Faye Arcand

Enough is Enough. Police Brutality Must Stop

In the international news there’s been the Black Life Matters and the recent deaths of several unarmed black men. In Canada I’ve always trusted the national force of Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) but trust is eroding as the reality is starting to seep out the cracks. The police brutality and ignorance is not only an American issue it’s also here and alive in Canada.

There is systemic racism that is very evident and it sickens me. I’m so pissed off at the RCMP/Police regarding the innocent lives needlessly lost or forever changed due to their behaviour. Something needs to change and it needs to happen now before more lives are taken. 

I want to start this discussion with one close to home and that is the incident between RCMP Constable Browning and the University of British Columbia Okanagan campus student Mona Wong. For more information click here: https://vancouversun.com/news/kelowna-woman-sues-rcmp-officer-alleging-police-brutality-during-wellness-check

The incident began in Wong’s apartment but the hallways/lobby scenes were caught on film and are indisputable. Wong’s boyfriend called 911 saying that she was in distress. RCMP were dispatched on this so called “wellness check”.

The officer, Constable Browning, attended the apartment and then at some point dragged Wong (with arms tied behind her back) through the carpeted hallways to the lobby where Browning left Wong face down, pulled her up by the hair and then placed her booted foot on Wong’s head. Other tenants were witness to the degradation. Wong was only partially clothed and it was caught on video surveillance.

It was all I needed to see. I know several students who attend UBCO and I’m also very familiar with the high incidence of anxiety and depression that plague many young people today. This makes me so angry I want to scream.

In this particular incident in Kelowna, I’m sorry but Cst Browning, you’re nothing but a bully in a uniform. How DARE you drag a young woman down a hallway like that and then offer your boot on the back of her head. 

Believe me, I know there are two sides to all stories and I’m still waiting to hear a reasonable explanation for your actions. How does one justify the actions witnessed? Pictures speak louder than words. What I see is someone called for help and you degraded them and violated their basic human rights.

I’m shaking as I write this because what you did was humiliating, brutish, and so unnecessary. How would you like it if your daughter or niece required help and some cop dragged her out in handcuffs, incoherent, and only half-dressed. 

As a woman, you disappoint me and you further disgust me for the lack of integrity and empathy you displayed while wearing a badge representing an oath you took. Cst. Browning, I am ashamed of your behaviour and do not believe you belong in the position of power allowed by the RCMP. 

I can honestly say I do not envy the police their job. I wouldn’t want it. It’s hard and thankless work but it’s also a service to your community with satisfying returns in keeping others safe. It’s something you chose.

I also know and respect many police officers and first responders who put their life on the line every time they walk out their front door. In the news lately, all we seem to see is the bad. Cameras are everywhere and you best change up your practices.

When I was a child I was told to respect and trust the police. The police are my friend. We teach our children not to be a bully. Use your words.

Well, thanks to Cst. Browning and a few other uniform wearing, gun-wielding thugs, that life-long respect from me is gone. 

Let’s too look at the situation involving First Nations Chief Allan Adams. One officer actually took a running jump to slam into Chief Adams who was defenseless. Adams was then charged with assault. The cop filed a report full of blatant and obnoxious lies. Fro more information click here: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/article-charges-dropped-against-first-nations-chief-allan-adam-after-violent/

Lies that taint the entire structure of law enforcement—don’t they get that? That officer needs to be fired. 

And then there’s the cop who ran down the inebriated Inuit man—shame on you. Shame. Shame. Shame. For more information click here:https://www.cbc.ca/radio/thecurrent/the-current-for-june-5-2020-1.5599723/video-of-rcmp-hitting-inuk-man-with-truck-shows-police-choosing-violence-over-protection-says-lawyer-1.5599847

Where is your compassion? Where is your humanity? I want to take you to stand before your grandfather and have you explain your penchant for beating up defenseless people. I shake my head. I weep.  

These so-called “wellness checks” are being done to assist someone who may be in mental distress. Those responding aren’t trained and don’t know how to deal with such situations and therefore resort quickly to violence and shots fired. 

Wth is going on? If there are four officers and someone is holding a knife—why does someone end up dead? It makes me sick. For more information click here: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/police-wellness-checks-deaths-indigenous-black-1.5622320

I do not want to see any of these officers simply transferred to a different precinct without disciple/firing/full retraining. We saw enough of that with the priests…no more sweeping shit under the rug. 

My message to Brenda Luki the Commissioner of the RCMP: You’ve stumbled through enough interviews trying to defend your officers—Enough is enough. You need to open your eyes and see the reality of the issues before you. The incidents are not ‘unfortunate’ or ‘difficult to watch’ –they’re real and need true leadership and retraining throughout the ranks. Get on it!

My message to young people. If you require help and can get yourself to the ER department then that is an option. If you can call a friend or neighbor to help you or come sit with you while you wait for 911 that’s a good thing. Ask someone to document/video the incident if in doubt. Stay safe. 

10 thoughts on “Enough is Enough. Police Brutality Must Stop”

    1. Thanks for commenting Svet. Yes, I think it’s everywhere. It is still happening and it makes me sick. The system is unfortunately broken.Makes me want to cry.

      1. I think that the system is in place to protect us, the citizens. I do believe that the majority are good people. However, there are some individuals that are on a “power trip” and take it to extreme.

      2. I agree with you. I wouldn’t want their job. Man oh man to work out on the streets like they do–no thank you. However, the job comes with a responsibility and I agree it’s not all…but there’ve been so many lately…or perhaps I’m just more aware–like the rest of the world.

  1. Interesting. As someone living in the States, I’m aware of police brutality here. However, I had no idea if was such a big problem in Canada too

    1. Hi Brendan. Thanks for reading and commenting. Yes, unfortunately the police brutality is everywhere. In Canada the police are often called to deal with issues involving mental health and they are not trained to deal with that and the situations escalate quickly. When the entire Black Lives Matter started in the US it came to Canada too. The issue isn’t as large but of course we dont’ have the population that you have in the US. it’s very sad. There is talk now of allocating a special phone line to deal with issues with mental health to send special trained social workers etc and not police. Something needs to be done–everywhere. Thanks so much for stopping by.

      1. I think a line with trained mental health professionals would be good. Police, whether good or bad, don’t have that mental health training. That being said, since police deal with mental health issues it might be good for them to be trained to be competent from a mental health standpoint.

      2. Hi Brendan. yes. I agree. Any mental health training is a good thing. Here in Canada they have something called the “Wellness Check” where a call is placed and it is identified as mental health but the police respond to these. This is a huge issue. They don’t have the training and too many times it turns out bad.
        Now that being said–there are many many good officers and I don’t like that they’re being all painted with the same brush. i couldn’t do their job…it’s tough being on the front lines. Systemic racism and other issues so ingrained that it’s scary.

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