The guards pushed
the shackled, chained and handcuffed boy
against the elevator door....
The door opened and he fell to his death.


The government said the guards used
"a modest amount of restraint" and followed "normal procedures."

There have been lots of stories in the Canadian news lately [2005] about police hurting and killing people with brute force, guns, tazer guns, car chases, leaving them to freeze to death in the elements, pushing them down elevator shafts and any number of other scenarios. And always the police blame the victim, their most popular excuse being "suicide by cop" which means the victim WANTED to die so got a cop to do it to him.

If, on the rare occasion, a cop IS found guilty by the judicial system, he is usually let off with a conditional sentence*, the philosophy being that the psychological damage a cop suffers for acting illegally is penalty enough and it would be too harsh to send him to jail where he'd have to be put in solitary confinement to keep him safe from prisoners who might want to hurt him.

The following story is an example of what I'm talking about. It conerns a teenager who, a year ago, fell to his death down an elevator shaft while in the custody of court security guards. The guards, like cops do, are blaming the defenseless victim.

The setting up of a Police State (where government and police work against the people) is one of the basic requirements of a totalitarian society. Orwell described this type of activity in Animal Farm and 1984. Like everything else he warned us about, it's happening right before our very eyes. ~ Jackie Jura


* Cop will appeal getting jail for murder. TorontoStar, Sep 27, 2006
Ferguson, a 19-year veteran with the Mounties, was found guilty of manslaughter almost two years ago in the death of Darren Varley. Varley was shot during a scuffle in a Pincher Creek, Alta., jail cell in October 1999. Two previous trials for Ferguson ended in hung juries. Upon his conviction after a third trial, Ferguson faced a mandatory four-year sentence for manslaughter involving a firearm. But the presiding judge granted him a rare constitutional exemption. Justice Ged Hawco said it would be cruel and unusual punishment to send Ferguson to prison and allowed him to serve his sentence in the community instead. But the Alberta Court of Appeal ruled in a 2-1 decision that Hawco erred in his ruling because the Supreme Court of Canada has never ruled on whether constitutional exemptions are valid. The Appeal Court also suggested that Hawco would have had to strike down the law governing the mandatory sentence, but did not do so. The Appeal Court did give Ferguson credit for time served, however, meaning he faces two years plus a day in prison... Darren Varley's brother, Dale, said the family would not be surprised if Ferguson files an appeal. "I don't think it would really bother us. I don't think much would bother us anymore, unless he gets off," he said. "But if he gets away with it, the jails should be empty. Everyone should go home."

* Cop gets prison for 1999 manslaughter. ("police not above the law"). CBC, Sep 26, 2006

Fatality inquiry opens into why teen fell down court elevator shaft
JOHN COTTER, Macleans, Jan 11, 2004

A teen who fell to his death down an elevator shaft at the Edmonton courthouse had repeatedly struck a female guard two days before, his fatality inquiry heard Monday. Provincial security Const. Ennio Perizzolo said Kyle Young, 16, got into a fight with another guard at the young offender holding cells last Jan. 20 after the boy was ordered to stop making noise. When Const. Karin Simmons tried to move him to a separate cell, Young, whose legs were shackled, attacked her, Perizzolo testified. "Kyle started swinging, striking her on the back and chest area," he said. Perizzolo noted he had to step in to help tackle Young to the floor and handcuff him. "He was screaming and he said he was going to kill me - 'You're dead.'?"

Two days later, Young - shackled, chained, handcuffed and in the care of two different guards - fell five storeys to his death down the closed elevator shaft.

Lorena Young, Kyle's mother, bit her lip and stared at Perizzolo as he gave his testimony. Word of the attack quickly circulated among other courthouse guards, he said.

Only hours before Kyle died, Simmons called Edmonton police to lay a complaint. A police officer came to court and told the boy he was being charged with assault. Perizzolo said Young didn't appear upset by the charge when he and Simmons handed him over to other guards. "He seemed fine. He seemed like nothing was wrong."

Lorena Young has said she hopes the inquiry, headed by provincial court Judge Jerry LeGrandeur, will answer some key questions about her son's death. She wants to know if excessive force was used by the guards against Kyle and if the elevator door was defective, either by design or because of inadequate maintenance. She also wants to know if Kyle was treated properly by staff prior to his death, including receiving medication for behavioural problems.

A review by Alberta's Justice Department last year said the guards pushed the boy against the elevator door, the door opened and he fell to his death. An investigation by Edmonton police found there was insufficient evidence to lay charges against the guards. The province said guards used "a modest amount of restraint" and followed "normal procedures."

Earlier Monday, an Alberta government elevator expert testified the elevator door that Young fell through was installed prior to building code changes that require fail-safe mechanisms to be in place. Al Griffin told the inquiry the door, which was on display in the courtroom, was installed in 1981. Four years later, the building code was changed requiring new elevators to have pieces of metal called retainers to prevent doors from falling open. But under Alberta law, older elevators are not subject to the code changes, he said. "These prevent the door from falling in," Griffin said while holding the metal device up for the court to see. "There is no requirement for retroactivity in the (safety) code." The elevator was inspected a month before Kyle's death and was found to meet safety standards. Griffin testified the elevator door was not designed to open unless the elevator car was in place. He also said the government privatized elevator inspections in the early to mid-1990s. Five agencies called delegated administration organizations are responsible for the work.

Kyle's mother has said he was an average teenager but suffered health problems including attention deficit disorder, hyperactivity disorder and oppositional defiant disorder. He had a history of brushes with the law for offences such as stealing cars, she said. On the day he was in court, reportedly on a weapons charge, he had been in custody for four or five days. She has said when Kyle was on his medication he was easy to deal with, but when he wasn't, he could be a handful.

Public fatality inquiries establish the cause, manner, time and other circumstances of a death. They cannot determine legal responsibility, but only make recommendations to prevent future deaths.


ANIMAL FARM DOGS and 7.Systems of Thought

Jackie Jura
~ an independent researcher monitoring local, national and international events ~