wJeremiads
"Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored." -Aldous Huxley

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wWednesday, February 01, 2006


GUNS, HOLD THE BUTTER: So it looks like my writing for the New York Press is turning into a regular gig. This week, I believe I did the impossible. I wrote a story about Canadian politics that Americans may be willing to read:



On Saturday the 21st, reports of gunfire drew police to an apartment containing a dying cabdriver named Ashok Malhotra. Witnesses saw two men, Jose Antonio Barajas and Ishtiaq Hussain, flee the scene. This homicide was Richmond, California’s first of the year and a new chief of police had just been sworn in, so the hunt was on.

It ended last Tuesday 900 miles from the scene of the crime, at the Peace Arch border crossing near Blaine, Washington, with the perps just a yard shy of home free. Barajas and Hussain had pulled into a rest stop along I-5 when a police officer matched them with the APB and tried to collar them. They gave him the slip, sped toward the Canadian border at over 100 mph, and plowed into several American police cars before a strategically aimed van brought them up short. They then tried to hoof it, but cops shot Hussain in the leg and tackled Barajas.

Here’s the kicker: When the Americans turned around to ask their Canadian counterparts, “How do you like that, eh?” they could hear the crickets chirping. More that 40 Canadian customs officers had abandoned their posts to avoid the conflict. Which made good sense, given that the Americans (cops and crooks both) were the only ones who had guns.

The story made slight impress south of the 49th parallel, but for many Canadians it captured everything that is wrong with their government’s approach to public order. The border officials weren’t cowards, just sane men. A spokesman for their union asked: What were they supposed to do? Throw their flashlights at the invaders?
[more]

posted by Jeremy at 2:01 PM