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In a society governed by the rule of law a police force is intended to represent the interests of its population. Dictators, who rule in any iteration of the spectrum that is jackboot politics, employ policing to provide an iron fist to support their particular psychosis. In either scenario, it can be a tough job to be a cop.

Twelve thousand police officers and first responders turned out to honour one of their fallen. The entire city grieved with them. As much as it was about the tragic loss of Sergeant Ryan Russell, eleven-year police veteran, it is that a virtuous man, whose images glow with charisma and charm over his young family, was senselessly lost; the world grieved.

It is wrong for a life to be taken and criminal when it is taken as a result of stupidity. There are no winners or heroes in this kind of story, and only sorrow, hurt and anger remain. Once affected by a death that is incomprehensibly unfair, we become angry about every unfair death. Soon enough, like an oozing stain, vengeance can seep in to corrupt our personal moral fabric.

The details of what happened have been cloaked. A barefooted guy jumped into a snowplow and drove away. Sergeant Russell was reportedly struck at Avenue Road and Davenport at 06:10, the driver then traveled to Bloor Street. Driving along Bloor, he pulled a series of u-turns before continuing westbound to Dundas and, then on to Keele Street, where at 07:20, he ran into a garbage truck, was shot and apprehended. A CBC cameraman joined the pursuit along with the owner of the snowplow and at least one police car.

How is it that a morbid spectacle, one that continued as long as it did, was able to escape the scrutiny of the thousands of smart-phone cameras and media mavens on a Wednesday morning in Toronto? The snowplow was equipped with a GPS and its location was being tracked from the time it was stolen from the Parliament and Dundas area. The pursuit traveled from east end to west end and continued for two hours. Yes, more questions than answers.

There is something inherently wrong when truth is suppressed. As shameless as the media corps can be, they do, or ought to, serve an invaluable role as a source of transparency on the workings of our world. Prohibiting disclosure amounts to detaching a self-serving agenda from the interests of the public and, of itself, is an affront to the rule of law.


Written by glh

January 19, 2011 at 15:32

Posted in Media, noticing, People, Politics

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