Re: the recent letter "RCMP must give Mantler the boot" by Max Wilkie.
Before exonerating Buddy Tavares, the public needs to reconsider the initial urgency of the 911 call made from the golf course in question. Doesn't matter who made the call - the caller obviously felt the life or well-being of an individual, and not a goose, was in danger.
While public outcry has successfully branded the RCMP as being the brutal culprit and a court of law has convicted a member of the RCMP, I see that Tavares' own reaction to all this is a perfect example of why so many cases of violence and abuse are left unreported.
The irony of it all is that while the whole world is denouncing bullying and violence (teen suicide; horrible shooting in Newtown), the public repeatedly cheers on Tavares.
This man excused his own role in the incident by mentioning several times his own mental challenges. He avoided reference to the prior spat over his marital breakdown and other factors that led to the RCMP searching for him.
Even at the close of Mantler's trial, Tavares' ranting and gestures portrayed him as an angry, vindictive man. While it was not Tavares who was on trial, one wonders how it is that a brain-injured man had permission to possess and discharge a firearm.
Wilkie, an apparent advocate against police brutality, suggested that Tavares "may not be the most articulate spokesman." I think Tavares articulated very well his position. He placed sole blame on the RCMP/Mantler. And later, even though Mantler had pleaded guilty and the trial was over, Tavares lashed out at Mantler.
Mantler will soon be dealt with by the sentencing judge. There's no argument there. The question is, will Tavares have to face some consequences for his own actions?
There's a fine line that RCMP members walk when dealing with 911 situations. If Tavares' actions are ignored, solely because this is a "hot potato," the diplomacy, trust and good will the RCMP has achieved over the years is for nought.Â
What will come of all of this? Will the RCMP devote more time to training regarding response to 911 calls? And will there be more thorough training of 911 operators?
With the help of social media, it was easy for the public to paint a wide brush over the Mantler case. Mantler's guilty plea (to assault) does not make Tavares an innocent man. In my eyes, Tavares is not a hero. I understand he is banned from possessing prohibited weapons for 18 months.Â
The B.C. Civil Liberties Association has filed complaints with the Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP, accusing Supt. Bill McKinnon and Const. Steve Holmes of conducting a smear campaign against Tavares. But it would seem to me it could very well have been the journalist, who in his haste to the scene, recorded only part of it, posted it and perhaps sparked a smear campaign against the RCMP.
One can only imagine the adrenalin at the scene; what a story this video would tell! Indeed, it provoked a "support Buddy - stop the abuse" anti-police rally in Kelowna.
I believe this is sensationalism at its best, and it hasn't let up yet.
The Dec. 27 Daily Courier made the Mountie's guilt the second top newsmaker of the year. The story reveals Mantler and other Mounties rushed... (wait a minute, didn't the rushing journalist arrive second on the scene?). The radio dispatchers "failed to mention" (re: geese). Is that true? Does it really make any difference?
Wait a minute. A guy with a brain injury fired his gun within 500 yards of the clubhouse. Had he not done that, Mantler would not have been at the scene. If he had not done that, then a 911 call might not have been made.
The takedown of Tavares by Mantler was not pretty. Neither are photos of women who have been brutalized through acts of violence in unstable domestic relationships.Â
The facts indicate, based on the 911 call, the separation agreement, a registered letter to Tavares concerning "support of $200 a month" to be added to that agreement and because he was reportedly fuming over those changes when he was at the golf club and in possession of the gun, that the 911 call should rightfully have been taken with the utmost seriousness.
This seems to have been lost in the shuffle.