As newman went up to whistler for the day, it was up to me to take care of the pup. So we lounged around most of the day then I felt bad enough that I should take her for a walk….and it’s not like I couldn’t use the exercise.
Off for a walk we went.
We were walking towards Stanley Park taking a short cut through the community center. As I fumbled with my iPhone app Nike+ I heard the screech of tires in the distant, causing me to look up and see a car skidding to a halt at the red light at the intersection of Denman and Haro. What I also saw was the reason why the driver skidded. He was distracted by a guy wearing a kitchen uniform pushing another guy into the street while trying to take off the guys jacket.
The kitchen guy was wearing white and was clearly an employee from the KINGYO japanese restaurant on Denman street. Then it was great that two other employees from the restaurant joined the pushing and shoving.
There was quite a crowd gathering to watch these employees assault this guy, whom I presume is homeless.
Not only was it the altercation that caught my attention, but the victim of the pushing and shoving and hitting, was wearing a strapless bra and had a ponytail. Only until did I cross the street was I certain that it was a he not a she.
You could over hear the employees saying, “I saw you take that”, “I know you have it”. But it was the pushing and shoving and punching and tearing the clothes off the guy.
Another Samaritan was trying to calm the entire situation down with reason, everytime they would listen the gentleman would walk away and carry on, but then these employees would start up again. Because being aggressive is going to solve the situation.
People had their phones out. But it didn’t seem as if any one dialed. I dialed. I’ve never dialed. Not sure why I dialed.I am tired of no one doing anything. Maybe I’m tired of me not doing anything. So I spoke with the dispatcher, apparently there was another call regarding this situation. My feeling it was from the restaurant claiming theft. I said yes to speaking with the officers and leave a statement.
I waited and spoke with the officer. Briefly.
Me – “Excuse me officer, I called into 911 and reported the incident. They asked me to speak with you”
Officer – “Did you see him take anything?”
Me – “No, but I did see the employees commit assault”
Officer – “okay, thanks, we’ll take it from here”
no record of my name, no official statement taken.
Apparently, the Vancouver Police Department only cares about the theft that the homeless man may or may not have done. Apparently he doesn’t have rights to not get assaulted, pushed, undressed in front of ten or so strangers. It definitely had a negative impact on my run/walk with the dog. I had such a bad taste in my mouth for so many different reasons.
1) The “victim” may/may not have committed theft. why or why not was this guy in this position in the first place? you can tell he had been running the streets for awhile. Weathered and thin and not aggressive nor defensive. He seemed like a transient with no where to go and no one to call. Regardless. He is human.
2) What kind of employer condones having their employees chase people down for something someone stuck in their pockets? I’ve never had an employer make me feel that I have to chase and assault/tackle a person if something was stolen from my place of employment. This includes restaurants. We were always encouraged to call the police and not handle it ourselves.
I did my role as a member of society in this situation, I’m sure I could contribute my time and talent to other organizations in the city, but I called 911 putting faith in the police officer to address all sides. I’m disheartened that the focus of the VPD was immediately was on the theft when assault against another human being seems far more indecent and shouldn’t be swept under the rug. I can only hope that the other issues were addressed after my departure. Or maybe this opens up a can of worms that the VPD just doesn’t want to open, because you can only imagine the never ending blame game that could result.
Whatever happened to treating people fairly and decently regardless of their station and what they did? It’s just stuff. Yes we don’t want our stuff stolen, our money stolen but is it fair or decent to belittle someone and disrobe them?
No I”m definitely not a lawyer, but I have a heart [contrary to what Newman might think from time to time]
Correct me if I’m wrong, but two wrongs do not make a right.