Already the fear portion of the narrative fails.  Bryant is clearly shown reversing his car, swerving around a prone Sheppard and taking off.  At this point the video becomes hazy and unclear.  You can see the hazy figure of Sheppard moving towards Bryants car - after Bryant has already begun to leave at speed.  So again the narrative presented by Peck fails utterly.  After that we only have Bryant's account and it seems to have been accepted whole cloth without any attempt to construct any other possibilities, including using eyewitness accounts given right after the incident that are in direct contradiction to Bryant's account.

Maybe it doesn't matter to you that someone who doesn't fit your criteria of the deserving dead was killed and the person responsible for it will face no responsibility at all for any of his actions, but for some of us we see the inherent social justice issues on display in this episode.

Life, the unive...

I did read your condescending drivel and you are clearly drawing a line around who is deserving and who is not in terms of your empathy and the support of progressives.  I know it hurts to have your double standards called out, but there you go.

Unionist

500_Apples, in general you're right - but in specific terms, you're wrong. This particular case proves nothing. It's a bad flip side. All it shows is that rich people have lots of money to spend on defending themselves. Wow. But what it evokes in some babblers is a feeling (nay, declarations) that the rich guy is guilty of something. That part is pure emotion, little different from the cops who figured that Fredy's brother Dany must be guilty of something because of his gang connections, etc.

I can call the Canadian Forces murderers and aggressors without having to hate and falsely condemn individual soldiers of war crimes, lacking specific evidence. Why can't I be indignant against the wealthy and powerful controlling the justic system, without having to demonize Bryant and turn Sheppard into a martyred saint, in the absence of any specific evidence?

Life, the Universe... wrote:
Maybe it doesn't matter to you that someone who doesn't fit your criteria of the deserving dead was killed...

And you hate Bryant because his name comes before "C" in the alphabet!

Now can we possibly take a small break from concocting nonsensical straw men and respond to what the other person is saying, rather than using our cheap mind-reading instruments to infer evil motives?

Tommy_Paine

 

I don't think assigning some value and some dignity to another person is creating a martyred Saint, just a futile attempt to correct the demonizing that Bryant, Navigator and certain reporters and colunists engaged in.  

 

And it's hardly demonizing to suggest that Bryant be subjected to the same legal process as anyone else.  That such a thing might be unfair might be true in some way of looking at it.  But certainly not unfair in terms of how things work.   Particularly when Bryant is one of the architects of how things work.

 

Funny, how terrified of the justice system a former attourney general is.

 

And as you know, there are no shortage of things that outrage me.  You should see the stuff I don't write.  This is just one more example that few will remember in a month.

 

But 500 Apples is right.  The mechanism here is the same mechanism that Robert Picton utilized.  He picked victims that people like Micheal Bryant, Navigator, and much of the media assign no value to.

And, the majority-- most who should know better-- trick themselves into believing that outrageous as it is, it wouldn't happen to them because the Bryants and Navigators and all the rest of this machine put some value on their lives.  

 

No, they don't.

 

So, we can pick our outrage over our particular arena of self interest, be it class analysis, equality for women, for native people, and the people currently being murdered in our name in places like Afghanistan, but it's all the same subject, and we can talk about them singularly, as they happen, without it somehow signifying a careless attitude towards the other examples.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

Unionist wrote:

I agree. But in order to lay criminal charges, you need positive evidence of action and intent.

Thanks for skipping over my comment. The police believed there were grounds for several charges, they laid them. The crown, or special prosecutor, conducted "an investigation" and determined without the benefit of any cross examination by any advocate for the deceased, to forego a court case leaving all of these questions unanswered, a young man dead and his reputation sullied. That is justice? Not in my view.

Unionist

Frustrated Mess wrote:

Thanks for skipping over my comment.

I certainly didn't mean to. I was away from the computer, and when I returned, I saw N.R.KISSED's reply to me, so I replied to him. Never scrolled back to see the others.

Quote:
The police believed there were grounds for several charges, they laid them. The crown, or special prosecutor, conducted "an investigation" and determined without the benefit of any cross examination by any advocate for the deceased, to forego a court case leaving all of these questions unanswered, a young man dead and his reputation sullied. That is justice? Not in my view.

I've read your previous post now. You say no one here has convicted Bryant of anything. What do you make of words like "murderer"?

As for the deceased victim, if you want an investigation to rehabilitate his reputation, call for that. But you haven't. No one has. People were calling for Bryant's hide (when the charges were laid - read the September thread), now they're saying there should have been a trial. As if criminal charges and trials have anything whatsoever to do with clearing Sheppard's reputation.

I'll stick to my version. If people need to draw conclusions, based on inadequate evidence, about individual rich powerful people in order to maintain their personal conviction of how bad capitalism is, so be it. I hate capitalism too. But that doesn't tell me whom to "side" with in some road rage confrontation. My manual isn't as specific as all that.

 

Fidel

But in this material world ruled by capitalism, Bryant is free to shop til he drops. Allan Sheppard is with the manitou, and I don't think they have gold-plated public pensions there.

Nobody: Did you kill the white man who killed you?
William Blake: I'm not dead. Am I?

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

So Unionist the bottom line is you think there is no problem with a Liberal party donator investigating a Liberal politician.  

I am pissed that our justice system has descended to this crass a level.  Even if Peck was right in his determination this system is not transparent justice it is star chamber justice.  That is my problem with this case.  

I am sure the fact that the system seems to work far better for some than others is mere serendipity.   Money mouth

N.R.KISSED

Unionist wrote:

Frustrated Mess wrote:

Thanks for skipping over my comment.

I certainly didn't mean to. I was away from the computer, and when I returned, I saw N.R.KISSED's reply to me, so I replied to him. Never scrolled back to see the others.

Quote:
The police believed there were grounds for several charges, they laid them. The crown, or special prosecutor, conducted "an investigation" and determined without the benefit of any cross examination by any advocate for the deceased, to forego a court case leaving all of these questions unanswered, a young man dead and his reputation sullied. That is justice? Not in my view.

I've read your previous post now. You say no one here has convicted Bryant of anything. What do you make of words like "murderer"?

As for the deceased victim, if you want an investigation to rehabilitate his reputation, call for that. But you haven't. No one has. People were calling for Bryant's hide (when the charges were laid - read the September thread), now they're saying there should have been a trial. As if criminal charges and trials have anything whatsoever to do with clearing Sheppard's reputation.

I'll stick to my version. If people need to draw conclusions, based on inadequate evidence, about individual rich powerful people in order to maintain their personal conviction of how bad capitalism is, so be it. I hate capitalism too. But that doesn't tell me whom to "side" with in some road rage confrontation. My manual isn't as specific as all that.

 

 

Your second paragraph is quite untrue. Many of us have from the beginning lamented the manner in which Sheppard's character was assasinated and how this was likely to influence the outcome of any proceedings. Bryant is certainly guilty in participating in this process. Not a criminal charge perhaps but ethically abhorent.

I was out with a friend for dinner the other night and she knew Darcy. She knew him as a kind and thoughtful person who as a fellow cyclist would always tell her "to be careful and ride safe."  Peck did not seem overly concerned in interviewing those who might portray Darcy in another light.

What Bryant is also guilty of and again it may not be a crime, but he is guilty of not at any point acknowledging that he might have done something differently. That would be a sign of genuine contrition but most likely would go against legal advice.

Unionist

kropotkin1951 wrote:

So Unionist the bottom line is you think there is no problem with a Liberal party donator investigating a Liberal politician. 

You're right. I think accused, crown, and jurors should be required to declare their political voting habits, in order to ensure that conflicts of interest are avoided.

Quote:
I am pissed that our justice system has descended to this crass a level.  Even if Peck was right in his determination this system is not transparent justice it is star chamber justice.  That is my problem with this case. 

No, you had decided [url=http://www.rabble.ca/babble/canadian-politics/ex-ontario-ag-bryant-held#... on September 1[/url] that Bryant should be charged with manslaughter, based on some "witness" accounts (which included witnesses saying what Bryant was "trying" to do!). That was long before you or anyone had heard of Peck's investigation. So you had a problem with this case from day one. That's the prejudicial approach which (I'll admit) I started with too, but I knocked it out of my head.

Quote:
I am sure the fact that the system seems to work far better for some than others is mere serendipity.   Money mouth

If you think I'm saying the system works for working people and the poor, I guess I haven't been all that clear in my posts. I'll just keep trying harder, my friend.

Fidel

I think Bryant could be senate material. He's got that certain edge, like he's better than most.

Nobody: That tobacco is for your voyage... William Blake.
William Blake: Nobody... I don't smoke.

Dead Man

 

Fidel

I think it's appalling that Bryant's PR entourage would choose to focus on character assassination of a dead man in order to sway public opinion against Sheppard. That is truly disgusting. Despicable. It's the ultimate in scum-baggery. It just goes to show what kind of supreme asshole deluxes in positions of authority we're dealing with here in Ontario.

 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Unionist wrote:

kropotkin1951 wrote:

So Unionist the bottom line is you think there is no problem with a Liberal party donator investigating a Liberal politician. 

You're right. I think accused, crown, and jurors should be required to declare their political voting habits, in order to ensure that conflicts of interest are avoided.

Quote:
I am pissed that our justice system has descended to this crass a level.  Even if Peck was right in his determination this system is not transparent justice it is star chamber justice.  That is my problem with this case. 

No, you had decided [url=http://www.rabble.ca/babble/canadian-politics/ex-ontario-ag-bryant-held#... on September 1[/url] that Bryant should be charged with manslaughter, based on some "witness" accounts (which included witnesses saying what Bryant was "trying" to do!). That was long before you or anyone had heard of Peck's investigation. So you had a problem with this case from day one. That's the prejudicial approach which (I'll admit) I started with too, but I knocked it out of my head.

Quote:
I am sure the fact that the system seems to work far better for some than others is mere serendipity.   Money mouth

If you think I'm saying the system works for working people and the poor, I guess I haven't been all that clear in my posts. I'll just keep trying harder, my friend.

Unionist try reading for content. If the system is meant to ensure that the politicians don't get special treatment it must preclude political activists from deciding on politicians criminal culpability.  I never said anything about people declaring who they vote for I am talking about donating to a party. Only a small percentage of Canadians donate to political parties so it is not like the untainted pool of talent is too shallow.  But instead of responding to that point you go to the absurdity requiring that special prosecutors declare their voting habits.  For your information that is called a strawman argument.

Please respond to my actual arguments not the ones you can rebut the easiest.

As for making up my mind before hand here is what I actually said.

"This is from the link above. If it is true then he needs to be charged with manslaughter at least."

The meaning of my quote is that if the facts as stated are correct then charges should follow.  Did I say I believed the witness report NO I DID NOT. You may be prejudiced but I still maintain as I have consistently that we need a better process because this leads to the administration of justice being called into disrepute by the very system designed to take political cases out of any potential conflict.

I still don't know the facts because Richard Peck an appointed liberal supporter says there isn't a case.  The police said there was a case and the current Ontario prosecutors who would normally look at this were replaced with person with a greater perception of potential bias.  If you would like to respond to my actual argument that would be wonderful.

 

So try reading my posts for content.

.  

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

Unionist wrote:

 

I've read your previous post now. You say no one here has convicted Bryant of anything. What do you make of words like "murderer"?

As for the deceased victim, if you want an investigation to rehabilitate his reputation, call for that. But you haven't. No one has. People were calling for Bryant's hide (when the charges were laid - read the September thread), now they're saying there should have been a trial. As if criminal charges and trials have anything whatsoever to do with clearing Sheppard's reputation.

I'll stick to my version. If people need to draw conclusions, based on inadequate evidence, about individual rich powerful people in order to maintain their personal conviction of how bad capitalism is, so be it. I hate capitalism too. But that doesn't tell me whom to "side" with in some road rage confrontation. My manual isn't as specific as all that.

Well, first, they're words on a message board. They carry all the weight of a fart on a windy day. Bryant faces no such accusation and never has but now, also, he faces no consequences for his actions and, probably, never has.

Calling for an inquiry is a cop out. A trial is an inquiry which would have, if reasonable grounds were established, apportioned accountability as well as provided a fair hearing for both sides. An inquiry is bullshit.

Your version is what? No trials for people who kill other people in street altercations if a conviction can't be rendered based on hearsay and media reports? That is your version for everyone or just the privileged of our society?

I'm sorry, Unionist, for the first time since I've been on babble you out-and-out wrong and I don't know for what reason you are adopting such a faulty and indefensible posture.

 

N.R.KISSED

Fidel wrote:

I think it's appalling that Bryant's PR entourage would choose to focus on character assassination of a dead man in order to sway public opinion against Sheppard. That is truly disgusting. Despicable. It's the ultimate in scum-baggery. It just goes to show what kind of supreme asshole deluxes in positions of authority we're dealing with here in Ontario.

 

It is also very telling that a former attorney general has such little faith in the justice system that he feels the need to hire a company to engage in spin.

Tommy_Paine

It is also very telling that a former attorney general has such little faith in the justice system that he feels the need to hire a company to engage in spin.

Not only that he engaged one, that it was his first move.  And like I said before, I doubt very much that the only people Navigator called were their flying monkey brigade in the media.  And those people called other people, favours remembered and exchanged, and then Peck gets a call.  And the fix is in.

 

It's all well and good that all of us are upset in one form or another on emotional and ethical grounds.   But there's a colder analysis.   The way things were fixed for Bryant, the involvement of the "special" prosecutor appointed by Chris Bently, the ability of Navigator to nakedly and easily enlist the services of media people to lie on Bryant's behalf is but an illustration of the corruption running through everything in politics.

Let's look over at the M.P.'s expense issue.   It isn't about money, it's about the influence and power that money buys.  Not that money, your money.   M.P.'s get sued, they turn around and give a blank cheque to a friend in a law firm-- or a law firm Milliken might mention to the M.P. at one of his extravagant parties that he thanks you very much for providing-- and then a favour is owed, and community opposition to this plan or that gets suprisingly bulldozed by a law firm you can't possibly match in resources.

 

A billion or more to be spent on security for the G20.  So much money, so fast, you know a good portion of it will go to Conservative friendly "private security" firms that do little or nothing for it, as long as they provide or have provided favours or support for the Conservatives.

 

So for every dollar you give to Ottawa for the things you would want, how much is siphoned off by this system?   A dime?  Twenty cents?  Fifty?

 

And then when you ask for universal day care, it's "oohh geeez, you know, that's expensive, I don't think we can do that."  Or, "hmm, times are tough, we have to close the pediatric cardiac care unit in your town because Ottawa cut transfer funds and, well you can see how none of this is the fault of this wonderfull provincial government."  And if you object strenuously enough, they'll get Navigator to call your local paper, and all of a sudden the paper is telling everyone how sad this is all so necessary, that these social programs are just sooooooooooo expensive.

 

Don't kid yourself that these people are not actively hurting you every day.  

 

But we're supposed to worry about poor Michael Bryant.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

remind remind's picture

Gr8 post Tommy.....

ftmc_denizen

I have to agree with those who have concluded something is wrong with Bryant killing a cyclist and getting off with not so much as a traffic ticket. His special treatment started with not getting a breathalyzer test and ended with having all charges dropped without a trial. If it was a regular person like you or I driving the car that night we would have been treated much differently. Without a PR firm and high powered lawyers we would have probably pleaded guilty to some lesser charge that our legal aid lawyer got after being dragged through the legal system for many months.One law for the wealthy, connected and privileged and another law for the rest of us.

Fidel

Traffic ticket? For Bryant?  After reading a certain few posts above, I was under the impression that Sheppard didn't deserve to live. Bryant was merely doing the public a favour by ramming Sheppard into a mailbox, backing over him with his sports car, then driving off and leaving him to die writhing in agony.  Sheppard had it coming as far as some of us are concerned. God bless Michael Bryant. He should be a senator some day.

Cueball Cueball's picture

People here still defending the trial by media of the victim? Sheeze.

Steve N

Fidel wrote:

Traffic ticket? For Bryant?  After reading a certain few posts above, I was under the impression that Sheppard didn't deserve to live. Bryant was merely doing the public a favour by ramming Sheppard into a mailbox, backing over him with his sports car, then driving off and leaving him to die writhing in agony.  Sheppard had it coming as far as some of us are concerned. God bless Michael Bryant. He should be a senator some day.

I'm sure you don't make a habit of reading online comments to news stories in the Toronto Sun, but you just quoted about half of them.

Cytizen H

I'm way late, but I'd like to way in here.

I understand (I think) Unionist's frustrations here. The complaints about special treatment for the privileged are certainly justified, but it goes both ways. I think that all Unionist has been trying to express is that just as we can all agree that the marginalized should never be guilty of crimes because of their social position the same is true for the privileged. (well, they're guity of all that goes along with being privileged, but not necessarily of other things).

That being said, I have had the opposite turn around from Unionist. When this thing first happened my initial reaction was that this was a meeting between two very aggressive people, at least one of whom may have been a raging a$$hole, that escalated and ended up with someone being killed. It was clearly not a cyclist vs car issue, but rather more akin to a fight outside a bar. I tried then to separate the social standing of these two individuals. There is a time and a palce for that (such as the police murder of Junior Manon last month). It didn't seem to fit here.

But, since the initial hearing the facts of this case seem to support more and more the idea that Bryant may have been the primary agressor in this situation. Not was the primary agressor... may have been. WHich means he very well may have been criminally responsible for Mr. Sheppard's death.

The miscarriage of justice here isn't that Braynt wasn't immediately convicted, but that it didn't go to trial. But now I'm just repeating stuff, so I'll shut up.

Polunatic2

What has puzzled me from Day 1 is why Bryant wouldn't have got out of the car to deal with the collision the moment it happened, no matter how minor it started it out. I don't think I've seen a single suggestion that the bike hit the car. Therefore, the car must have hit the bike. Nor have I heard any suggestion that Sheppard threatened Bryant after the first "tap".  Therefore, Bryant had a responsibility to ensure that a) the rider was ok and b) that there was no damage to the bike that he was responsible for. In fact, if I recall, Bryant himself is an avid cyclist who ought to have known better.

That said, I also agree with the contention that no one should be assumed guilty based solely on their class, race, profession or even their political affiliations. 

Is there a link to Peck's report anywhere? 

Fidel

Cytizen H wrote:
I understand (I think) Unionist's frustrations here. The complaints about special treatment for the privileged are certainly justified, but it goes both ways.

And perhaps an example or two of where it has gone the other way would be appropriate about now. Guy Paul Morin, Donald Marshall, Simon Marshall, David Milgaard, or William Mullins-Johnson. In the last case, Mullins-Johnson was the victim of old white boy incompetence, a pathologist who had been fudging forensic evidence on behalf of the crown for years.  They didn't need the likes of his testimony in the Sheppard case, because it was all caught on video tape and eye witness testimonials, which was basically ignored by an old white boys' clique known as the justice system in Ontario, and setting free into the cool breeze one of their own without so much as a slap on the wrist.

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