racism and police brutality put london, ontario in the spotlight

Way to go, London, Ontario. Two days ago, most people outside Canada didn't know there was another London. Now everyone has heard of the one in Ontario, first from an ugly, racist incident during a hockey game, and then from an equally ugly - but far more typical - police tasering.

Students in London, Ontario, are angry, with good reason. They've had a painful lesson in what "serve and protect" too often means: abuse of power. With no verbal warning, a London police officer broke up a fight between two teens with a taser shot to the ear. The incident was captured on cell phone video.

Chris Tremblay, a youth who says he witnessed the incident, told CBC News he saw the fight and was surprised by the police response.

"He didn't even yell, 'Stop' and then he just Tasered the kid — like, just came up and Tasered him in the ear, and the kid was not all right," Tremblay said. "He was lying on the ground. He was not all right." . . .

Police said the teen was taken to hospital for injuries suffered in the fight, but not from the jolt of the stun gun. However, the boy's mother said he was treated for Taser-related injuries. . . .

Provincial guidelines state that a Taser should not be used in sensitive areas, including the head. . . .

The Special Investigations Unit, which probes police action that results in injury, sexual assault or death, has said the incident does not meet its criteria for an investigation. Instead London police will look into the matter internally.

Angry students, meanwhile, have said they are considering holding a demonstration against police on Monday, saying officers are supposed to serve and protect, not hurt citizens.
I suppose we should consider the kid lucky. After all, the police didn't kill him. Nothing to see here. I'm sure an internal investigation by the publicly funded organized crime syndicate police department will sort the whole thing out.

Meanwhile, international sports media is still buzzing over an earlier incident in London, Ontario, when a fan threw a banana at black NHL player Wayne Simmonds during a pre-season exhibition game.

Naturally the incident was widely condemned by the NHL. The mayor of London, Joe Fontana, apologized to Simmonds and his team, and called it a "a stupid and mindless act by a single individual".

Stupid, yes. Mindless? Not so much. It's safe to assume bananas aren't sold at the concession stands in London's John Labatt Centre. Some fan had tickets to a game, and knowing that Simmonds (who is Canadian) would be on the ice, brought a banana with him, just for this purpose. I won't pretend to understand the mindset at work here, but malice aforethought abounds.

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