Wednesday, February 04, 2004

Chief Bob Speaks!!

Chief says he was cleared of misconduct allegations

Edmonton - An angry Chief Bob Wasylyshen fired back Wednesday at allegations that officers had demanded sexual favours from prostitutes, saying his name had wrongly been associated with the 20-year-old file and he was cleared.

"I was told I was wrongfully identified," Wasylyshen said. "The thing I want to emphasize is the allegations, as they pertain to me, are false. They were false in 1983 and they are false today."

Another hilarious article! The CBC has been gold today... Anyway, so Bob Wasylyshen rounded up a posse of yes-men (they did, actually and in fact, applaud him when he said that he had not raped prostitutes in the 1980s) and held a wee press conference this afternoon, during which he responded in typical Edmonton police fashion. Which is to say, he was blustery and indignant, and tried avoid taking any kind of responsibility. However, my 'favourite' bit of the speech was the following:

As well, he questioned why anyone with concerns wouldn't come to the police or the law enforcement review board.

"Why won't they bring the information forward to people who can do something about it?" he said.

That was when I got angry. You see, the straight-up answer to that question is "Because the people who can do something about it won't." Two decades ago more than 20 women went to the police (that would be "people who can do something about it") with the information that they were raped by policemen (i.e., "concerns"), and the police response was to bury the investigation. That incident, Chief Bob, and about a squintillion like it, are the reasons people despair of getting any kind of justice in this city when they have complaints against the police. They're the reasons we need independent people investigating the police, as if that wasn't blindingly obvious to anyone with even a halfway reliable moral compass. And they're why, more and more now, when Edmontonians ask "Quis custodiat ipsos custodies," the answer comes back "Nobody."

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