Incident shines light on the RCMP

To the editor:

To the editor:

I am a 101-year-old man who has lived most of my life in British Columbia. I have seen a lot in my life, and am disgusted by how some police are treating people these days.

When I saw that young police officer kick that man in the face, in Kelowna, I got so angry.

In my day, police officers were gentlemen. They were respected because they treated others with respect.

That fellow in Kelowna was down on all fours, doing as he was asked, when he was brutally kicked in the face for no reason.

I was in the army and fought in the war. Even there we knew that you do not kick a man when he is down. This is not the way police should be acting, and when they do, they should not continue to be paid.

It is sad to see how much our Canadian RCMP, of whom I used to be so proud, have fallen. I hope these kind of actions will not go unpunished.

Lawrence Durelle,


To the editor:

If any other Canadian did what this RCMP member did he would be in jail—caught on video leaves no doubt.

If a member of the RCMP witnessed what that RCMP member did, would that person not still be in jail? Would that person have not been charged by now?

The RCMP member is not above the law, he is at least equal.

Mitch Stolk,

Fort St. John

To the editor:

On Jan. 16, 2011, citizens of Kelowna gathered in front of our local RCMP detachment to protest against police brutality. They had every right to do so and their voices and concerns were shared across this nation through the media. My purpose for writing this letter is to be the voice I never heard at that rally.

I am the voice that is grateful for the brave and loyal service of the RCMP officers who do not use brutal and cruel force on citizens.

My voice is for the dying person in a fatal car crash whose last human contact, the officer on duty, is holding their hand until more help arrives.

My voice is for the mother of three who cries into the bullet proof vest of the officer who got her domestic violence call. My voice is for the residents who were evacuated from their fiery neighbourhood by members whose own homes and families were in peril while they were guiding us to safety.

My voice is for the husband or wife who says goodbye to their spouse everyday as they leave home armed to protect our city.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police consist of a large group of men and women who, by majority, want to the right thing for us as Canadian citizens and law abiding individuals. We have seen it on television and Internet the results of that minority of policing gone very bad but to judge the whole institution from what we see in the media is ludicrous.

Next time it could be you or a loved one that need to feel safe, if only for a moment, and the next emergency 911 call could be your own. I am the voice of my family and friends who say thank you to the RCMP for being there for us.

Wendy Gill,


To the editor:

Reading the letter pages, I understand the reaction of caring citizens. They were appalled at the treatment Mr. Buddy Tavares received at the hand of a single police constable. Sadly, in this case, the adage, a picture is worth a thousand words, is overpowering.

Having said that, like many, I have the utmost respect for the RCMP. I will not, despite the outrageous actions of the odd member, be tempted to condemn the entire force. It would be too easy and too irresponsible.

People are angry, and the intensity of anger is at its highest and I have never seen that before in Kelowna. It is quite all right to let out steam. Heck, I do that often. Afterwards, I feel relieved and calm, and I am good for another 20 kilometres.  

Supt. Bill McKinnon operates within directives laid down. He did what he is allowed to do.

In the mind of many, it is not enough, and I have to agree. I have written before than the RCMP should not investigate itself. The onus is on the Federal government to make the necessary changes.

I am upset with the action of a single member, but I will not use the same brush to tarnish all members of the force.

Mo Rajabally, Kelowna

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