Sunday, August 17, 2008

Beige false alarm

Juno award-winner Ahmad "Belly" Balshe had his house broken into while he was away, and his place was ransacked. But he couldn't call the cops about the break-and-enter, because it was cops doing the trashing.

The Ottawa Police, along with dogs, a tactical squad and Ontario Provincial Police, stormed Belly's place in quiet Greely, outside Ottawa--and came up with three BB guns.

"They came in and broke down my doors as if I was making weapons of mass destruction. The only thing I'm making here is music and hits," Belly said. Ironically, he went on to express relief: now, he says, his neighbours will know for sure that he's a law-abiding chap.

But at least one neighbour, Peggy Kelly, may be tough to convince. She had "complained several times" about activities in Belly's house. His blinds are "always drawn," she said. Yes, quite.

The cost to the taxpayer of this massive raid on a beige person's residence was likely substantial. The cops "could not be reached for comment."

At least Belly wasn't gunned down. In 1991, four police squads joined forces in a massive attack on another house,
occupied by reggae musicians, this time in Nepean. They found a trifling amount of marijuana, at the cost of Vincent Gardner's life. Constable John "Duh, I thought his guitar was a gun" Monette was acquitted of manslaughter in 1993.

Belly managed to escape hard-scrabble Ottawa neighbourhoods like Ledbury, moving out to the country for a peaceful life. Well, not so fast, there, Ahmad. Brown people in houses, in our neighbourhoods? Aren't we lucky we have the cops to let them know, from time to time, the price of getting too uppity.

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