Thursday, April 22, 2010

Police Fail to File Report on Lesbian Attacked in Anti-Gay Hate Crime

UPDATE: Shane has information on some new developments here at QueerTwoCents.
Sadly, Virginia and the USA don't have a monopoly on homophobes in government office or the police force. Alberta, Canada also seems to have its own problem with bigots. I was first tipped off to this story early this morning by Shane at QueerTwoCents, but was not able to write about it until this evening because I had to get out this morning for a CLE seminar. Now, the story has received wider coverage and it illustrates the danger of public officials and public employees being allowed to let their personal beliefs - be they religious based or otherwise - trump the civil rights of other citizens. We here in the USA - at least we in Virginia - think of Canada at time as a nirvana since LGBT citizens have so many more legal rights and protections. Even in progressive countries homophobes and religious based hate have not been eliminated. Here are some highlights from Shane's post:
Disturbing news out of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada... early Saturday morning, April 17th, Shannon Barry was brutally attacked after she and five friends were harassed by four men hurling homophobic slurs ("dykes" and "faggots") at them.
Shannon and her friends tried to avoid confrontation with the men but they were pursued. At one point, Shannon fell to the ground which is when her attacker kicked her face so violently that she was knocked unconscious for five minutes. She suffered a crushed left eye socket, broken jaw and facial nerve damage. Shannon underwent surgery to implant two plates in her face. She is still in hospital.
Fortunately for Shannon, ambulance services arrived immediately after her friends called 911. Police, however, did not arrive until 30 minutes later. A CBC news investigation reveals that the officer on the scene failed to follow standard departmental procedures as incredulously, he did NOT file a crime report, . . . . As of Wednesday April 21st, police have not responded to the CBC's interview requests.

* has further details on the crime and the indifferent approach taken by the Edmonton police department. Here are more highlights:
CBC News has learned the investigating officer did not file a report. He also did not call in the dog team or Air 1, the police helicopter, in an attempt to track the four young men. That is standard procedure for such a serious crime, according to one veteran of the Edmonton force, who spoke on condition of anonymity. He also said department policy requires officers to file reports on the same day, especially in a case involving a serious incident, such as an aggravated assault and potential hate crime.
With no report filed, police would have nothing to work with if someone called in an anonymous tip to Crimestoppers, the veteran officer said. CBC News asked for interviews with Insp. Terry Rocchio, commander of the division responsible for the area where the attack occurred, and Edmonton police Chief Mike Boyd. Neither had responded Wednesday.
Barry blames the attack on a mistaken belief that hate against gay people is no longer an issue. "I think in this day and age, we've become complacent and passive about educating the young to accept people's differences," she said, touching her swollen, bruised face. "Everyone's under the assumption that we're past all that, but it's right here. It's happening to people that you know, that I know and love, all the time."

1 comment:

Editor said...


Thank-you for linking to my post:

Lesbian viciously attacked; police failed to file report.

There has been some development with the Shannon Barry case.