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And Justice For All? No, Son, Justice For Some

Jim Finnel

Fallen Cannabis Warrior & Ex News Moderator
Colleague Tim Petruk received a pretty nasty letter recently, berating him for a court story he wrote on a man accused of threatening some students.

It's unfortunate the letter writer didn't realize Petruk was just reporting what happened in court.

I have to admit, though, I felt for the writer.

I share the outrage the letter writer felt when hearing these young men testify they felt threatened by the dad who confronted them, accusing them of bullying his son.

I was equally furious when I heard these young men, just hours after the incident, talk about how they felt the dad was deliberating driving his vehicle at them as they stood at a bus stop, about how frightened they were when the vehicle came up over the curb.

I believe them, but I have some advantages over the judicial system that has acquitted this dad.

First, I know these kids.

I've watched them grow from youngsters into fine teenagers who have themselves been the brunt of bullying because they attend Beattie School of the Arts.

Apparently, in some minds, that makes them gay and, hence, victims of all kinds of bullying -- to the point the police have been called on at least two occasions.

I believe them because I saw the fear in their eyes at the time.

I listened to my own son, one of their friends who wasn't at the bus stop but on his way there, talk about how angry they were to be accused of bullying this man's young son. I believe them because I'm a mom.

And, this is where the tough life lesson comes in. I just believe them.

The judge, however, had to apply other criteria. He had to consider testimony, believability, credibility, likelihood of truth, possible doubt -- all those questions I don't have to think about because, in my heart, I believe these teenagers.

So, now comes the need to explain why the result isn't what they had expected would happen.

It's the justice versus what-we-believe-should-happen talk -- and that's been made a bit harder by another reality some of these kids witnessed earlier this week when two police cruisers rolled up outside their school and a handful of RCMP officers waded into a crowd of teens gathered on private property.

A neighbour had called the police, claiming the teens were smoking pot.

These officers approached what school district officials say was about two dozen teens and proceeded to search some.

That led to some backtalk from some of these kids and the end result was two teens busted for having drugs or drug paraphernalia and two more arrested for obstruction.

Where's the fairness, my son asked?

Tough question to answer.

Why are police officers allowed to swear at teens, my son asked, yet teens get arrested if they swear at a police officer?

Another tough question and, frankly, I have no answer expect to say police officers expect respect.

Giving it appears to be another matter for some of them.

The school district will "deal with" the quartet of students arrested, according to superintendent Terry Sullivan. I figure that's a euphemism for suspension, a belief my son shares.

Here's where the hardest question comes into play: Why does the court system let one person walk and yet these kids may be punished ?

Because that's the way the world works is the obvious answer, albeit one that is hard for many to swallow.

All these teens have learned some life lesson now; there are different rules depending on who is making the call.

That's called life -- and nobody said it would always be fair.

But, for those young men who went into that courtroom to testify or to support each other, know this: I believe you, your parents believe you and, whether you accept it or not right now, you did the right thing.

NewsHawk: Jim Behr: 420 MAGAZINE
Source: Kamloops This Week (CN BC)
Copyright: 2011 Kamloops This Week
Contact: editor@kamloopsthisweek.com
Website: Kamloops This Week - Kamloops This Week
Details: MAP: Media Directory
Author: Dale Bass


New Member
Jesus lady, go sit in the crying room.

I imagine there's always another side to every story, but get real.

1. Kids shouldn't be brought up to curse or argue with the police even when the police are wrong; that's the parent's job. Most adults lack the emotional and intellectual control needed for a confrontation with law enforcement, why would a responsible adult encourage juveniles to step up to the plate?

2. Perceived gay or not, what does this have to do with drug use at school? I'm not one to talk and I have the record to prove it, but unlike this lady and the kids she speaks for, I take responsibility for my poor decisions as that is how I was raised.

3. The adult bully was acquitted of breaking a law. This does not mean that the adults from the opposing party couldn't sit down and work out their problems with all parties involved. That's what grown folk tend to do--especially when you don't like the person.

Instead I sit here and read about some woman's opinion that equates to nothing more than justification for one's stupidity and condemnation for the others.

It's natural for a parent to be biased towards their kin. I just wish that more wisdom was on display.
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