|Cannabis Culture Magazine|
Tips For Canadian Citizens On How To Survive An Encounter With The RCMP
by Marc Emery (02 Sept, 2007)
Marc looks into the RCMP's history
The purpose of RCMP training is to create a person proud of being part of a brutality cult. Proud of their superiority over other races, other classes, other lifestyles, RCMP see themselves and fellow officers as superior human beings who are not bound by any ordinary rules of conduct, because they are all supermen in a special brotherhood that non-believers or outsiders can never comprehend. As a result, you, the Canadian citizen, must consider the following precautions:
Always carry a video camera, or at the least, a cell phone camera with up to three minutes of recording time on it. It is the most important precaution and possibly your only defense if you yourself get charged with obstruction of justice or resisting arrest after the police beat or pepper-spray you. Think of the change it would have made in the police murder of Ian Bush. But the police video recorder at that police station was not on to record Ian Bush's death by a single police bullet from behind. It is important to remember that the main recommendation of the Ian Bush inquest was that a suspect is never to be left alone with an individual RCMP officer until that suspect is safely in a cell. The BC government says this cannot be done because it is too expensive. The failure of the BC government to in any way reprimand the policeman who murdered Ian Bush (Paul Koester) or the RCMP sends a powerful message to every police officer. The message is that an RCMP officer was able to take an unarmed individual back to the police station, shoot him in the back of the head in a small interrogation room with the required video recording device turned off, and never face criminal charges. In fact, he gets the sympathy of his fellow officers and superiors, who make public statements sympathizing with Constable Koester's "ordeal" before the media and Ian Bush's family. The police murder of Ian Bush has reinforced once again that the RCMP's description of any event is taken as fact even when all available eyewitnesses, forensic analysis, and compelling facts say otherwise. Usually it is the only first-hand version, because the other eyewitness is dead, but one can only imagine the rogue police behavior that was explained away before the era of Youtube. This inevitable pardoning of police for grotesque malfeasance creates a mindset in every police officer that they can and will get away with anything they do, and almost always with their paycheck uninterrupted -- a paid extended vacation, if you will.
Always have a pen and paper. Police testimony is given weight in court and at hearings, because, along with the judge's inevitable bias towards cops, officers usually take notes. Make simple notes that will refresh your memory, write down your simple requests and the officer's response, mark the time of any incident or conversation. If there was no response by the officer, write down there was no response. Don't argue. Would you try to have a rational discussion with Pavlov's dogs? If you are handcuffed or beaten, remain silent and concentrate on memorizing everything that happens. Keep repeating facts over and over again to yourself to keep them in your memory. As soon as your hands are free, find your notes. If you are injured go to a hospital and see a doctor. Request a copy of the medical report. Have pictures taken of your injuries as soon as possible. File an official police complaint as fast as you can once you get all your facts together. Politely request a copy of the complaint. Keep making notes. We all know complaints against the police never go anywhere. The process is deeply insulting to all citizens when police officers get away with myriad sex crimes, violence, fraud, dereliction, pepper spraying, gangsterism, extraordinary renderings, agent provocateuring, ethnic profiling, and murder -- and they always do. But that's the point, to prove this institutional corruption. You are following this procedure purely to document the truth. That is the reward, exposing the truth. Always be polite, cool headed and do an intelligent and professional job recording the truth.
Practice your civil disobedience. Civil Rights marchers in the '60s would have people act the part of racist redneck police to get them ready for what they would receive from police on their freedom marches. Have friends act like police, pushing and shoving you to the ground. Do this carefully and lightly. It makes a big difference if you are familiar with this abuse and know what it feels like beforehand. At no point do you use force or resistance against your mock police. Learn how to breathe properly if you are choked when your head is held to the ground with a knee in your neck, the move police used against cannabis activist Neil Magnusson in the Youtube video. This is the new police chokehold and it's just a matter of time before it kills someone. That's why many police departments have banned the old arm chokehold. The racist police thugs in the southern United States were a compelling part in Martin Luther King Jr.'s civil rights movement. Once people saw the TV pictures of police abusing marchers and using Pavlov's dogs (actual attack dogs in that case), the thugs lost the upper hand. The Net is bigger than TV.
If you get pepper sprayed and suffer physical damage, try to get a medical report of the damage. Take photographs of any visible damage. If you have continuing eye or vision problems, see a doctor immediately. Remember, you don't have to be doing anything wrong to be pepper-sprayed by police in Canada. You could be a 7 year old, an old man shoveling snow, a roller-blader crossing Canada to bring awareness to constitutional freedoms and cannabis, completely unthreatening, and yet you can be pepper sprayed. Just observing others being arrested and saying "This is wrong, I protest!" three times can get you a charge of 'obstruction of justice' (and hauled away in a paddy wagon) and a threat of pepper spray. Police value their authority above all else and any objection by you makes you a non-believer in their cult of brutality and superiority. The RCMP have a fetish for pepper spray and use it as a first resort, despite their own internal rules that says it should be used at the point of sub-lethal force prior to requiring the use of a firearm.
Publish it all on the net on every website you can. Over and over again. All of it, every word, every picture, every video, every injury, every report, every government lie. Write an accurate blog of your experience. Forget about lobbying police commissions, forget about the Attorney General's office, forget about complaining to politicians, forget about ombudsmen, and forget about inquests. They've all been completely intimidated by the RCMP for decades and now all are totally irrelevant. They exist to condone one RCMP brutality after another, uninterrupted for over 100 years. Decent, intelligent people don't take any of these so-called government oversight agencies seriously anymore. They are incapable of protecting Canadians from this institutionalized terror and abuse. The RCMP is Canada's occupying army, over a century of oppression. You're on your own, but you're right and true... and polite. You'll be creating and recording history and help take back the administration of justice from the savages who have beaten the people down.
Good luck, and welcome to the fight.
www.RCMPwatch.com - Check out this website for TONS of scandalous information!
The Strange World of Canadian Policing
The most efficient definition for the RCMP is from wikipedia;
What is the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP)?
As the federal police force of Canada, the RCMP is responsible for enforcing federal laws. Unlike most other federal police forces, however, it also has a major role in front-line policing throughout the country. Although the provinces of Canada are constitutionally responsible for law and order, eight of them have chosen to contract most or all of their policing responsibilities to the RCMP.
The RCMP consequently operates under the direction of the provinces in regard to provincial and municipal law enforcement. The exceptions are Ontario, Quebec, and parts of Newfoundland and Labrador, which have retained their own provincial police forces: the Ontario Provincial Police, the Surete du Quebec, and the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary, respectively. In Canada's three territories, the RCMP serves as the sole territorial police force. Additionally, most towns and cities throughout Canada, particularly the smaller ones, contract the RCMP to serve as their municipal police force.
Accordingly, the RCMP is responsible for an unusually large breadth of duties, from policing in isolated rural towns and urban areas; protection service for the Prime Minister and the Canadian government, visiting dignitaries, and diplomatic missions; enforcement of federal laws; counterterrorism and domestic security; and various international policing efforts. The RCMP Security Service was a specialized political intelligence and counterintelligence branch with national security responsibilities. The RCMP Security Service was replaced with the Canadian Security Intelligence Service in 1984 following revelations of illegal covert operations relating to the Quebec separatist movement.
--- end of wikipedia definition
A Brief History of RCMP Political Provocation, Racial Profiling, anti-Democratic Incidentsedited from various sources by Marc Emery.
In 1873, the young Canadian government formed the North-West Mounted Police service. Officers were needed to pacify the native population that were now subjugated under Canadian law, and enforce various other laws put forth by the central government in Ottawa. The Northwest Mounted police were restricted to the western province of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and British Columbia. In the east part of Canada, a federally funded police service called the Dominion Police operated in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.
During the First Great War (1914-1918), the North-West Mounted Police began extensive security intelligence operations in Alberta and Saskatchewan, dropping the red serge uniforms and going undercover to enforce the War Measure's Act. Under the Act, the Mounties investigated 1,200 persons of questionable loyalty -- and often of German, Italian, Ukrainian, French-Canadian or Russian descent -- and nearly 400 were interned in camps in Brandon, Manitoba and Lethbridge, Alberta. Possibly as many as 60,000 conscripts refused to go to Europe to fight World War 1 after the passage of the 1917 Conscription Act (the draft), largely from the ethnic enclaves of the Prairie provinces. When located, thousands were taken with force by Mounties and sent east to Nova Scotia to be put on ships to Europe chained and leg-ironed. By the end of WW1, the Mounted police controlled security in the four western provinces.
Following the war attention was increasingly drawn to civil and labor unrest. In May 1919, social pressures peaked in the Winnipeg General Strike and the Mounties were sent to suppress the general strike and restore order. By 1920, the Mounted police absorbed its eastern rival, the Dominion Police, and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police came into being. The Mounties strengthened their position in 1927, replacing Saskatchewan Provincial police forces that arose in 1917, and in 1932, when the RCMP resumed policing Alberta. A dispute with the Government of Alberta over alcohol prohibition led to the creation of a separate Alberta Provincial Police from 1917 to 1932.
The survival and entrenchment of the RCMP was not simply accomplished by what they did. Even more significant was who they were and against whom they worked. The Mounties symbolized all that was important and powerful in the Canada of that period. They were Anglo-Canadian males who belonged to an organization with strong connections to the dominant British values of the Canadian elite. Between 1914 and 1939, RCMP increasingly directed both their regular policing operations and security activities against those who somehow represented a challenge to the status quo in Canada. Non-Anglo-Canadian minorities in Alberta and Saskatchewan, including those of Ukrainian and Chinese background, received a great deal of overt and covert Mountie attention in the interwar (1919-1939) period. The Canadian establishment -- business and government -- associated central and eastern European immigrants with the disorder that erupted in Canada in the concluding months of World War One and its immediate aftermath. The War had devastated working people around the globe, over 8,500,000 mostly young men had died, 21,000,000 returned to their homes wounded or maimed, and there were worker uprisings throughout Europe and North America, blaming the awful impact of the war on imperial empires and military-industrial profiteers. Canada, in four years of war, mobilized 620,000 young men as soldiers. 67,000 died and 170,000 were wounded, many permanently. Returning soldiers were bitter and seethed resentment, finding life difficult.
Labor unrest in Canada has always been blamed on "foreigners". Laws ostracizing and restricting the rights of natives and Chinese were passed in the western provinces and enforced by the RCMP. The RCMP enforced the 1923 Residential Tenancy Act that separated all native children from their parents for the next three generations, and the 1923 Opium Act, which included cannabis along with cocaine and opium. The Opium Act was specifically aimed at deporting, arresting and segregating Chinese immigrants, while cannabis allowed targeting of blacks, Mexicans.
Beginning in the 1920s and continuing to the current day, the Mounties in Alberta and Saskatchewan increasingly focused their resources upon those outside the middle-class white protestant mainstream: left-wing radicals who challenged the status quo; ethnic groups who refused to assimilate to the Anglo-Canadian ideal (Chinese, Doukhabors, Russians, natives, French-Canadians); other minorities who practiced activities deemed immoral by the Canadian majority; workers (employed or not) who protested against economic inequality; and especially the Communist Party of Canada (CPC), which was the RCMP's special foe for 40 years (1919- 1959), because the CPC was made up mostly of immigrants from 'suspect' parts of central and eastern Europe.
In choosing these targets, the RCMP fulfilled their mandate to the Canadian state and made themselves invaluable in enforcing the rather hypocritical morality of the white, English-speaking British-born elite that dominated Canadian political and economic life. By enforcing a racial purity upon Canadians, the RCMP has had far more influence on Canada's history than any police service ought to. It is one of the most powerful and dominating police forces, and it has been unassailable by any critic despite a spectacular history of outrageous political interference. By the late 1960s, the RCMP was engaged in surveillance, mail-opening, telephone monitoring, break-ins, attempted murder, disinformation, and infiltration of feminist, student, political, French-nationalist, native, left-wing, homosexual, drug reformers, academic groups and organizations.
After the North-West Mounted Police attempt at suppressing the Winnipeg General Strike of 1919, the Mounties intervened in all major labor disputes, not as an impartial law enforcement agency, but to assist with breaking strikes. In one incident, RCMP officers clashed with striking coal miners for 45 minutes in Estevan, Saskatchewan in 1933 and killed three miners during the melee. Part of its strategy against labor organizing included extensive use of spies for surveillance of suspected Communists, which was revealed at the court trial that convicted the leadership of the Communist Party under Section 98 of the Criminal Code in 1932.
The On-to-Ottawa Trek was a 1935 social movement of unemployed men protesting the dismal conditions in federal relief camps scattered in remote areas across Western Canada. The men lived and worked in these camps at a rate of twenty cents per day before walking out on strike in April 1935. After a two-month protest in Vancouver, British Columbia, camp strikers voted to travel east to Ottawa and bring their grievances to the federal government. The initial plan was for the men to travel to Ottawa to present their grievances to Prime Minister R.B. Bennett in person. At the request of the federal government, the Trek was halted in Regina, with tragic results. July 1, 1935 was the day of the Regina Riot, one of the most infamous moments in Canadian labor history. Once the protesters reached Regina, Saskatchewan, Prime Minister Bennett invited eight leaders of the protest (including Arthur "Slim" Evans) to Ottawa to meet him on the condition the rest of the protesters stay in Regina, where a large RCMP contingent was located. The protesters who remained in Regina, meanwhile, were confined by the RCMP in a local stadium, while the Ottawa meeting turned into a shouting match, with Bennett attacking the group as radicals and accusing Trek leader Arthur "Slim" Evans of being an extortionist. Upon returning to Regina to unite with the rest of the protesters on July 1, 1935, a public meeting was called in Market Square to update the public on the progress of the movement. 1,500 to 2,000 people attended, of whom only 300 were Trekkers. Most Trekkers decided to stay at the exhibition grounds. Three large vans were parked on the sides of the square concealing RCMP riot squads. Regina police were standing by in a nearby garage. At 8 p.m. a whistle was blown and the police charged the crowd, setting off hours of hand-to-hand fighting throughout the city’s centre. The attack caught the people off guard before their anger took over. They fought back with sticks, stones, and anything at hand. RCMP officers then charged into the crowd and attacked with clubs. Driven from the Square, the battle continued in the surrounding streets for four hours. Trekkers on the speakers' platform were arrested by plainclothes RCMP. Police fired revolvers above and into groups of people. Tear gas bombs were thrown at any groups that gathered together. Plate glass windows in stores and offices were smashed, but were not looted. People covered their faces with wet handkerchiefs to counter the effects of the tear gas, and barricaded streets with cars. Finally the Trekkers who had attended the meeting made way -- individually or in small groups -- back to the exhibition stadium where the main body of Trekkers was quartered.
When it was over, 120 Trekkers and citizens had been arrested. One plainclothes policeman had been killed, and one protestor would later die in the hospital from injuries sustained in the riot. The next day, constables armed with revolvers and machine guns surrounded the city's exhibition grounds. A barbed wire stockade was erected around the area. The Trekkers in the stadium were denied any food or water. The police-instigated riot was front-page news across Canada. Prime Minister Bennett was satisfied that he had smashed what he believed was a communist revolt. The federal Minister of Justice made the false statement in the House of Commons that "shots were fired by the strikers and the fire was replied to with shots from the city police." During the long trials that followed, no evidence was ever produced to show that strikers fired shots during the riot. For his part, Bennett characterized the On-to-Ottawa Trek as "not a mere uprising against law and order but a definite revolutionary effort on the part of a group of men to usurp authority and destroy government."
The Mounties were frequently criticized for these activities by labor and the left, including one of its most prominent surveillance targets, Member of Parliament J. S. Woodsworth, the leader of the Co-Operative Commonwealth of Farmers (CCF) party. The RCMP continued this pattern of espionage on Canadian citizens routinely, but in the early 1970s the RCMP accelerated its subversion of Canadian politics.
RCMP Shenanigans in the Seventies and Beyond
More than 400 illegal RCMP break-ins were revealed by the Vancouver Sun reporter John Sawatsky on December 7, 1976 in his front-page expose headline "Trail of break-in leads to RCMP cover-up". Finally, on April 19, 1978, the Director of the RCMP criminal operations branch admitted that the RCMP had entered more than 400 premises without warrant since 1970. Among the over 400 admitted incidents were the following:
* In April 1971, a team of RCMP officers broke into the storage facilities of Richelieu Explosives, and stole an unspecified amount of dynamite. A year later, in April 1972, officers hid four cases of dynamite in Mont Saint-Gregoire, in an attempt to link the explosives with the Le Front De Liberation du Quebec (FLQ). This was later admitted by Solicitor General Francis Fox on October 31 1977.
* In 1971, the RCMP chief superintendent Donald Cobb oversaw the infiltration of FLQ cells with federal agents, and the releasing of a fraudulent "Manifesto" on behalf of the La Minerve cell, calling for increased violence.
* On the night of May 6, 1972 the RCMP Security Service burned down a barn owned by FLQ member Paul Rose's mother in Sainte-Anne-de-la-Rochelle, Quebec. They suspected that separatists were planning to meet with members of the Black Panthers from the United States. The arson came after they failed to convince a judge to allow them to wiretap the alleged meeting place.
* A break-in at the Agence de Presse Libre du Quebec office on October 6, 1972 had been the work of an RCMP investigation dubbed Operation Bricole. RCMP speculated in the media that right-wing militants were responsible. The small leftist Quebec group had reported more than a thousand significant files missing or damaged following the break-in. One RCMP, one Surete du Quebec (SQ) and one Montreal police officer plead guilty on June 16th 1977 to the break-in, but are given unconditional discharges.
* A similar break-in occurred in late 1972, orchestrated by RCMP, at the office of the Quebec Political Prisoners Movement.
* In 1973, more than thirty members of the RCMP Security Service committed a break-in to steal a computerized list of Parti Quebecois (PQ) members, in an investigation dubbed Operation Ham. John Starnes, head of the RCMP Security Service, claimed that the purpose of this operation was to investigate allegations that the PQ had funneled $200,000 worth of donations through a Swiss banking account. The PQ has since governed Quebec from 1976-1985, 1994-2003.
* In 1974, RCMP Security Service Corporal Robert Samson was arrested trying to independently plant explosives at the house of Sam Steinberg, founder of Steinberg Foods in Montreal. While this bombing was not sanctioned by the RCMP, at trial he announced that he had done "much worse" on behalf of the RCMP, and admitted he had been involved in the APLQ break-in.
* On September 26, 2002, during a stopover in New York City en route from a family vacation in Tunisia to Montreal, Canadian citizen Maher Arar was detained by the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service, acting upon information supplied by the RCMP. Arar was sent to Syria where he was imprisoned for more than 10 months, tortured and forced to sign a false confession that he had trained in Al Qaeda camps in Afghanistan. A public campaign ended in his release and a conclusion by Syria that he had no terrorist ties.
It is interesting to note that the US FBI was even more notorious in the 1970s in doing even worse things, including murder of Black Panthers and Native American Indians involved in liberation movements. The RCMP and FBI have long maintained a cozy relationship. In "Did John Lennon Get Killed For His Cannabis activism?" in CC #61, we outlined many of the black-ops perpetrated against rock and roll musicians and counterculture icons by the FBI, Immigration & Naturalization, and other US agencies. Today, the RCMP share training and security information with five US police agencies: Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms (ATF); The Texas Rangers; The FBI; DEA; and Immigration & Naturalization. Cops only really feel comfortable around other cops -- that's another result of their training. So much so that Canada's national sovereignty is continually being eroded.
The Texas state troopers were in B.C. in the Spring of 2004 as part of an exchange program with the RCMP to spot and stop drug traffickers. Called Pipeline Convoy, the program involves training officers to detect people who are lying or trying to hide things from police, said RCMP Sgt. John Ward. Ward told the CBC, Canada's national news service, "the Texas troopers' profiling program provides great help to the Mounties. The Americans do a lot of this [profiling] and have been doing it for quite some time. So there's a lot of opportunity on both sides of the border to become closer." The program however, was only detected when BC resident (and off-duty Vancouver police officer) David Laing was driving on a highway near Hope, B.C., when he was pulled over by a man with a heavy Texas accent. CBC recorded the conversation with Laing on January 28, 2005, "In a very thick American accent from the southern states, he advised me it was a British Columbia road check. And he asked me for my driver's license and my vehicle registration. I'm being pulled over and given directions by an American who won't identify himself, and I was concerned about it." Continues the CBC transcript, "A Vancouver police officer, Laing refused to let the officers search his car. Under Canadian law, police officers don't have the right to perform that kind of search. The American was a Texas state trooper working with a member of the Hope detachment of the RCMP. The pair gave Laing a ticket for having two different addresses for his insurance and his registration. Seconds later, Laing says a different RCMP officer and Texas trooper stopped his car, decided he was driving under the influence of marijuana, and searched his vehicle and two-year-old son. The police found no drugs and despite saying he was impaired just moments earlier, let him go."
"They still, knowingly, had a Texas trooper escort me to the front of the vehicle. I'm a constable with the Vancouver police. He's a Texas trooper and yet I'm under his control," said Laing. As to the merits of what the RCMP heralds as "opportunities to get closer", Vancouver police officer Laing disagrees, saying there is a significant difference between the two countries laws. "We have different freedoms than they have," Laing says. "You don't want to mesh too much. You don't want your police meshing to the point where we start taking on other police jurisdictions' policies."
It appeared in the media only because the Vancouver policeman Laing threatened to sue for unlawful detention, and the RCMP, to avoid these disclosures in court, agreed to a cash settlement. The Mounties defended the search, saying Laing looked suspicious because his eyelashes were fluttering and his eyes were flashing, a sign of marijuana use learned from the Texas Rangers. That a cop sued other cops to protect Canada's sovereign integrity is ironic. But you can see that the Mounties feel comfortable with other cops from any jurisdiction, more so than they have ever felt comfortable among the Canadian population.
Some nefarious RCMP activities have had political blowback. After RCMP brutalized the downtrodden at the Regina Police Riot of July 1, 1935, the Conservative Government of Robert Bennett was ignominiously defeated months later and would not rule the Canadian government until 1957, a 22-year exile from power. The RCMP dirty tricks and subterfuge in Quebec propelled the separatist movement from obscurity in 1970 to the governing power in 1976, so disgusted were Quebeckers of the RCMP's anglophilic chauvinism.
The RCMP is the leading defender and lobbyist for the strict maintenance of Canadian cannabis prohibition. Marijuana arrests in Canada since 1965 have exceeded 1,500,000, and while this is a shared persecution between local, provincial police and the RCMP, marijuana 'offenses' are the most common offenses in Canada today -- that is, there are more marijuana charges than for any other crime in Canada. The RCMP still regards marijuana users and growers as non-believer hippies who diminish the Canadian gene pool with our pacifism and one-love, multi-racial, tolerant world-unity view. The stereotypical pot user is everything an RCMP officer is trained to have contempt for. That is why, in addition to the obvious monetary benefits of prohibition to the RCMP, the cops are fanatical about pursuing marijuana offenders over all else. The pot smoker is everything the RCMP has contempt for. Trade unionists, Quebec-nationalists, feminists, Chinese-Canadians, homosexuals, Sikhs, Asians, European immigrants -- all of these groups have been successful at politically mainstreaming themselves. In the absence of these traditional foes, the five million Canadian pot smokers represent perhaps the last remaining cultural group for Canada's RCMP to persecute.
Why We Should Abolish The Royal Canadian Mounted Police
It was their regular issue police boots that gave the Surete du Quebec, Quebec's Provincial Police, away. Dressed as balaclava shrouded anarchist agent provocateurs holding large rocks ready to throw, three cops were ordered by their superiors to "blend in" and agitate the peaceful protesters in Montebello, Quebec to use violence. Two thousand Canadians and Americans had come to protest a meeting on Monday, August 21, 2007 between President George Bush, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Mexican Prime Minister Felipe Calderon and their plans for 'North American integration'.
Captured on video for YouTube, the three balaclava wearing 'anarchists' were suspected as cops by one trade union leader who proceeded to lecture the bogus 'anarchists' loudly on video. The protesters turned on the 'black flag anarchists', who were told to leave the protest. In moments, the three 'anarchists' were gently 'arrested' by police and taken away. During the 'arrest' however, video captured the boots of all three black-clad 'anarchists' and, lo and behold, all wore shiny new police issue boots.
Canadian police have long infiltrated legal groups and political parties to disrupt, fragment or spy on them. But on this occasion, the intention was to seduce protesters into using violence and precipitate a violent confrontation with police. The citizens declined and shamed the cops into their final sheepish anti-climactic 'arrest'. At first, no law enforcement agency would admit to any involvement, but in an extraordinary move two days later, Surete du Quebec (SQ) admitted the three were police agents -- though more predictably, the SQ said they had done nothing improper. Canadian police are variously agent provocateurs, murdering thugs, corrupt criminals, Kevlar-wrapped violent savages or US sock puppets.
Cross-country roller-blader and cannabis activist Neil Magnusson had finished hosting a Peace & Awareness Rally in Polson Park, Vernon, British Columbia on Monday, August 21, 2007. At the end of the rally, a by-law officer told rally organizer, Jake Elliman, of Hemp City, a cannabis retail activist store in Vernon, to move his vehicle, being used to load up the amplification and music equipment used at the rally. As Elliman was complying however, a tow truck came up and the tow-truck operator turned of the ignition and takes the keys out of the vehicle. At that time, the by-law officer says Ellimen was under arrest for disobeying an officer, even though the vehicle was being moved when the tow operator seizes the keys. In a YouTube video that once again shows the true nature of Canada's national police, three RCMP officers join the bylaw officer and begin to arrest Elliman. To protest the arrest of Elliman for 'disobeying a bylaw officer', Neil Magnusson employed 'hug power', and simply put his arms around Elliman and wouldn't let go while pleading for a simple talk about what was happening. Canada's foremost cannabis rally organizer, David Malmo-Levine, has popularized the 'hug power' form of passive resistance since 1997 as a measure to deal with police incursions into rallies. Ultimately, it may mean that all the resisters get arrested, are held overnight in some grotty jail, and released next day with an 'obstruction of justice' charge, but other times, it can help 'un-arrest' people, depending on the determination of cops to pull out their handcuffs.
I remember when Vancouver police launched the massive raid against Hemp BC, my original hemp store in Vancouver, on December 16, 1997, and police manhandled David when he was 'hugging' on to some of my arrested store employees. The police denied this entirely, including the officer in charge. During my trial on charges of assaulting a police officer -- the consequence of my spitting in the face of an officer involved in beating David on that occasion -- we produced a videotape of five police officers beating David, twisting his neck, pulling his hair out and hitting him with truncheons (30-inch long black baton for whacking), while David screamed. None of the five officers on the witness stand could recall any of the incidents nor did it appear in any of their 'notes' of that evening. Even on the stand, when the officers were clearly identified individually, and the tape played in slow motion, they could not recall the incident. When my lawyer, Jerome Williams, asked, "Is that you pulling a hank of hair out of David Malmo-Levine's head?" the Vancouver cop on the stand said, "apparently it is, but I don't recall that event." The next question was " What are you doing with that truncheon in your right hand?" while the videotape shows the officer hitting David with it, and of course -- I remember the judge even gulped at the answer -- the officer said straight-facedly "It appears to be me but I cannot recall that incident." I was convicted even though the judge found the police unbelievable. I admitted spitting on the policeman to stop them beating up David, which indeed did happen, although they roughed me up and tossed me in a paddy wagon and took me away that night to jail. It stopped the beating on David once the police focused on me, and apparently my actions were only defensible in court if David was my blood relative. I was fined $200.
In the Youtube video of Neil Magnuson's abuse, it all happens lightening quick. The bylaw officer has Jake Elliman arrested. As Elliman is handcuffed 'for disobeying a bylaw officer', Neil Magnusson hugs Ellimen and the police officers make no attempt at conversation or defusing the situation, but immediately use violence and continue to escalate the violence quickly. At 3 seconds, Elliman is handcuffed, at 6 seconds, Neil holds onto Jake, at 11 seconds, a woman also holds on to Jake, Neil is repeating "I'm not touching you" to the two police officers, at 19 seconds, police pepper spray Neil and the woman, at 33 seconds, a third officer joins, and use pepper spray on the woman, who is separated from Neil and Jake, at 46 seconds, Neil is given a blast of pepper spray directly in the face at close-range, Neil is separated from Jake and reeling with his eyes closed. However, once separated from Jake, two police officers take Neil ten feet away onto a grassy area and start a good old RCMP stomping, to punish him for his passive resistance that lasted only 50 seconds and at no time ever harmed or in any way endangered the police. Neil is thrown to the ground, at 1.12 police hold his face and he is pepper sprayed, at 1.14 one officer puts his knee hard into the back of Neil's neck and pushes. At 1.24 police try to handcuff Neil, who is thrashing around, possibly because of the pepper spray, at 1.51 one officer applied a choke hold from behind as Neil's face is pushed into the ground. At 2.02 knees are applied to Neil's neck, the crowd surges around police and one officer threatens the crowd with pepper spray. At the close of the video at 2.26, three cops subdue Neil and one cop keeps a wary eye on the increasingly hostile crowd.
Elliman of Hemp City commented "I told her that I was packing up and putting equipment in the car. I was the organizer and helping bands set up and take down. We had a permit so you'd expect that we could put our vehicles there. We did it last year. I told her I would move my vehicle. She parked in front of me and the tow truck driver reached in and took my keys, then I saw the cops rush in."
Vernon RCMP commended the actions of the police officers. "We get these two folks out of there, the crowd has become increasingly unruly and agitated, definitely anti-police, we get the usual obscenities thrown at us," said Corporal Proce. "I'm quite proud of the way our members acted. They showed a great deal of restraint considering the verbal abuse that they were under." Yet the video shows only remarkable restraint by the crowd, who never once swear at the police but who in fact politely urge a non-violent approach, saying "He's done nothing wrong!", and "There is no reason for this kind of law enforcement, at all!"
Rock throwing provocateurs; boot stomping prohibitionist enforcers, but a red serge suited gang of murderers? Consider the heartbreaking case of Ian Bush. This young man was arrested the night of October 29, 2005, in Houston, B.C. after giving police a false name when they came upon him outside an ice-skating arena holding an opened bottle of beer before the hockey game. Thirty minutes later he was dead. Two RCMP were in the detachment when it happened, but Constable Paul Koester was alone with Bush in an interrogation room. Inexperienced Koester admitted to shooting Ian Bush with a single bullet to the back of his head. Inexplicably, the video-recorder that is required to be on at all times during any arrest or booking in the detachment was declared malfunctioning by the RCMP at the Coroner's Inquest. All of the testimony offered by the killer and his fellow officer were repudiated in every possible way. Paul Willcocks, and experienced journalist, said this about the sordid situation:
The night of the shooting, RCMP officers didn't ask Const. Paul Koester what happened; they supported him, told him it wasn't his fault and advised him to get a lawyer. Officers testified at the inquest that they considered Koester a victim. Ambulance attendants were initially denied access to the detachment. Bush's body was left there for 24 hours, allowing decomposition that made the eventual autopsy more difficult. RCMP officers attended the autopsy and offered theories about what might have happened to the pathologist. He forgot to examine a visible (over 8 inches in area) bruise on Bush's thigh. Koester didn't provide a statement on what happened until 18 days after the shooting. Then, it was a written statement prepared with the help of a lawyer. He shredded his original handwritten notes after the RCMP investigators said they didn't want to see them. And RCMP investigators didn't interview him until three months after the shooting. Then, they asked only the questions that they had provided to Koester's lawyers two days in advance of the meeting. No one in Canada -- including police officers -- has to answer police questions. But if the shooter had been anyone other than a fellow Mountie, would investigators really have patiently waited three months for the first interview? Would they have missed the chance to interview a person involved in a shooting that first night? Most people expect RCMP officers to have loyalty to the force and fellow Mounties. That's expected. It also makes it essential that they not be in charge of investigating possible wrongdoing by fellow officers. In this case, the RCMP investigators accepted Koester's eventual statement that Bush attacked him. He was kneeling, the officer said, with Bush choking him from behind. He feared for his life, pulled his gun, reached around behind his back and shot Bush in the back of the head. But at the inquest, RCMP investigators couldn't demonstrate how that was physically possible. One of Canada's leading blood-splatter experts testified the shooting could not have happened in the way the RCMP claimed. No one except Koester knows what happened that night.
When journalist Gary Mason of The Globe and Mail asked the RCMP media department about numerous contradictory facts relating to the Bush death that the RCMP were evading or stonewalling, Constable John Ward stated, "The public doesn't have a right to know anything."
Jason Gratl of the B.C. Civil Liberties Association commented this type of response speaks to an institutional arrogance within the RCMP. "It's deplorable and reprehensible... and underlines concerns about the unfettered powers of the RCMP," he said.
RCMP Constable Koester shot this kid in the head from behind in police custody and got away with it completely, despite an inquest that repudiated and discredited every single bit of testimony put forth by the police. In Canada, the police investigate the police and no justice ever comes from their investigations. There is a pattern of violence and thuggery in the Canadian police, and there is an ominous pattern of police cover-up and denial in every single controversial case in Canada.
Consider the case of Kevin St. Arnaud. Three bullets from the gun of RCMP Constable Ryan Sheremetta killed Arnaud of Vanderhoof, B.C the evening of Dec. 20, 2004. Five other witnesses -- including a second RCMP officer, who was present -- contradicted Sheremetta's version of the killing! No charges were laid against this cop. Familiarly, the young cop who killed said he acted in self-defense. Const. Sheremetta said he was called to a break-in at the local pharmacy and chased the suspect, Kevin St. Arnaud, across a snow-covered soccer field. Sheremetta claimed in the inquest St. Arnaud turned on him with what he called 'a death look', while reaching for his pocket and saying, "you're gonna have to shoot me." Sheremetta said he slipped and fell onto his back, then, fearing for his life, fired upwards at St. Arnaud. He testified that St. Arnaud was "almost overtop of me."
The forensic evidence did not back up Sheremetta's story. Nor did his partner, Colleen Erickson. A 24-year veteran of the RCMP, Erickson is now serving as chief of the Saikuz First Nation, just outside Vanderhoof. She said the RCMP ordered her not to speak to the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation), but, in her testimony at the inquest, she said she was close enough to see the muzzle flash from Sheremetta's gun. He did not fall down and did not fire upwards, she said. Rather, he was standing in what she called "a police shooting stance with feet apart." Nor did she hear St. Arnaud say, "You're gonna have to shoot me."
Three forensic experts testified at the inquest that the shots had to have been fired from some five meters away and that the bullets entered St. Arnaud's body on a downwards, not upwards, trajectory. The fifth witness to contradict Sheremetta was Abe Klassen, a retired logger who was passing by. He stopped to watch and says he saw St. Arnaud 'surrender'. "The guy threw up his hands, and turned around and was going towards the police," said Klassen, adding that he could not understand why the officer fired. "The bottom line is, to me, the guy had surrendered." In perhaps a peak of institutional arrogance, RCMP spokesman Cpl. Pierre Lemaitre said the force knew that Sheremetta's version would not fit with the other evidence, but stood by him anyway.
This is an extract of witness RCMP spokesman Cpl. Pierre Lemaitre's interview with CBC's Terry Milewski.
"Lemaitre: There were no surprises in the coroner's inquest to us. What we heard we already knew.
Terry Milewski, CBC: So you knew that Sheremetta's story about what happened would be contradicted by five other witnesses?
A: Yes, we did and we presented that exact investigation to the Crown.
CBC: Doesn't that fact bother you?
A: Again, I repeat, it's been my experience and certainly the experience of major crime investigators that when you have witnesses who recollect an event, it's always a little different.
CBC: But, with respect, it's not a little different, is it? He said he was on his back shooting up at somebody looming over him telling him, "you're going to have to shoot me." Everyone else said that never happened.
A: That was his evidence and that's what he said he remembered."
Every investigation into Canadian policing is conducted by fellow police officers. Decades of clarion calls for Civilian Review of police malfeasance have gone ignored by every level of government. Police officers, especially at the RCMP, are trained with brainwashing brutality. They learn that loyalty to the "force" is the most important attribute of any police officer. All RCMP are trained to enter every situation with the intent to dominate, and dominate completely. This is their training and it becomes reflexive.
In the book "Mountie Makers", RCMP officer of 28 years (1967-1995) Robert Gordon Teather proudly outlines the training that turns regular human beings into shoot-first-talk-later killing machines. Teather makes clear that the process of training Canada's national police is like training for the Navy Seals or Green Beret.
"The public has been given only glimpses of this secret protocol during tightly controlled visits to the RCMP Training Academy in Regina, Saskatchewan, and in sporadic television documentaries. Torturous instruction technique and brain-molding (some would call it brain-washing) forces are applied to new members of Canada's national police force during their training." That's the second paragraph of the introduction.
Later in the book, Teather fondly reminisces, "Even today, the words of Corporal Don Withers, my mentor, instructor and dear friend, are held to be true. 'You must be strong in order to be gentle and you must be brutal in order to be kind. You will learn to be strong and brutal or you will not survive.'" Teather writes, "This is our story, the story of Troop 18, and how we learn strength and brutality so that we may serve a police force known internationally for its gentleness and kindness. This story is not really about me, it represents all the troops who have graduated from the RCMP training programs in the past 124 years."
When Teather himself graduated in 1967, his beloved drill Sergeant gave this telling speech. "Five months ago you arrived here on this base. I watched from my window as scruffy, longhaired, undisciplined individuals walked by my office on the way to the post barber. You have all changed. It was our intent to bring you into the Canadian Royal Mounted Police and mould, some would say brainwash, you into what you are today. I see we have succeeded."
Teather approved, adding next, "We were beginning to understand the torture, the punishment, and the discipline that had been inflicted upon us for the past five months, and I watched several heads nod in agreement. I joined them." Teather continues, "Few people will ever understand what you have been through. Oh there are a few groups, the US Navy Seals, The Green Berets, perhaps one or two Canadian military groups that have gone through a similar transformation. Let me make one thing perfectly clear. You are unique. Your training, your experience here, and your transformation is one rarely copied elsewhere. Your families and the friends you shared before you came here will say that you have changed. That is the truth. None will understand what you have been through, and if you tell your stories, tell them well, lest you be called foolish by the unbelievers or the uncaring."
Integral to the Mountie training is numerous painful exercises. One regular exercise is called Murder Ball. Troops are pitted against each other in a violent hand-to-hand combat to control a volleyball. Here rookie Teather recalls Murder Ball:
"Fights broke out throughout the combat zone. Noses were bloodied and the pounding of bodies hitting the dirt could be heard over the grunts and groans of sixty-four recruits. Then time stopped. It stopped dead. Francois was tackled, hit behind from Troop 17's biggest member. None of us will ever know what attracted our attention to the tackle. It might have been the sound of air leaving Labeau's lungs, or it might have been the sound of his thin body crushing itself into the dirt, or it might have been the high-pitched snap of a spinal vertebra cracking under the pressure of the tackle, but it was a sound that stopped the fighting. 'Get up, you horizontal piece of dog flesh' drill corporal Wheeler screamed at the top of his lungs."
However, Labeau was paralyzed and never walks again. But all this is to make stronger, tougher RCMP officers, you see?
An hour after the Labeau is taken away by ambulance, raw recruit Teather recalls the conversation. "'Heard the priest was called in. Gave him his last rites. Do you think his parents will arrive in time to watch him die?' Don asked. 'Shit, man, what are we doing here? Our first day we dig a grave, and the second day, we put one of our buddies in it,' another voice added. Drill Sergeant Withers comes to see the ashen-faced recruits. 'Do you know why we play orgy sports?' Withers asked. 'Makes us tough? Makes us competitive? Pushes us harder?' we responded. 'Correct. Do you know why we play Murder Ball? I will tell you. When you graduate, you will be faced with insurmountable odds. Oh, I'm not just talking about a mean Sergeant, a pile of paperwork, or a mealy-mouthed defense attorney. You will all be afforded the opportunity to walk down a dark alley and interrupt a break-in, a theft, or even a rape in progress. That's why we play Murder Ball. When you arrest that dirty, filthy low-life, he'll fight you. There will be no rules in that alley. You'll both bite, scratch, kick, gouge, tear, and scream and only one of you will put the ball in the opponent's net. There will be only one winner. One victor. Defeat is not an option. There are No Rules, gentlemen. On the streets, like in the arena, there is only one intent, one purpose, one objective. You must win. That's what makes a Mountie. Mounties do not lose. Not ever.'"
In the chapter on learning self-defense, brutality is a delicacy served every day at RCMP school in Regina. If you thought the Drill Sergeant in Full Metal Jacket was a tough son-of-a-bitch, here's how your cop on the street is trained.
"No one would ever forget the day that Leitz, the most brutal of all self-defense instructors, and after an egotistical boast of his karate skills, approached recruit Ken Krzyszyk. 'Do you know why they call me the cat, Krzyszyk?' 'Because you pee in a sandbox, Corporal?' Five minutes later, Krzyszyk regained consciousness."
Drill Instructor Leitz continues to explain the purpose of this repeated brutality that dominates the RCMP training. "'The pukes, the creeps, the gutter slime that you will be dealing with in a dark alley won't see you as a person. No-siree, lads, when they come on the attack, they won't be fighting by the Marquis of Queensberry rules. They won't give you first hit, they won't fight clean, and they won't hesitate to hit below the belt. When a puke wants to fight you he places an imaginary bulls-eye on your groin, then kicks for the best score he can. When that happens, you will drop like the sacks of shit that you are. You'll puke your guts out and you will spend a week cuddling with an ice pack. But that doesn't matter. You know what matters? What matters is you lost the fight. And losing is not an option.'"
Then the Corporal demands recruit Larry Lumchuck kick him, the instructor, hard into the groin, aiming for his balls. The instructor demonstrates a method of thrusting the pelvis forward so that in fact an attacker ends up kicking the perineum, the more solid area behind the testicle sack. The Drill instructor takes a kick to the perineum and hardly flinches. Lumchuck asks what is wrong with the technique learned earlier in the training where the recruits were told to defend their private parts using a crossed-wrist method. Then the Drill Instructor addressed Lumchuck.
"'Assume the position, Lumpy Larry'. Larry Lumchuck reached down towards his groin and used the cross wrested technique we had learned weeks earlier. 'You ready, fat boy?' 'Yes, Corporal.' Corporal Leitz's foot flew up, hit Lumchuck's wrists, and returned to the floor. Larry's form was impeccable, and it succeeded in stopping our instructor's foot. His form had protected his most valued possessions. But his perfect form had left him with one broken finger. Lumchuck fell to his knees, holding his left hand close to his stomach. He groaned. 'Get up, you bloated chunk of rippling flesh.' Lumchuck did not respond, and Leitz closed the distance and grabbed him by the throat. The upward force applied by Corporal Leitz raised him to a standing position. 'Now you listen up, fat boy. You never go down and give up on a fight unless you are dead or unconscious. When you give up that's when that useless piece of garbage takes your gun and caps you. Getting capped means lying dead in the alley with half your head blown off. You will NEVER give up unless you are unconscious or dead. As long as you draw breath, as long as you can think… You will fight until you win the fight. We don't lose fights in the RCMP unless we're dead or comatose… Is that clear, Lumchuck? I SAID, IS THAT CLEAR, Lumchuck?!'
We were in shock. Corporal Leitz was clearly crazy. He had demonstrated that many times. His views on racial purity and the many beatings he had handed out to us individually, under the guise of recruit training, had showed him to be unquestionably abnormal. He was a violent, aggressive creature who took great pleasure in inflicting pain on recruits who remained submissive."
After graduating in the Class of 1967, author Robert Gordon Teather won the Cross of Valour, Canada's highest non-military decoration, in 1981, proudly serving the RCMP from 1967 to 1995. The book Mountie Makers -Putting the CANADIAN in RCMP is one of four books he wrote about the RCMP in the period between his retirement from the force in 1996 to his death at the age of 57, on November 15, 2004 of natural causes after a battle with diabetes. At no point in the entire book "Mountie Makers" is there any descriptions of police work involving defusing or de-escalating a tense situation. All police instruction boiled down to assert authority with brutality. Dominate, intimidate, and do not negotiate.
Once adopted, this philosophy becomes institutionalized and can never change. The police training methods may adjust, new substituted for old, but an abusive and robotic mindset remains the goal of all police training. Author Teather is proud of all the details he has presented, including one parade scene where Teather's drill instructor calls "Troop", and Teather remarks, "Conditioned like Pavlov's dogs we came to attention at this command." This book shows there are insurmountable gaps between what decent Canadians consider civilized behavior and what the RCMP considers civilized behavior. Everything wrong with the RCMP today can be traced to this training, proudly proclaimed by a recruit and then himself an RCMP officer for 28 years.
This is not some "nonbeliever" hippie or muck-raking journalist railing on about torture, cruelty, punishment and humiliation and calling the RCMP a bunch of brain-washed dogs instructed in the art of violence and domination -- this is the proud boast of the RCMP itself. This is what they aspire to be and to produce!
RCMP training is cult initiation. Anyone outside the "cult" is an outsider, a non-believer, the dreaded "other" who threatens the master cult. No one is qualified to know their value, the cult mentality goes, so ordinary Canadians cannot possibly understand and no one is qualified to investigate the cult. Therefore we see the insane situation of the RCMP executing a man with a bullet through the head in a police station over a bottle of beer, and then using several levels of government to cover it up. It is like Fight Club meets the Aryan Brotherhood, a 'superior' master race/cult that is responsible for enforcing Canada's moral and political values.
Speaking generally, psychiatrists have commented that such brutalizing treatment will produce a dysfunctional individual. They agree that children who are abused and told it is 'love' or 'normal' often end up abusing their own children in the same way. RCMP training does the same thing, because it IS the same thing. Police in Canada use violence, pepper spray, chokeholds, and lethal force almost always in situations where their own published criteria say otherwise. From the RCMP rules of engagement at their website:
"The RCMP's Incident Management/Intervention Model (IM/IM) require that RCMP officers assess risk and continually assess the appropriateness of intervening, in addition to their level of intervention. The IM/IM provides that the best strategy is the least intervention necessary to manage risk and that the best intervention causes the least harm or damage. In any situation requiring intervention, members must apply the 'use of force continuum,' which dictates the level of force that is appropriate to a given situation. The IM/IM states that in the case of non-cooperative or resistant individuals, verbal intervention should be used, followed by soft empty-hand control, which includes soft physical restraint methods, pain compliance, distractions and stuns, and then hard empty hand control or intermediate devices such as pepper spray."
Consider these incidents:
* Fourteen people -- six of them children -- were hospitalized, after a procession of some 20 vehicles from the Sechelt Nation on the Sunshine Coast celebrating the victory of two teams in a youth soccer tourney erupted into a pepper-spray battle with RCMP at about 6 p.m. Monday, July 2, 2007, over a failed traffic stop.
* On January 5, 2003, a Moncton, New Brunswick man was shoveling snow off of his driveway and onto the street. Two City of Moncton snow removal workers told him to stop, as he was violating a city by-law. The conversation between the snow removal workers and the complainant became heated, and the snow removal workers called the RCMP to report that the complainant had refused to stop shoveling snow onto the street. When police arrived they tried to arrest him. When the complainant was pepper sprayed, he was resistant, and perhaps annoying, but the members had control of him at the police cruiser and he was non-combative. He was not threatening the members or attempting to flee the scene. There was very little risk to manage. The 'use of force continuum' is a two-way street and once a situation is under control, the best strategy may be investing more effort into de-escalating the situation. Nonetheless, the complaint by the Moncton man was dismissed without any finding of police wrongdoing.
* RCMP Commissioner Giuliano Zaccardelli was forced to resign last year when the RCMP knowingly sent an innocent Canadian to Syria for torture in collaboration with the US Central Intelligence Agency, an incident known in Canada as the Maher Arar scandal. Arar was tortured for 10 months in Syria at the behest of US while the RCMP had full knowledge of Arar's innocence. Though the US "condemns" torture, it uses black-ops torture interrogation in Romania, Poland, Syria and other rogue jurisdictions (a process called "extraordinary rendition"), and apparently does so in conjunction with RCMP and the Canadian Security and Intelligence Service.
So when the RCMP officer shoots somebody in the back of the head (Ian Bush, 2005), or pepper sprays a citizen (Neil Magnuson, 2007), or pepper sprays a baby (Sechelt natives, 2007), or pepper sprays a TV cameraman before pepper spraying a crowd (APEC, Vancouver, 1997), or puts a gun to a marijuana user's head, or shoots a suspected marijuana user in the chest when he answers his door with a TV remote in his hand (Daniel Posse, North Vancouver RCMP, 1994), or deports an innocent man to certain torture and even death (Maher Arar, 2002), the officer doesn't really appreciate these acts in the same context we do. This is because the RCMP training methods have created in this person's mind a different perception of reality. As true believer Corporal Teather puts it in his book, "we had all changed, and from that day forth, our relationships with our parents and our family would be different."
This is quite a statement. The family unit, once thought to be the mainstay of society, has now been corrupted and redesigned by the RCMP. It is reminiscent of comment by an American mother whose son was sent off to the Vietnam War: "I gave them a good boy and they gave me back a killer."
Since the RCMP has a fetish for using pepper spray with abandon, it is worth heeding these details about its use. It is banned in warfare and interrogation. We could find 11 incidences in the USA where people have been pepper sprayed and then died in police custody. Pepper spray can cause serious, irreversible eye damage if not applied in a specific and limited manner. The longer it is applied and the more it is applied, the larger the danger of irreversible eye injury. If you have a respiratory condition, pepper spray can induce tachycardia or heart attack. People have said that getting pepper sprayed is like "torture", which would appeal to a cult that boasts about being brainwashed into brutality.
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