Thursday, 6 August 2009

Teaching Old Farts New Strategies.

In spite of decades of work done by feminists and women's organizations with police, it appears that there are lessons that many cops and their administrator bosses are unwilling to learn.

A women's studies professor is criticizing police for not warning women in Edmonton about a man who allegedly sexually assaulted four women within a week after luring them on a social networking site.

"It's quite possible had they alerted women that some of these assaults could have
been prevented. The police could have warned women using social networking sites or dating sites to be specifically careful of someone doing this particular thing," Lise Gotell from the University of Alberta said Tuesday. "And it's quite possible had they alerted women that some of these assaults could have been prevented."

Edmonton police first announced Tuesday afternoon that they had arrested a 22-year-old man in relation to four assaults that allegedly took place in the Millwoods area of the city. The suspect has been charged with two counts of sexual assault, two counts of sexual assault with a weapon, three counts of possession of an offensive weapon dangerous to the public, two counts of unlawful confinement and one count each of robbery and theft over $5,000.

Police allege the man contacted the women through a social networking site, developed a relationship with them over several days, lured them to a remote location, threatened and sexually assaulted them.

Note that Gotell, an award-winning prof at the University of Alberta, is first identified through her association with Women's Studies which is an interdisciplinary academic program that right-wing conservatives often attack and attempt to discredit.

In Manitoba, cold cases and historical homicides of women are to be re-investigated.

Justice Minister Dave Chomiak first told the Free Press last month that the RCMP and Winnipeg Police were dusting off the old cases. The news came shortly after 17-year-old Cherisse Houle was found dead, face down in a ditch, and Chomiak
himself wondered if a serial killer could be responsible. ...

Former Vancouver police officer turned serial-killer profiler Kim Rossmo told the Free Press that it wouldn't surprise him if a serial killer was at work in Winnipeg.
"It would be shocking to think that in a city the size of Winnipeg, that you wouldn't have one or more serial killers preying on prostitutes over a 30-year period," Rossmo said.

Do cops become so hardened by their obligation to view prostitutes as criminals, rather than human beings - a consideration always generously awarded to their clients who are offered an opportunity to bypass criminal charges by enrolling in "John School" - that when women are butchered, they shrug it off? Don't they care that these are someone's daughter, sister, mother? And is the fact that many of them are Aboriginal women lead to a somewhat desultory investigation of their murders?

If there are other versions of Willy Pickton (and his suspected accomplices at the pig farm, who have somehow escaped criminal charges) who are stalking and killing women in Manitoba, the police don't appear very committed to finding him to stop his campaign of murder and terror.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

My prediction in what we find in Manitoba is that there may be several people who have committed multiple murders.

I say this because I am genuinely horrified at the degree of hatred of aboriginals in MB. I moved here from Toronto 6 years ago, and I am still shocked at how both blatent and subtle it is, in every aspect of life here. Doubtless, this would very likely embolden the most violent and abusive to keep doing what they do. I just can't believe that there would only be one such person.

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