Opinion Column

Lapdog media need to add some bite

Leo Knight Prime Time Crime columnist 24 hours (PHOTO SUBMITTED).

By Leo Knight, Law and Order, 24 hours Vancouver

Screen grab from the YouTube video: 'Police VPD Attack May Day March Vancouver' (YOUTUBE.COM)

Screen grab from the YouTube video: 'Police VPD Attack May Day March Vancouver' (YOUTUBE.COM)

Two stories broke in the past few days that underline the failure of the media and what reporting has become in Metro Vancouver.

The first occurred after a protest in Vancouver on May Day, when a few so-called anarchists challenged police and got arrested for their efforts. One of them — a self-described “minor” who fancies himself a photographer — got arrested after refusing police direction while they were involved in another arrest. He was uncooperative and struggling against two officers trying to handcuff him. One officer kneed him twice in the back to get him to stop struggling.

As is typical in this day and age, someone recorded it on video and posted it to YouTube. It wasn’t long before the clip was picked up by some lazy local media — one with a headline saying, “Disturbing video shows VPD kneeing protester.”

“Disturbing” to who? It certainly wasn’t disturbing to me. Police trying to handcuff someone who is struggling against them use controlled strikes to gain compliance. If he didn’t want to get kneed in the back then maybe, just maybe, he should have done what he was told in the first instance and he wouldn’t have gotten arrested. Once he made that first, fundamental error, then maybe he should have complied with the instruction to put his hands behind his back. He made his decision. The police did what they had to do.

Life is all about choices. Bad choices yield bad results.

The other example came after a tragic murder in Richmond, allegedly the result of domestic violence. In the wake of that, Hilla Kerner of the Vancouver Rape Relief and Women’s Shelter knee-jerked her way into the headlines, telling The Province, “We’re demanding the police be much more proactive and diligent, to remove abusive men and make sure they have no access to (their partners). If it means stationing a police officer next to her door, that might need to be the situation where there is no other way.”

In the first instance, if police go to a domestic call and there is evidence of assault they must arrest — they have no choice. In the second place, if they cannot arrest and the victim is afraid, the police will do everything they can to keep the peace while things are collected and assist them in finding alternate accommodation. They do it all the time.

To suggest that police station an officer outside a door ad infinitum is ludicrous in the extreme. Yet, the dutiful media regurgitated this nonsense, no questions asked.

The media used to be ferocious in getting to the truth. Today, they are lapdogs.

Leo Knight is a former police officer, security expert and host of primetimecrime.com.



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