Thursday, January 14, 2010

 

CRYING-OUT FOR AN INQUEST

Although the long legal process has just barely begun; at some point (sooner rather than later) Ontario's Chief Coroner will be compelled to call an inquest to probe the circumstances surrounding the murder of Ottawa Constable Eric Czapnik.

The police community is generally very protective of its own. It was though clearly obvious this week when in an unrelated matter, Ottawa's Police Chief, Vern White testified that he..."has no usefulness" for an officer convicted of a crime; that his message was directed at the RCMP's botched multiple efforts to unload Officer Kevin Gregson who is now accused in Czapnik's murder.

In the wake of the Constable's massive funeral last week, the union which represents Ottawa Police Officers went on the record to demand an inquest into what was an obviously preventable incident. It is likely to be a probe the RCMP may resist fearing another black mark against the sullied reputation it has acquired beginning (perhaps) with the case of Maher Arar; the Mayerthorpe, Alberta murders; the very public turfing of Commissioner Giuliano Zaccardelli; and the death of Robert Dzikanski at Vancouver's airport just to highlight the most sensational.

If the Polish Community here and abroad was angered by Mr. Dzickanski's treatment; it was deeply saddened by Constable Czapnik's murder...and it appears the RCMP is the constant in both instances.

At a late December news conference, Ottawa Chief Vern White observed that the accused, disgraced RCMP officer Kevin Gregson, was clearly out to "to kill a cop" on December 28 by wearing two RCMP issued bullet-proof vests, and carrying several other police paraphenalia before slashing (unprovoked) Constable Czapnik's neck in the early morning hours of the 29th.

Gregson was suspended from, but still an RCMP Officer despite a criminal conviction in Saskatchewan; an order "to quit the force", and violating a court order by attempting to meet with the current Commisionner, William Elliott by going to Mr. Elliott's private residence. Can't you just fire incompetants any more? It seems to me at least that the RCMP, as any citizen would, had a certain responsibility to report Officer Gregson's irratic (and as it turned-out dangerous) behaviour to the local police department.

That's why Constable Eric Czapnik's murder demands an inquest!

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