RCMP Victomize Aboriginals

Posted: March 7, 2013 by qdinero in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , ,

The  Human Rights Watch is an organization that has been around since 1978. Essentially providing the protection of human rights globally. The Human Rights Watch “names and shames” abusive government through media and through direct exchanges with policymakers. Ultimately, it has broadened and strengthened human rights that neglect cases, such as the rights of women, children, refugees, and migrant workers.

Recently The Human Rights Watch has been looking into the police failure and the abuse of indigenous communities committed by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. I came across an article which addresses how the  RCMP  has abused and  sexually assaulted aboriginal women in British Columbia. The article  reveals how these criminal acts were not properly addressed and remained unsolved for 5 months.

For Instance, One women who was raped by 4 RCMP officers and reported that they threatened to take her up to the mountains  to kill her then make it look like an accident. She knows the names of the officers but wont pass them on. In most cases like this the victim gets counseling because they are emotionally unstable and need professional help. If the Human Rights Watch or RCMP provided that opportunity then the likelihood of her forwarding the names would have been a lot greater.  Furthermore, about a dozen girls cancelled their interviews with researchers because they were frightened and did not want anything to do with the police.

The RCMP claims that they want to get to the bottom of the abuse allegations against its officers. However they add  to this claim they add how the Human Rights Watch is not helping them investigate. It seems like they are looking for a scapegoat, to cover up the fact that they have not addressed the problems with these cases.

The article allows people to post comments. In regards to this situation it appears  that the public is not really surprised about how the police have not gotten anywhere with such allegations. Majority of  the comments reveal public opinion about how these allegations should have been handled. The public believes the police are not even putting an effort into getting to the bottom of this ordeal and acknowledge the fact that they are not dependable. For example one commenter wrote:  ‘This is to be investigated by the same people who abuse their own. To look forward to them investigating their own is to be less than intelligent’

Reading this article,  I was wondering; How come the Human Rights Watch is  focusing on the RCMP now when this abuse of power has been going on for quite a while judging by the number of cases. After reading the cases of abuse of indigenous women and girls, I am just completely disgusted and wonder;  Why these “bad apple” cops  have not been caught and held accountable for their crimes from the beginning of their career because this kind of behaviour is not accidental, if they victimize one innocent citizen, odds are they will do the same to another.
RCMP abused, sexually assaulted aboriginal women in B.C (2013) Retrieved from :

Human Rights Watch. (2013). ABOUT US. Retrieved March 3, 2013, from:

  1. Mike Larsen says:

    In response to your comment:

    You are correct – on the one hand, we could note that the broad themes that emerge from the HRW report are ‘nothing new’ given the history of police-Aboriginal relations in Canada. This gives rise to the ‘why now?’ question.

    In response to this question – the HRW report follows on the heels of the Missing Women Commission of Inquiry, which brought considerable attention to particular problems in BC. In this sense, we could say that the report was prepared now because it fist with an ongoing conversation and there is a sense that there may be enough awareness and concern for interventions of this nature to have a chance of generating change. Another way of looking at it is to note that there is a pressing need to prepare reports of this nature on long-standing and persistent problems, as opposed to ‘new and noteworthy’ events. While the latter type of issue is considered more newsworthy, we have a tendency to ignore long-standing problems precisely because they are long-standing. I welcome reports that return our attention to an ongoing issue that has migrated away from the ‘front page’ of public consciousness.

    Finally, you mention the need to catch and hold accountable the bad apples involved in the abuses recounted in the HRW report. Recall our conversations about the different ways of approaching police deviance. The quest to identify and punish bad apples reflects what we are calling the ‘biographical-atomistic’ approach. The HRW report is more concerned with ‘big picture’ questions of organizational functioning and police-community relationships. While it draws on specific allegations about discrete events, it does so to establish a pattern. Ultimately, it is that pattern that needs to be addressed.

  2. garrettkicksbutt says:

    In response to the question: “How come the Human Rights Watch is focusing on the RCMP now when this abuse of power has been going on for quite a while judging by the number of cases”

    In my response, I would like to highlight the use of ‘trends’ with regards to publicity and public support on issues such as the ones addressed in this blog. The media, a main source for information for society at large, uses trends to maintain the short attention of the public at large. These trends involve short campaigns, almost a blitzkrieg of information on a subject, for a short time. However, after the campaign is over little is publicized on the previously pertinent subject. Police organizations, who usually would like to operate under some kind of secrecy and as critical theorist suggest have a mandate for coercion, take advantage of this only allowing certain situational details about cases to become available during these ‘trendy’ media campaigns. I am often reminded of ‘The Lord of The Rings’ movie character Sauron whose powerful gaze can only be focused in one direction. The public attentions is very similar when paying attention to certain media trends.

    The media does have its place in society providing news for the public. It does what is possible with the resources available. This is also the reason for its limited time in reviewing relevant topics, for they are under the constraints of the market and must remain ‘trendy’ in order to survive.

    If it was not for the media uproar in response to community complaint and the HRW report, I doubt we would know about what went on with those women, let alone have a class about it. Not only do the people who were victimized not possess the raw resources to get a message out to the public at large, but the police would engage in their natural tendencies to keep things quite for the sake of ‘integrity’. The sad truth is that many of our perceptions are formed by certain media outlets such as the television, newspaper and internet blogs. I believe what has too happen is a different, perhaps more personal, means of communication on important. Volunteer work allows for an interactive means of communication between the you and those in need. If you need to form an opinion, go out there and remove the filters put on you by the media.

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