August 13, 2009

Pt 1: RCMP Complaints - Nearly five years ago -- just before Christmas, 2004 -- Delores Young got some horrifying news. Her 29-year-old son, Kevin St. Arnaud, had been shot-to-death by an RCMP officer. This after he was chased across a snow-covered soccer field in Vanderhoof, British Columbia.

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Pt 2: Out of Frame - On March 26th, 2003, the Iraq war was just a few days old and USA Today splashed a stunning photograph across its front page ... U.S. Army medic Joseph Dwyer cradling a wounded Iraqi boy in his arms as he carried him to safety.

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Today's summer guest host was David Michael Lamb.

It's Thursday August 13th.

The RCMP has rejected a report that says the Mounties should not be conducting the investigations themselves when one of their officers is involved in a serious incident that results in a death.

Currently, the Mounties also plan to allow cadets at the RCMP Academy to continue marking their own exams.

This is the Current.

 

RCMP Complaints - Mothers

Nearly five years ago -- just before Christmas, 2004 -- Delores Young got some horrifying news. Her 29-year-old son, Kevin St. Arnaud had been shot-to-death by an RCMP officer. This after he was chased across a snow-covered soccer field in Vanderhoof, British Columbia.

Nearly a year later, Linda Bush found out that her 22-year-old son Ian had been shot dead inside the local RCMP detachment in Houston, British Columbia. In both cases, the RCMP investigated itself. In both cases, the RCMP found no fault with the officers involved in the shootings. And in both cases, no charges were laid.

Earlier this week, the chair of the Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP recommended that in cases involving death, sexual assault or serious injury, the RCMP should not be permitted to investigate its own officers. The Commission looked at 28 cases involving death or serious injury and found that in a quarter of them, the investigator personally knew the officer being investigated.

The RCMP hasn't ruled out the commission's recommendations. But RCMP Commissioner William Elliott says there will still be instances in which the RCMP will have to investigate its own.

For their thoughts on how the RCMP handles investigations into its own officers, we were joined by Dolores Young. She's the mother of Kevin St. Arnaud and she was in Vanderhoof, British Columbia. And Linda Bush is the mother of Ian Bush. She is suing the RCMP over her son's death and she was in Houston, British Columbia.

RCMP Complaints - Expert

The question of who polices the police and how it should be done is one that citizens and governments all over the world grapple with. And that has resulted in a wide range of different models for investigating alleged misconduct.

Merrick Bobb has examined many of those models and advised police forces in the United States on ways of improving their accountability and transparency. He is the Director of the Police Assessment Resource Center in Los Angeles, where he also serves as Special Counsel to the County of Los Angeles. He was in Los Angeles.

Out of Frame

On March 26th, 2003, the Iraq war was just a few days old and USA Today splashed a stunning photograph across its front page ... U.S. Army medic Joseph Dwyer cradling a wounded Iraqi boy in his arms as he carried him to safety.

Within 24 hours of having his picture taken, Private Dwyer was fielding calls from CNN, the New York Times, ABC News and Newsday. Everyone wanted to talk to the soldier who seemed to embody noble intentions and the war's promise in those early days.

Photojournalist Warren Zinn was embedded with the U.S. Cavalry when he captured that image. And nearly six years later, he had to revisit that iconic photo in order to trace the sad trajectory of Private Joseph Dwyer's life, after he disappeared from the camera's viewfinder.

The Current's Aaron Brindle spoke to Warren Zinn at length and produced the documentary called Out of Frame. It first aired on The Current last November.

Last Word - Song

Music

Artist: Andrea Simms-Karp
CD: Sleeper
Cut: 7, Lone Picture
Label: Custom


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