Friday, April 20, 2007
Another Fine Week
Earlier this week I was suppose to meet a friend of mine for lunch to discuss plans for a project this summer we are co-coordinating. Well, I was shocked to hear she couldn't make it because she was the victim of an assault, she and a friend were attacked as they took a Sunday evening stroll down Main Street. This wasn't the scary part of Main St. near the Northern Hotel (close to Selkirk Ave.) or downtown, nope, this was north of Inkster when it turns into one of the Kildonan's, a seemingly quiet area. Twenty years ago I used to hang out at the North Main Sals for late night coffee, pie and card games (as well as watch my girlfriend and her pals chain-smoke) for hours.
She was attacked by a group of teenage (probably underage) girls who proceeded to beat and kick the crap out of her, totally unprovoked. Before I go on I should mention she (I'll call her "S") had no crap in her to start with, S is a sweet, kind person who is not threatening in any way, probably all the more reason to target her. S was left with a broken leg and multiple facial injuries, she felt she was lucky because she wasn't killed, as they tried to snap her neck and smash her head. I'm sure she has never experienced anything like this before, physically she'll recover, but emotionally it will take longer, but I know she has a real strong character and drive, so she'll be alright. Oh, and of course they took her purse, I'm not sure if this was the incentive, the reason they attacked her or if it was the added bonus after they satisfied their thirst for blood. All week this incident has caused much bitterness in my mind, If I feel all this anger towards this stupid senseless act, how does her family and friends feel?
Like many Winnipegger's, there is a feeling of frustration with our justice system. S's uncle told me that the police said to her it was pointless to pursue any action against the assailants because the law (yet again!) can't touch them. Too young, means at most a slap on the wrist. Our city has been plagued with a huge rash of car thefts by young offenders and the public outcry hit it's peak after a stolen car of boys aged 13 to 16 ran down a jogger on Wellington Cres. It's one thing to repeatedly steal cars, but now attempted murder is added to the game. Obviously these kids treat the law as a joke with no clue of how their actions affect the lives of others and until they face some cold hard reality, they won't stop. If the police force's lackadaisical attitude towards young offenders continues, we shouldn't be surprised when citizen's start to take the law into their own hands. On the same day I talked to S, I watched a report on the news about a website that was letting it's viewer's express their anger towards crime in our city. The site Winnipegtheft.com had published the names of the youth that ran over the jogger (actually someone posted a news clip on YouTube that posted the names, the YouTube video is now unavailable), and technically since there is a law that prohibits the publication of the names of criminals under a certain age, the police are thinking about taking legal action. So I'm wondering, should we name all criminals no matter their age or at least name repeat offenders that didn't learn the first time? Try to guess which way I'm leaning? Let me know what you think.