Saturday, July 30, 2005

RCMP racism?

Of all the feeble excuses for refusing to respond to a 911 call, none could be flabbier than the one offered recently by the RCMP, whose inaction likely sealed the fate of an Aboriginal woman, Brenda Moreside, in High Prairie, Alberta last February: We can’t arrest a man for trying to break into his own house. Moreside was subsequently stabbed to death, and her body wasn't discovered for nearly two weeks.

Good God.

It was well-known in the community that Moreside was involved in an abusive relationship with one Stanley Willier, who had a lengthy and violent criminal history: dozens of convictions for everything from assault with a weapon to death threats to second-degree murder. The RCMP detachment in High Prairie would have been fully aware of this. But, not once but twice, they brushed off Moreside's desperate pleas for help as he was breaking in. No one ever turned up. And she was murdered.

Nice to know the Mounties are doing an internal investigation. (The family just found out, months after the event, when a TV reporter called them.) But we know what usually happens when cops police themselves. Add to that the whole sorry history of RCMP treatment of Native people, and you can just bet how the story will end.

One more dead Aboriginal woman. And justice is blind.

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