Saturday, August 26, 2006
I would kind of like to blog a story. If it's already been talked about on your site, just let me know.
I went with some children out to the Ponderosa on Rothesay Ave. here in Saint John yesterday , only to find the place all closed and boarded up. No signs or anything. Looks like they're gone for good.
This Ponderosa Steak House has been operating for decades out there! It always seemed packed everytime I took the kids there.
I was just wondering if anyone knows anything about this closure. A lot of young people were employed there. It must be hard for them .
Just sign me
In Saint John
Last Updated: Friday, August 25, 2006 | 5:36 PM AT
A Fredericton police officer was charged Friday with assaulting a man at a political rally in front of city hall last May.
The charge against Cpl. Dwight Doyle comes after an independent investigation into the allegation by Asaf Rashid, 30, that he was a victim of discrimination and mistreatment because he is of Pakistani descent.
Rashid didn't expect his concerns would be addressed when he filed the complaint against Doyle.
"Maybe [I] ate some of my words from before," said Rashid. "I wasn't too optimistic, but something's happened."
Rashid was one of four people arrested May 27, but alleges he was the only one mistreated during the incident. He claims it was because of his ethnic background.
Rally intended to raise awareness of refugees
The rally was intended to raise awareness of refugees. Rashid was among approximately 20 people handing out pamphlets in front of city hall when the police asked the group to leave.
Rashid confronted the officers, asking a series of questions and demanding an officer's badge number. Rashid was then pinned to the ground and issued a $50 ticket for failing to disperse.
Fredericton police Chief Barry McKnight asked the Saint John police force to conduct an independent investigation into the complaint, which led to the charge against Doyle, a 13-year veteran of the force.
Rashid says that's good news for people who believe in freedom of _expression, but are concerned about attending rallies and protests for fear of arrest or harassment.
"I'm just hoping that this sends a message that everyone has to be accountable for their actions ... including myself," he said.
Officer will remain on duty
Doyle will appear in court on the assault charge in October. In the meantime, McKnight said the officer will remain on active duty.
McKnight said the force will not comment further now that the case is before the court.
Only their employees will be allowed to take pictures.
Here's the photographer story -
Despite all charges being dropped on the protesters (asaf, and 2 of the other 3 photographers) mine were not dropped yet. This is surprising since I was furthest from the scene, across from city hall on a park bench taking pictures. What's ironic is that asaf was the only one who was treated with physical and vocal disregard and cruelty, the rest of us were treated as white-skinned community members. What's more is that the 3 other people who were arrested all had cameras and were taking pictures of the incident -- oddly enough that was my only crime. And since the event my camera hasn't worked properly â€“ most of the pictures from the event turned out bad, as you can see if you look at them.
While the other tickets have been discarded my charges still stick, I went to court the other day and I will have a trial in a year. All this for sitting on a park bench taking pictures from across the street -- and yet my ticket says that I failed to disperse. Something is fishy in this city and it isn't coming from the river cause all the fish are dead.
Moreover this isn't a time to regain faith in our police force -- remember it took another police force, lots of media attention, and counter protests to make this misconduct public. This is a time to recognize the weakness in our police force and the potential for it to always happen so long as we are reluctant to scrutinize their actions regularly.
The police in this city are installed to maintain poverty, and create criminality -- the real crooks are those whose decisions go unnoticed in this city, and one of these days they will be held accountable both for their actions and their lack of action.
If some of us doubt the extent that our police force would become accountable for their actions its because the police in this city are on the side of those who pay their salary; definitely not the poor, and definitely not in a critical analysis of their own behavior.