Tuesday, May 26, 2020


The most recent, obvious case of likely judicial misfeasance should be on everyone's lips. A suspect in a burglary, Joshua Hannaford, while in an attempt to escape from police was confronted by an armed police officer who shouted at the suspect to "Show me your hands" and "Don't move". The suspect, who was later convicvted of the burglary, was unarmed and his hands were empty. He immediately turned and fled from both a duly sworn officer attempting to arrest him as well as from an armed individual pointing a gun at him. In response the police officer opened fire in an outdoor area beside Highway 401 in Cambridge. The first five bullets went astray with bullet number six striking the fleeing suspect in the back of the thigh.

The Ontario Special Investigations Unit (SIU) which has often been criticized in the past for their alleged gentle treatment of police officers, apparently were somewhat taken aback by what might appear to some to be an egregious shooting of an unarmed, fleeing suspect of a non-violent crime. The SIU charged Officer Dorling with attempted murder, aggravated assault, discharging a firearm with intent and discharging a firearm recklessly. Firing a lethal weapon, a handgun, chambered for either 9 millimetre or .40 calibre bullets, six times at a human being who is neither attacking nor putting anyone's life in imminent peril (including the officer's) is considered both unsportsmanlike as well as illegal in the province of Ontario and most civilized countries. The first five bullets which missed (at least we hope that it was bullet six that struck the suspect) clearly were a danger to other life forms whether humanoid or not. The rule of law suggests/demands that the law be the same for everyone. If I confront a burglar in my home and he advances towards me I have a right to defend myself. On the other hand if he turns and flees out the nearest door or window, my claims of self-defence go right out the door/window with him and if I shoot him in the buttocks, back of the thigh, ot through his back into his heart then I am going to spend a very long time in jail. We the citizens of this province expect that similarly police officers will not take it upon themselves to apprehend fleeing suspects by shooting them, as if their bullets were no more lethal than a lariat or lasso to capture an animal.

We were advised that the "independent, out-of-town prosecutor", Ian Bulmer, withdrew all charges, advising the court that it would be unfair to try Officer Dorling after the earlier trial of Joshua Hannaford resulted in Mr. Hannaford's conviction for the burglary. Allegedly a trial of Officer Dorling on the charge of attempted murder as well as the gun charges against him would entail a number of the same witnesses and evidence a second time"...to seek a different outcome". What nonsense is this? The first trail was for a charge against Mr. Hannaford for burglary and the expected next trial would be against Officer Dorling for his entirely separate and potentially lethal actions. The piling on of support for Officer Dorling by his union rep (Mr. Egers) and the chief (Mr. Larkin), while disappointing, may have been predictable but the aiding and abetting of this judicial misfeasance included Judge Toni Skarica who above and beyond making a decision on the burglary charges also for some peculiar reason felt the need to comment upon the actions of the police officer, Mr. Dorling. Justice Skarica almost said "...that Sgt. Dorling, in an act of bravery and courage, was prepared to risk his life to confront an individual..." who was unarmed and running away from him. No, instead the Justice praised Officer Dorling and that was adequate for the "independent, out-of-town prosecutor", Ian Bulmer to drop all charges against the officer. I detect a funny odour regarding Judge Skarica's timely defence of a witness (Dorling) in a criminal trial (burglary) who himself was facing far more severe criminal charges than the burglary defendant, Hannaford. Is it possible that someone nudged Judge Skarica into speaking out and hence giving the independent, out-of-town prosecutor, an excuse to drop all charges against Sgt. Dorling? As an aside I have found in the past, the need to occasionally bring in independent, out-of-town prosecutors very strange. It's almost as if our local judicial luminaries are tacitly admitting the presence of "home cooking" regarding certain either high profile or even "political" local cases.

There may be some similarities in the quality of local justice in this case to the attempted murder conviction of Officer James Forcillo a few years back in Toronto. Officer Forcillo was "confronted" by an obviously disturbed young man on an empty streetcar by the name of Sammy Yatin. Mr. Yatin was walking back and forth inside the empty streetcar while holding a small knife in his hand. Officer Forcillo, being clearly a sensitive and caring person waited until Mr. Yatin got to the end of his forward progress in the streetcar, opposite the open doorway, and opened fire on Mr. Yatin hitting him three times and dropping him on the spot. Officer Forcillo, then proceeded to fire six more times at the already incapacitated and possibly dying Sammy Yatin, only missing the prone and still citizen but once. In an act of incredible ingenuity and flexibility to the point of contortionism, the court found Officer Forcillo guilty of only attempted murder as they ruled that the first three shots were legal and that they probably killed Mr. Yatin but the last six shots were illegal earning Officer Forcillo the attempted murder conviction. God when I grow up I want to be part of a group of "professionals" like that. Oh and as part of the blue wall of silence a second officer ran up to the now shot eight times and prone Sammy Yatin and tasered him. My guess is that the purpose of using the Taser was so that Officer Forcillo could say that the suspect was tasered first but it failed so he had to shoot him. Citizen phone videos kind of nixed that stunt.

The purpose of including this last paragraph is to indicate to readers that horrendous judicial and police behaviour and decisions are not the sole purview of Waterloo Region, for whatever that may be worth.

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