Our newly minted Commissioner of the RCMP is taking a page from her nominal leader, Mr Justin Trudeau, and has begun to fulfill her mandate, by apologizing to the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women inquiry saying: “On behalf of myself and my organization, I’m truly sorry for the loss of your loved ones and the pain that this has caused you and your families and your community. It is very clear to me that the RCMP could have done better and I promise to you we will do better”.
As has been commented on many times, Canada has become the land of apologists. Each additional apology minimizing the one that preceded it. The now watered down genuflecting continues to work its way through every government agency and department. The RCMP are not alone in this, they are just following the political crowd, each department elbowing out the other in the fight to be the most empathetic, and the most apologetic. It does not seem to matter why you are apologizing, but it is only important that you are apologizing. The Liberals, the Conservatives, and in particular the NDP; each podium apology provided by (pick a leader) with the witless bobbing heads nodding in unison surrounding their leader.
This specific and particular apology is based on the inquiry into Missing and Murdered Women and Indigenous Girls which has been hearing “many” stories of how the police have not taken the cases of the indigenous “seriously”. They are alleging that victims were “written off” as sex trade workers or addicts. They have alleged many times over and over again, that if they were sex workers or addicts as many of these victims were, that somehow that meant that their homicide file was not investigated.
Unlike most of the general public, if one paid attention to this inquiry and listened to the testimony presented to this inquiry for many long, long hours, this apology is based on un-tested, un-verified, sometimes outlandish but mostly unchallenged statements of friends and family of “victims.”
This is not to deny that there is a possibility that a few cases fit into this category, its just hard to find the examples, which seem to be accepted as the gospel truth by this disaster of an inquiry. It is duly regurgitated by the CBC, a CBC who clearly have lost what should be the most innate characteristic of of every able bodied “journalist”– the ability to question.
After 34 years in the policing world, a great many of them spent on major crime cases, and with a couple of hundred homicides under the belt, if anyone can show me a case that was handled differently because the victim was indigenous, please step forward; including you Commissioner Lucki.
In the future, Commissioner Lucki, please do not be so presumptuous as to apologize for something for which you clearly don’t seem to have any intimate knowledge. It is creating a dialogue of misinformation, misrepresentation, and a warping of the historical record.
Heather Bear, Vice-Chief with the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations is representative of what was being said and sold at this inquiry. In commenting on the new training to be undertaken by recruits, said that she will be watching to make sure that there is a change and that the “harassment stops”. She “backs up” her claim by saying that she still gets calls from “Indigenous women who have experience police violence”.
Is Ms. Bear referring those callers to the police for investigation? Of course not. If there is anyone would care to provide some actual details please step forward. If not, do not make such generalized statements. It is irresponsible and would not be tolerated if those statements were going in the other direction.
Where is the accountability in making such egregious statements? The 5th Estate have for the most part reneged on their role, and the police management of the RCMP quiver in fear of having to defend their own officers.
Marion Buller, the biased head of the Inquiry and the standard bearer of all things Indigenous says she thought that the apology by the Commissioner was “heartfelt and sincere”. Ms Buller doesn’t seem to realize that the RCMP, like all Federal departments, has finally mastered the art of the spin, presenting a tear or an empathetic face, some being so practised that they are the envy of Stanislavsky school for method actors. Whether it was heart felt is irrelevant of course, but Buller seems to measure the effectiveness or veracity of a witness with the crocodile tear index. What exactly she was apologizing for, as there were no specific examples given, remains a mystery.
It was noted that in a recent Veterans bulletin, Commissioner Lucki who took a little heat, met with some veterans who were rightfully upset with her “apology”. She of course moon walked to a degree from her apology, but continued to maintain that cases had been brought to her attention which were biased and not complete. The obvious follow up question would be, when and where, and what have you done to the persons who were responsible for those cases. And please, please, give us some examples.
These pronouncements are ridiculous and carry no weight if you are not willing to name the cases and expose those issues. Open them up, go after those that you feel that were unprofessional in their conduct. As Commissioner of the RCMP, should you not be cleaning house of inadequate or racist investigators? Wouldn’t that be more effective and meaningful in terms of proving your claims of wanting reconciliation?
It would be foolish to argue that oversights and sloppy police work don’t exist, and it is unlikely that sloppiness or mistakes would be specific to the world of indigenous investigations. Of course careless or lackadaisical investigations are possible. But for that to be true one must know how a homicide investigation is handled. It is not as portrayed by the infinite parade of crime dramas, beautiful people having Sherlock Holmes moments of brilliance. It is more about painstakingly followed processes.
Usually, there is not one person or even two persons who are responsible for an entire homicide investigation. IHIT in British Columbia for example, works in teams of eight.
On each and every homicide a routine is fallen into; crime scene, exhibits, witnesses, video and on it goes. One rarely recognizes the victim by their race, why would you. The same protocols are followed, the same expectations by supervisors and their bosses. The investigators are driven by fresh cases with leads, fresh cases where there is an operational moving forward, a sense of being on the hunt for the “bad” guy, girl or group. When dead ends are reached, when witnesses turn tail, when DNA can not be found, cases begin to go “cold”; they become stale, harder to generate leads, harder to command resources. That is the natural process, and the natural process does not recognize victim nationality. Long time investigators like the “game”, they get addicted to the adrenaline burn, the feeling of being “close”, the hounds pursuing the rabbit. The pursuers do not care about the nationality of the rabbit.
Therefore for an investigation to be hampered by laziness, or inadequate probing, for it to be true, one would have to assume that several investigators on the same file are all lazy or racist, or disinterested in doing the job. Possible of course but not probable.
Not all investigators are created equal, they are humans too. But to tarnish all investigations based on a slim sample is simply wrong, and to base allegations on the verbal subjective history of indigenous who clearly have an agenda and a narrative which they are pushing is also both wrong and dangerous. It could be argued that these misstatements are hurting any attempts at reconciliation by contributing to the divide.
In reading Commissioner Lucki’s resume, there is no major crime background; there is nothing that suggests that she has investigated or been part of homicide investigations. That is not her fault, she rose to the top through a different route, a more political route. But that in itself should make her pause when commenting on things of which she has no intimate knowledge. She has been clearly part of the new wave of appeasement, the political need for survival, the all consuming mantra of most police leadership at this time. A purely political move, by a purely political appointment.
The new Commissioner has not made many public pronouncements, she is being relatively subdued, maybe for good reason. This was not a good way to start.
Many are anticipating the end of the game for the RCMP which continues its seemingly daily endless struggles. Its the bottom of the 9th in many peoples eyes and Commissioner Lucki is up to bat. The officers, to continue the analogy, are hoping for someone clutch, someone batting .300, instead we got a designated hitter. The Inquiry threw the first pitch.