City police are revisiting an incident Saturday night initially shrugged off as just the way things happen in the downtown. Film producer John Wesley Chisholm witnessed a violent incident involving a bouncer and a bar patron. He felt the bouncer was combative and looking for a fight. The young man on the receiving end of the bouncer's attention was not injured and didn't want to press charges, but the incident troubled Chisholm enough that he posted the story on Facebook. It got the attention of a public unnerved by the downtown violence and city police. Chief Jean Michel Blais assigned Supt Sean Auld, the cop in charge of downtown policing, to investigate further. He's already talked to Chisholm, Mike Campbell of the Carelton where the incident took place and the young man. Auld says the police agree with Chisholm this incident "is symptomatic of a larger societal issue regarding the over-consumption of alcohol and the related violence in our community. It also highlights the quality of training given to bouncers. I hear stories regularly from the downtown about bouncers more prone to punches than peacefully escorting someone out of a bar. It's doubtful charges will result from this police review, but perhaps it will be the impetus to beef up training standards for those hired to provide security in the bars.
Chisholm also has an issue with the police response Saturday night after 911 was called. The first officers on the scene took nearly 8 minutes to arrive. The first officer refused to give Chisholm his name and would not take his statement as a witness. The second officer, a female, did provide her business card but she also told Chisholm this is the way things are downtown. It's concerning police feel a bouncer's violence is part of the norm and that bouncers appear to have carte blanche to dish out thier justice.
Last night police issued a release thanking Chisholm for bringing this to the public's attention, thanking him "for shining a light on a larger societal issue and the public for thier input on both his post and our social media sites. We believe that out of this incident positive discussion and change can come." Let's hope.
Hope's fading for the 5 young men missing after their fishing vessel capized Monday night during a powerful wind and snow storm about 120 kilometres southeast of Liverpool. One of the five is in his early 30s, the others still in their 20s. One recently became a father. A massive search continues today but conditions remain rough. The fate of the crew highlights the dangers fishermen face. Our prayers are with their families.
City councillor Reg Rankin wants dogs on a short leash. Rankin says he's been getting complaints about those expandable leashes, the kind that allow dogs to walk some distance away from their owners. He has two issues. One, it allows the dogs to wander onto private property to do their business and secondly, it also allows an unruly dog to be free enough to lunch at someone. Other municipalities have placed limits on how long a leash should be. Rankin wants HRM to do the same. Won't it be interesting to see how this new city council of ours will handle this issue. It has the potential to be another cat bylaw debate. Stay tuned!
Have a great day. Get involved. And if you're not outraged, you're not paying attention.