Calgary Police and the Defence of Calgary Peace

Shootings of any kind are thankfully quite rare in Calgary, and shootings that result in someone's death are rarer still. The fact that there have been two deaths as the result of shootings by Calgary Police in the past month is a tragic departure from our city's typical peacefulness, both in the events themselves and in the speculation and commentary that have followed in their wake.

It is central to the interests of justice, central to Canadian law, and central to the spirit of Calgary that people are not judged before all of the facts are in—that everyone is presumed innocent until proven guilty. Yet the two recent police shootings have polarized many in Calgary, leading to the condemnation of those killed in these incidents or, alternatively, to the condemnation of the Calgary Police officers who pulled the triggers.

Any time a Calgary Police officer is forced to draw his or her gun, or to brandish any weapon, must be viewed as tragic in and of itself. Any situation in which a society and those sworn to protect it must threaten violence in order to suppress greater violence, and to defend that society, is a tragedy.

Such incidents are also an unfortunate reality for all societies, to one degree or another.

Before we leap to any conclusions about either of these two incidents—two incidents which, without clear and abundant evidence to the contrary, must be considered as completely independent and not indicative of any trend in the Calgary Police—let's let the facts come in. Let's keep Calgary society peaceful and progressive by refusing to judge anyone involved without the information.

Where problems are found, we should work quickly and collectively to fix them. But no one in Calgary is well served by vitriol, rhetoric, or polarized views built more on anger than information.

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