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Disproportionate Reaction To Death of Mountie

eastvan11
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Joined: Nov 21 2012

There are about 160,000 road accidents every year in Canada. According to the Transportation Board of Canada, over 2800 to 2900 people are killed every year. It happens so much it is normalized in our society, downplayed or ignored. Yet we are expected to stop our lives and remember public servants such as the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) or Vancouver Police Department (VPD) if they have the the misfortune of dieing or being injured in a vehicle accident. We feel pressured by the media to feel sad and honour them as a hero or a fallen comrade because they risked their lives, as we have seen countless times in Canada and around the world. It is in these instances that we forget about the countless people who have experienced police brutality and the numerous ones killed by the police.

On early Tuesday morning (November 11) we saw the same thing played out when Surrey RCMP Const. Adrian Oliver died when his unmarked cruiser collided with a a transport truck. On average, 49 people will die each week in vehicle related accidents. On November 19, a cyclist in nearby Nanaimo died due to a collision with a motorist. We and the media did not stop to mourn him. Only local media picked up the story. There will be no photo galley of his funeral posted on major news agencies. I am sure that just like the biker it is sad for his friends and family, but would your employer lower their flag and have a huge ceremonial send off for the fellow worker or would it make national headlines. Sure it may make some headlines but Ottawa is not going to have a huge funeral and ceremonial sendoff for the lost employee. The reality is this is when hierarchy and notoriety takes its place. If Stephen Harper died or any other members of parliament died it would be worldwide news. If any other citizen died it would just be that areas news and then life slowly continuing. It is in these instances that the government and media creates a spectacle around a cop dieing and reaffirms the public that they are hero’s and should be remembered as just that and any reality around what the cop did during their career is irrelevant because it would be disrespectful to say the truth.

At this time people also forget that police are the same people that constitutionally use excessive force daily. They are the same cops that sexually assaulted other female mounties. They are the same ones who kill in the name of their and the public's safety. They are humans until they put on a uniform and a badge. It is at this time that they are a tool of the state. Nothing more, nothing less. Just two days after the Mountie died, a Vancouver Police Officer used his taser to subdue someone hurting themselves. He was taken to the hospital and later died. A police watchdog ,which is just a bunch of retired cops, will investigate the incident. This has since vanished from major headlines. After all, its just a civilian that died.


Comments

Caissa
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Joined: Jun 14 2006

Any chance of picking a different word than "hysteria"?


6079_Smith_W
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Joined: Jun 10 2010

I'd say there is a difference.

People who just die in tragic accidents, not in the line of work, don't get bridges or hospital wings named after them either (or get to be part of the death reel at the academy awards, for that matter). That distinction doesn't only apply to cops, firefighters and soldiers. And there are plenty of memorials to plenty of people. It's just that with cops, soldiers an dfirefighters it is a bit more ritualized.

I don't see anything wrong with mourning someone; and the only potential problem I see here is that our culture puts cops up on a pedestal, and to some degree use it to reinforce the oppressive nature of the institution. But I do think death in the line of one's work is a bit of a speciial case. I don't think it's hysterical, or even over-the-top.

The only thing I think we have to remember is to not make it an excuse to buy into that oppression.

 

 


Unionist
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Joined: Dec 11 2005
Well, my main problem is paying cops and soldiers to attend funerals. In my industry, we can't even automatically get an unpaid day's leave to attend the funeral of a co-worker killed on the job or visit an injured colleague. It depends on availability of staff, workload levels, and whether or not it will require backfill overtime. I would put things on a more even footing. Give cops and soldiers time off if they can be spared, without pay. Even let them use earned vacation time or sick leave so they won't be out of pocket. No travel or hotel, of course. That'll put a swift end to the glorification of our armed heroes.

6079_Smith_W
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Joined: Jun 10 2010

@ Unionist

Yup. I agree with you there.

But I don't think we're going to win any battles condemning people's funerals, and it isn't the real issue, even if there is more of a ritual built up around them (and I'd say there is).

I think in this case the solution is to give more recognition to others who put their lives in danger, but don't get the same.


kropotkin1951
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Joined: Jun 6 2002

Police dogs get better funerals than workers killed on the job. That is sick IMO.  I'll bet all those officers in the canine units were paid by taxpayers to attend and pay tribute to their fallen "comrade."

http://www.airliners.net/aviation-forums/non_aviation/read.main/1107022/

http://www.lillenas.com/nphweb/html/ht/article.jsp?sid=10000011&id=2242


6079_Smith_W
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Joined: Jun 10 2010

Actually, if recent news stories are to be believed, those police dogs get better funerals than some soldiers.

Or maybe that doesn't quite fit into the picture we are trying to paint.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/story/2012/11/05/pol-veterans-funeral-co...

Who is getting the short end of the stick here?

 

 

 

 


kropotkin1951
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Joined: Jun 6 2002

Thats easy. Citizens.


6079_Smith_W
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Joined: Jun 10 2010

That means nothing. Stephen Harper and Ezra Levant are citizens. And it leaves out a whole bunch of people who aren't.

This is not a fight that is going to go anywhere, nor should it. The fact that it touches on issues of injustice doesn't change the fact that it is mean and petty and misguided.

We're talking about mourning the dead here. I am far more concerned about people remaining on salary after they have been found guilty of assault and harrassment.

 

 

 

 


kropotkin1951
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Joined: Jun 6 2002

"The fact that it touches on issues of injustice doesn't change the fact that it is mean and petty and misguided."

Thanks for your respectful response.

Tongue out Sealed

 

 


6079_Smith_W
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Joined: Jun 10 2010

Shall I say it again?

You're jealous of people who are grieving over dead loved ones? What do you hope to accomplish?

You can fight that fight without my support. I don't see anything honourable about this.

(edit)

Is there a way to frame this percieved omission in a more considerate way? Perhaps.

For example, I know Manitoba has a program of naming northern lakes after veterans. Might it be better to expand this to include people who have distinguished themselves in other ways? I'd say so.

It is also a way of saying that there are others worthy of honour and remembrance wthout making making political hay and unjustified slurs over a very personal tragedy.

 

 

 


kropotkin1951
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Joined: Jun 6 2002

6079_Smith_W wrote:

Shall I say it again?

You're jealous of people who are grieving over dead loved ones? What do you hope to accomplish.

Thanks again for your respectful responses. How arrogant can you be to presume that I am jealous of people grieving?  You have sunk to a new low in your personal insults.  Usually you are way more subtle.

Kiss


Catchfire
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Joined: Apr 16 2003

6079_Smith_W wrote:
Who is getting the short end of the stick here?

What a silly question. This implies that the dead get anything out of funeral rituals or practices. Obviously they don't. The people who are effected by funeral rituals are the living.

So we should very much be concerned when the government and media treat certain deaths differently than others. I would use the term "glorify" or "beatify" rather than "hysteria" but the ideological thrust is the same: be it known, citizens, certain lives are valued more than others. Perhaps you can explain, Winston, how the media stepping in to elevate a situation of private grief to a national "tragedy" (to use your word, which is excellent, since it has also historically treated certain lives with more worth and reverance than others), in any way benefits those affected by the loss? Do the family feel their pain more accutely? Will they get over it more cleanly?

No, of course. The only value this beatification of police deaths has is ideological: venerate the police state, separate officers from the quotidian legal and affective frameworks good enough for the rest of us, and elevate them to a higher ethical plane so that their propagation of state violence can continue unabated and unquestioned.

 


Caissa
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Joined: Jun 14 2006

Hysteria is a sexist word. Could the title be amended?


autoworker
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Joined: Dec 21 2008
Caissa wrote:

Hysteria is a sexist word. Could the title be amended?

See Burton's "Anatomy of Melancholy".

Serviam6
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Joined: Nov 7 2012

Unionist wrote:
Well, my main problem is paying cops and soldiers to attend funerals. In my industry, we can't even automatically get an unpaid day's leave to attend the funeral of a co-worker killed on the job or visit an injured colleague. It depends on availability of staff, workload levels, and whether or not it will require backfill overtime. I would put things on a more even footing. Give cops and soldiers time off if they can be spared, without pay. Even let them use earned vacation time or sick leave so they won't be out of pocket. No travel or hotel, of course. That'll put a swift end to the glorification of our armed heroes.

 

Wouldn't using sick leave to attend a funeral be commiting fraud?


Unionist
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Joined: Dec 11 2005

Serviam6 wrote:

Unionist wrote:
Well, my main problem is paying cops and soldiers to attend funerals. In my industry, we can't even automatically get an unpaid day's leave to attend the funeral of a co-worker killed on the job or visit an injured colleague. It depends on availability of staff, workload levels, and whether or not it will require backfill overtime. I would put things on a more even footing. Give cops and soldiers time off if they can be spared, without pay. Even let them use earned vacation time or sick leave so they won't be out of pocket. No travel or hotel, of course. That'll put a swift end to the glorification of our armed heroes.

 

Wouldn't using sick leave to attend a funeral be commiting fraud?

Not if they have a doctor's note confirming that their grief is so profound that they are not medically fit to perform the routine duties of their position.

But you're right. Vacation would be more like it. Nice trip to the nation's capital, and we probably pay for them to bring along the gf or bf and kids.

 


ryanw
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Joined: May 24 2012

the police force in BC finally has some good PR, in the death of an officer who for all appearances was hard working, dedicated and sober at the time of their death.

now that the rant is over; people are free to talk about the death of a human being

theres no shortage of guilty police officers, why ruin this occasion?

criticize the brass for using Cnst. Oliver to windowdress the forces widespread dysfunction rather than backing up the dump truck to lay 50 years of steaming corruption and abuses on his front step

reading all the articles that came out last week and the public replies to them I was struck with what the families and loved ones of a police officer would take from the initial outcry, people baying for more blue blood, mob mentality, bullying is okay now because at some time somewhere a cop did x,y and z.
we don't know what Mr Oliver would have become. maybe disallusioned and career changing in 2 years? maybe burnt out and on disability? maybe a prisoner in the system that doesn't treat whistleblowers kindly and comes to work each day filled with dread that today will be the day his partner shoots someone in the back.

or he could be a scumbag, no one knows. and that's part of what people are mourning

he had a twin brother who is also a cop, and twins have higher mortality rates than spouses do after losing their partner

we can use his brother as a future case study to see what happens to him without the support he was receiving from him(and the public at large)


 


6079_Smith_W
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Joined: Jun 10 2010

My point, catchfire. Is that this claim that this is just about cops and other military figures getting better treatment in death than the rest of us is not entirely true.

Yes I know that these rituals can tie in to glorifying the police. Yes I know that others deserve similar honour. I said so myself upthread.

That's no excuse for taking a case of some guy who happened to get killed on the job and holding him as an example to be tied to murder and assault and systemic problems with the police department. There is no evidence that he had anything to do with anything like that.

On the other hand, he might have had something to do with keeping drunks and aggressive drivers from killing themselves and others at the time he had his unfortunate accident. It's probably not in line with our analysis to consider that, though.

And I'll say it again, this is not a fight that is going to accomplish anything, and it is mean and petty.

I'll leave this approach to police reform to the Westboro Baptist Church, thank you very much.

 

 


Serviam6
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Joined: Nov 7 2012

eastvan11 wrote:

Just two days after the Mountie died, a Vancouver Police Officer used his taser to subdue someone hurting themselves. He was taken to the hospital and later died. A police watchdog ,which is just a bunch of retired cops, will investigate the incident. This has since vanished from major headlines. After all, its just a civilian that died.

Is this the story where the man stabbed himself with a knife and the police tasered him in order to sudue the man and send him to the hospital to have his injuries treated?  I'm confused, would you have the police watch the man as he bled to death and make no attempt at taking a weapon away from someone mentally ill and hurting themselves?


Catchfire
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Joined: Apr 16 2003

Serviam6, I don't think the only option for the police was to taser this poor fellow until he died of a heart attack. Should we be grateful they didn't simply shoot him to save him from self-harm? What did they do before tasers were invented in such cases?

@Winston the "petty and mean" accusations that you've repeated twice now, aside from being obviously ad hominem, are confusing. Isn't it petty to take someone who died in a car accident and glorify their sacrifice (sic)? Isn't it mean to take a random event and use it to sanctify an organization that should be a blighted, shameful mark on the conscience of every Canadian?

Unless you mean that only those who object to see this death insrtumentalized for harmful ideological purposes can be culpable of meanness and pettiness...


Serviam6
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Joined: Nov 7 2012

Catchfire wrote:

Serviam6, I don't think the only option for the police was to taser this poor fellow until he died of a heart attack. Should we be grateful they didn't simply shoot him to save him from self-harm? What did they do before tasers were invented in such cases?

 

So what ARE some other options for the police to disarm someone with a knife?

 

Also, do you know for a fact that this man died from a heart attack? Or did he die due to the injuries he caused himself? The stories I found online only comment to say the man suffered self-inflicted injuries.


6079_Smith_W
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Joined: Jun 10 2010

I mean how about we let this fellow get buried in peace, and save the fucking ideology for another day.

Mentioning that cops sometimes - not always - get big funerals is one thing. Using this guy's death as a sounding board for everything that is wrong with the police department is really low, IMO.

Maybe I am having a hard time seeing the true nature of the police as abusive killers in this case because we have had a lot of highway fatalities in our province in recent months. Once case involved a 18-year old pregnant woman who was on her first day on the job as a flag person. Her partner was working at the site with her and saw the whole thing.

So sorry. I think someone doing the job this fellow did is a good thing. I'm sorry he got killed. I don't think the most important thing in this moment is whether others deserve similar recognition, whether it is true or not.

And feeling pressured by the media to feel sad and honour them ? Poor you.

(edit)

I suppose the great irony here is that I wasn't even aware of this constable's death, and I likely would never have been, if eastvan11 hadn't brought it up here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Catchfire
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Joined: Apr 16 2003

Winston, back off the personal attacks, yes?

And for the record, I don't want anyone taken up by the state for ideological purposes. I don't want a migrant worker paraded through the streets by the Rt. Hon. Tommy Mulcair, even if it earns Canada just immigration and labour policies. So you can put that straw man to rest.

You think questioning the ritualized communal clothes rending means I am targeting this poor dead man. You're wrong. I am targeting the affective work the state is doing which upholds its investment in coersion and violence. It in no way honours this man. Confusing the two is dangeous stuff.


kropotkin1951
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Joined: Jun 6 2002

I don't feel pressured to be sad and honour them.  I find it thrilling to have gangs take over the streets in full regalia to honour their fallen comrades.  I especially like the Hell's Angels funerals for their pomp and ceremony.


6079_Smith_W
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Joined: Jun 10 2010

Notice the story didn't make the main CBC site, and even on the BC page it's close to the bottom - just a tag line with no pic.

What's at the top of the page:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/story/2012/11/21/bc-impai...

I wonder how that happened?

 


Catchfire
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Joined: Apr 16 2003

Too many traffic cops running into transport trucks? Sorry, I don't understand the reference.

ETA: in case your question is serious, the story is a week old. And the CBC, along with other outlets, covered it the whole week, up to and including the funeral. 


6079_Smith_W
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Joined: Jun 10 2010

@ Catchfire

Then you have a very different interpretation of that opening post, and some other comments than I do.

I thought these were the same cops.

(edit)

And yes. Nice joke.

 

 


6079_Smith_W
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Joined: Jun 10 2010

Catchfire wrote:

And the CBC, along with other outlets, covered it the whole week, up to and including the funeral. 

Hmm... well I guess they, and the rest of the big red serge propaganda machine weren't doing their job, because as I said, the news didn't make it here until eastvan11 mentioned it.

 

 

 


6079_Smith_W
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Joined: Jun 10 2010

Actually, I just noticed that eastvan11 is brand new.

Welcome, and sorry if I came on a little strong, but as I am sure you can see I don't consider it appropriate to confuse someone's funeral with well-deserved criticism of the cops.


MegB
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Joined: Nov 28 2001

I've changed the thread title to remove a term that has historically been used against women in order to diminish their intellectual contribution due to reproductive physiology.

I really do hate to be the language police, but the word 'hysteria' is so loaded.  It refers to a woman's reproductive and endocrine system as controlling her thoughts and ideas, as if her thoughts and ideas do not matter but are a by-product of physiology.  It's a word that should be used in an historical context only, IMO.

BTW, thank you Caissa for pointing that out.


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