CHIEF CONCERNS – What Kind of City Do You Want to Live In?

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What kind of City do you want to live in?

That’s a question I’d like to ask Children and Youth Opportunities Minister Kevin Chief.

Chief was the victim of a violent attack recently after being jumped by a group of thugs on the Slaw Rebchuk Bridge.  The incident occurred around 8 pm Sunday evening while he was out for a Manitoba Marathon training run.  “I don’t think they targeted me.  I really think it was a really random, stupid thing,” Chief said.

The assault lasted around thirty-seconds.  Chief was set upon by three male and one female assailant, he was knocked to the ground and repeatedly kicked.  His face was bloodied and bruised, his nose broken and two of his teeth were chipped.  This was a nasty assault, a crime for which the perpetrators would be appropriately charged with Assault Causing Bodily Harm.  A criminal offence that comes with a sentencing range up to a maximum of ten (10) years incarceration.  Unfortunately, apprehension of the offenders appears to be the last thing Mr Chief is concerned about.

“For every incident like this that happens, there are literally thousands of good stories and stories of success.  I don’t want what happened to me to reflect on the community,” he said.

It seems Mr Chiefs first inclination was to venture into the world of denial reminiscent of Winnipeg Mayor Sam Katz who once said; “I have no problem going downtown, I have no problem going to the North End, regardless of the day of the week, regardless of what time it is.”

I often wonder if anyone else is tiring of hearing politicos incessantly downplaying the harsh realities of our crime ridden City.

Mr Chiefs motivation for minimizing the serious nature of the assault is clearly born out of his desire to counter negative perceptions the incident might create for his north end community.  I’m sorry, that kind of denial is misguided and reckless.

The North end has a serious crime problem, if you don’t believe me, just read the news papers or have a gander at a crime stat map.  That doesn’t mean the community is a wasteland deserving of a shock and awe campaign.  The North end is a diverse community, rich in culture and populated by scads of industrious wonderful people.

Assaults, like the one experienced by Mr Chief can happen anywhere.  It can happen to an off duty police officer walking with his spouse and young son in parts of the City not generally known for its violence. All it takes is a case of beer, two thugs and a large dose of stupidity.

When these things happen you have to decide what kind of City you want to live in.

The choice for me was easy, the thugs who attacked me would learn a valuable lesson after being forced to account for their criminal behaviour.

It’s unfortunate that Mr Chief chose to feel shame and embarrassment.  It’s unfortunate he chose to wait until Tuesday to report the incident to Police.  A prompt call to 911 may have resulted in a quick apprehension and had the potential to put a stop to what could have been a series of similar attacks.  These kind of attacks are often serial or repetitive in nature and can escalate much like the 2009 North end mugging spree that cumulated with the murder of twenty-four year old Joseph Hall.

A prompt 911 call can often be the difference between a public safety triumph or a senseless tragedy.

Even more disturbing than the delay in reporting to the Police is the offender driven concern expressed by Mr Chief.  “I have no anger toward the people that did this to me.  I completely forgive them.  My hope is they reach out to get the help they need and that this doesn’t happen to someone else.”

Alas, no mention of the dreaded word “consequence.”  No concern for anyone being held criminally responsible for launching a brutally violent, unprovoked attack on an innocent citizen.  No arrest, no trial, no prison time, no fine.  Not even any mention of restorative Justice.

Mr Chiefs hope is that this type of thing “doesn’t happen to someone else,” yet he chose to do nothing to influence that prospect.  No 911 call to stop a group of thugs, a delayed report to Police, an ice-cold suspect trail, no apparent interest in a prosecution and a forgiving “hug a thug” mentality.

I commend Mr Chief for having the courage to continue to run across that bridge, but at the end of the day, he has a responsibility to do his part to help make our community safe.

We all share in that responsibility.

Aggressively confronting crime and criminal behaviour forms part of that obligation.

I know what kind of City I want to live in!


11 comments on “CHIEF CONCERNS – What Kind of City Do You Want to Live In?

  1. Auroness says:

    You have got to be kidding? He has just demonstrated to youth, that you are obligated to suffer attacks and keep quiet. How can parents explain to their kids, to trust the police when the adults in governmental ministries don’t even trust the police? You can’t turn the cheek and make everything all roses and puppies. 4 people got away with a serious crime, and they will do it again. There is nothing to stop them, and it encourages others to beat up random strangers or commit other crimes.

    I think the worst part, is he knows first hand that the North End has problems and he just added to the problems.

  2. Marty says:

    Unbelievable. Are Winnipegers now supposed to roll over in apathy and just shrug? Utter ‘meh’? That’s pretty sad. Night and day from Toronto, where I am from for sure

  3. Marty Gold says:

    I compliment this essay and will make two points. Firstly, you and perhaps other are assuming that the story he told Bruce Owen is true. Secondly, information in subsequent interviews have contradicted that story.

  4. McLeod says:

    Minister Chief’s experience is no doubt one which will bother him for the rest of his life. Violence is wrong, but unfortunately violence must be met with violence. I hope he is mentally and physically prepared to defend himself the next time he is confronted by the feral scum of this city.

    Police officers work their asses’ off to deter criminal activity in Winnipeg, but in the end, we alone are responsible for our own personal safety and well-being. Police can’t be everywhere at once, and their response times for “someone threatening a jogger” will be extremely delayed when call-volumes are through the roof — which is the norm these days.

    Chief and everyone else who is chooses to participate in outdoor exercise after dark should be prepared to defend themselves with use-of-force, which we are afforded under the Criminal Code of Canada. Canadians are often brainwashed into thinking we have no right of self-protection; that’s the liberal mentality for you and it almost encourages victimization.

    As a runner, I can relate to Chief’s experience and have been confronted by violent, sub-human filth who think they can use the dark to conceal their cowardly behavior. I’ve found that a rapid, offensive physical attack works very well. Don’t give the garbage any time to think when you’re challenged. Catch them off guard. Stop the threat. Get out of harms way. None of these little pukes are expecting an armed jogger to engage them. Use reasonable, but effective force. It’s your right and legal entitlement!

    The Criminal Code says we cannot carry concealed weapons. Do not carry concealed weapons. Buy a collapsible baton (such as ASP brand) and run with it. Buy a boot-knife and strap it on your sleeve. Carry “dog spray” in your hand. Do what you have to do. Do not let your guard down. Watch others’ hands and body language. Do not carry/display any defensive weapon or tool in a threatening way when unneeded. I’ve carried for years and have never been spot-checked by police or questioned by a concerned citizen.

    People in this city need to be more vigilant. The courts sure don’t do anything to deter crime. No one else can defend you when the situation arises. Take responsibility!

    Hopefully Chief and others who choose to exercise outdoors do not experience this type of crap (again) in the future. But it’s inevitable; this is Winnipeg.

    I am not encouraging violence, only advocating for self-defence and personal responsibility.

    • Marty says:

      Really?! Your apathy is a tad disturbing… So we should take the law into our own hands now? Here’s one. I will never live in Winnipeg until this improves! I will NOT bring my family to a city where I am expected to carry an asp, (illegal BTW) or a boot knife! I refuse to live in a city where I have to play sentry all the time or fear for my girlfriend or child when they are going to school, work or out to the store without me!!! I will move back to Toronto, or Edmonton, Vancouver, or Regina… See my point…

      Maybe is because I am not from Winnipeg, but I cannot now or probably ever accept living in a city where I am on constant patrol in my spare time.

    • Will says:

      Would it not be easier to travel as a group in a shady area, or simply run in a safer area? If you use bear spray on someone they might charge you as well as the thugs. Plus that same kind of mentality had the Los Angeles police shooting at random SUV’s when they had the cop killer on the loose. Didn’t work out so well than….

      • McLeod says:

        Hi Will.

        Why should I change my leisure activities, because some filthy creature decides it wants to victimize me? I live in Charleswood. I’m not wealthy. I’ve run outdoors here for more than a decade. If sub-humans want to victimize me or anyone else for that matter, there are consequences they must be prepared to face. They bring it all on themselves.

        You are going off the deep-end if you’re comparing me to a homicidal maniac. I believe in everyone’s right to self-defence; not killing random people who have done nothing to me. Your argument is completely invalid and exaggerated.

        As for someone charging me for using a defensive weapon to inflict injury upon their person, there would be no charge if I used reasonable and equal force to whatever I was presented with. Even our liberal-oriented courts aren’t that stupid. And every police officer I had the pleasure of dealing with in my former profession was very supportive of my choice to wear a Kevlar vest and carry a weapon while working. I even had a sergeant tell me I’d be a moron not to be proactive in that regard, if I was working overnight (on the streets) in his district.

        I would hope you’d sing a different tune if ever called upon to defend your country. As a former member of the Canadian Forces, I am disgusted by people who think they’re entitled to freedom. Not all parts of the world are as stable as Canada. All it takes is a “bunch of pussies” to let the place go to crap.

        Take pride in your community.

  5. McLeod says:

    You are entitled to your opinion, Marty. But there’s a major difference between self-defence and taking the law into ones’ own hands. Self-defence is legal; vigilantism is not. (Although I have historically commented showing my support for vigilantism in certain instances. This is due to a lack of police resources in our city.)

    Just for clarification: An ASP baton is NOT illegal. It does not meet the definition of a prohibited weapon, as defined in the Criminal Code.

    “The device commonly known as a “Kiyoga Baton” or “Steel Cobra” and any similar device consisting of a manually triggered telescoping spring-loaded steel whip terminated in a heavy calibre striking tip.”

    The key point being, it is not spring-loaded. I imagine you’ve never handled such a fine piece of kit before? You should familiarize yourself and your family with the law. I would also take it a step further and become familiarized with the safe-handling practices involving weapons and firearms. It will develop into a great respect for their applications and calm any fears.

    As to the right to self-defence, that’s outlined in section 34(1) of the Criminal Code. Please educate yourself:

    If myself or anyone else is subjected to an unwanted assault, especially when it’s multiple parties vs. oneself, it is reasonable to assume one may suffer grievous bodily harm if the right to self-defence isn’t invoked. At that time, REASONABLE force is justified.

    Unlike others of a certain political bias who hide in their homes at night and think there’s no crime taking place, I refuse to be intimidated by sub-human garbage who get off on victimizing people doing things they are lawfully entitled to be doing. That’s why crime is out of control in Winnipeg: No one is standing up to it.

    Not acknowledging the fact Winnipeg is a violent, dangerous city (especially at certain times of the day, in certain neighbourhoods), does nothing to improve your personal safety. Be prepared to enforce your personal safety, or become a victim. The decision is yours. No one is going to help you when the time comes.

    Here’s a quick video which shows what the average Winnipegger would do if confronted with violence:

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