Imagine: A Common-Sense Justice System That Frowns On Police Brutality

"Couldn't help but make me feel ashamed to live in a land
Where justice is a game"

      - Bob Dylan, "Hurricane"

Imagine, if you can, a justice system where justice is, in fact, part of the system.

Imagine a country where those in a position of power and authority can actually be held to account when they abuse it. A place where cops not only can't get away with beating on innocent people, but where those innocent people can in fact fight back in self-defense without finding themselves in prison convicted of "resisting arrest" and "assaulting a police officer".

Imagine a place where the relationship between the police, the public prosecutors and the courts is not so incestuous as to make justice almost impossible to attain whenever it comes to dealing with cases of police brutality.

Imagine a far-off, distant, almost-mystical land where cops are not given a free hand to wail on and/or taser anyone who they claim "scared them" because they, for instance, "had a stapler" in their hand, or, say, enraged them by not immediately obeying a command.

Better yet, imagine a land where, if you were to find some cop illegally beating on you, you could turn around and punch him in the face and the courts would find this to be a reasonable response.

Well, as anyone who has followed the dozens of stories of police brutality in this country over the years clearly knows, this seemingly imaginary land sure as hell ain't Canada. The Robert Dziekanski case may, of course, be the most infamous, but it's only one of dozens, if not hundreds, of cases from the past few years. And it, like so many other cases of police brutality, only came to light because there was a video to contradict the cops' truth-challenged version of events.

So, no, we're most definitely not talking about Canada here, but this fabled land does indeed exist. It's called England:

Teacher cleared of assaulting policeman at arms protest: Court rules man who punched officer in face after being hit with batons acted in self-defence

It's sure good to know that there is, in fact, a reasonable, common-sense justice system out there some place in this world - even if it is on the other side of the Atlantic - because it means there's still hope for Canada down the road.

You may say I'm a dreamer, but:

Maybe, just maybe, the courts in this country will someday give up their incessant, infantile infatuation with the police and start to take serious all forms of police brutality, assault, excessive use of force, and abuse of power.

Perhaps someday the system will no longer be such a farce, a joke, a game.

Perhaps someday regular people won't have to fear running into a thuggish cop in a bad mood. Or a macho cop dealing with ego issues. Or a disturbed cop high on the power of fear and intimidation.

Perhaps someday the good cops will have enough self-respect and courage to stand up and testify against their thuggish colleagues.

Perhaps someday, in the not too distant future, the system will put more of a priority on protecting the public than on protecting rogue cops.

Imagine a future like that.

It isn't hard to do.

Mike Cowie (Oredakedo)
Thursday, June 11th, 2009


For another recent piece on police brutality try this: Cowards and Apologists: The Police Brutality Rant


And for more on the Robert Dziekanski case try these:


The Dziekanski Killing and Cover-Up: Even Fellow Cops Now Feel Compelled To Speak Out In Disgust


And Injustice For All: Cops Face No Charges In Death of Robert Dziekanski


Kill, Duck and Cover: The RCMP Rant


For the Society, Justice & Law Homepage click here


And for a couple of other recent rants, try these:


Freedom Denied! Are We Happy Now: The Crushing of Sri Lanka's Tamils


Nothing To Fear But Truth Itself: Criminalizing Criticism of Israel


For more political rants visit the Politics Homepage


MikesAndDislikes Home


Just keep doing what you do best say it all so well..thanks again...Riki

Pre-Harry and Ron

We actually started working toward such a system in the 1970's. But then crime started to rise, the Dirty Harry and Death Wish movies came out and Reagen got elected. And, know the rest.

The people will fix it

I've been running a gun shop in Texas for 14 years, and until about 2 years ago I had never heard a customer suggest violence against an officer. I sold at least a half dozen guns to people this week alone who either had questions about defending themselves from police or quietly spoke about shooting first to protect themselves. The tasering of a 72-year old great-grandmother just down the road has everyone arming up around here.

More comments at

A number of other comments have been posted in response to this piece on the Georgia Straight's website here:


Imagine a common-sense justice system that frowns on police brutality


The RCMP: Trained in Mississippi?

The RCMP, which should have the best trained and most conscientious cops in the country, obviously does not. Maybe the stupid hats and the Sam Browne belts are a little too tight? The Dziekanski testimony from the 4 cops was chilling. They seemed like robots. No affect. And yet scared by a stapler. About as credible as Mulroney. I wonder: are they trained in Mississippi? Or is that just where they get their role models? David C.

So disturbing

Great article. It is so disturbing to see people like Ian Bush shot in the back of the head - to see people DIE and cops not getting even the smallest charge - many get promotions after committing atrocious acts! It boggles the mind. ezekiel bones