Man dies in Winnipeg police custody—family demands answers
Randy Cochrane was taken into police custody on Sunday. On Monday, he was pronounced dead in a hospital.
According to CBC News, Winnipeg police observed the “armed” man near Flora Avenue and Parr Street. He was bleeding.
The officers chased the man on foot and arrested him.
According to Const. Rob Carver, an ambulance was immediately called.
“The individual was agitated at the time of his arrest,” Carver told reporters Monday. “The male became unresponsive. He was transported to a hospital and subsequently pronounced deceased.”
One witness, Will Couture, said he saw a man who looked like Cochrane jump over his backyard fence while shouting for help just before 4 p.m.
“At that time I didn’t know what he was asking for until I saw the cops running behind him saying more or less, ‘Why are you running? What’s wrong with you?” he said.
Couture said that Cochrane was shirtless, had scrapes on the side of his face and shouted “help me, help me” as police chased him across the street.
Cochrane, 30, was of the Fisher River Cree Nation. He was a father of three girls. He was visiting Winnipeg when police arrested him.
The news of his death has sparked immense grief in the family, and questions are being asked.
Monica Murdock, Cochrane’s cousin, said her family was told he had no obvious signs of injury. She said they were told his heart stopped.
“Why did he die in cuffs? Why were they chasing him? Why are they saying he was bloody but the doctors we went and saw at the emergency room last night said that he had no injuries.”
She further stresses that Cochrane’s parents are devastated.
“They’re taking it hard,” said Murdock. “That’s their only baby.”
Now she wants to know what happened.
The Independent Investigation Unit is probing the incident and are looking for witnesses.
Brian Bowman, who presides over a city increasingly defined by rising crime, chaos, and a spiralling meth epidemic, apparently thought it would be smart to tweet out a photo of him looking happy to meet China’s ambassador to Canada, Cong Peiwu.
“Pleased to visit with Chinese Ambassador to Canada, Cong Peiwu. Thank you for a productive discussion about our Sister City Chengdu, trade, and Winnipeg’s goal of becoming a leader in the protection and promotion of human rights.”
You can already see the problems here.
First, if you’re going to talk about the “protection and promotion of human rights,” you probably shouldn’t be meeting with an ambassador from a country that has a horrific human rights record like China.
China has at least one million innocent Muslim people in concentration camps, is committing a cultural genocide, is breaking their “One Country, Two Systems” pledge in Hong Kong, and is threatening their neighbours.
Also, to “thank” China’s ambassador after that same ambassador threatened Canada, and while China continues to jail the two Michaels is an absolute disgrace.
Unsurprisingly, Bowman is being ripped following the Tweet.
Below, you can see how badly Bowman got ratioed, with just 26 retweets and 482 comments.
Here is some of what people said:
“How much money did communists pay you to make you praise their ‘human rights’ disaster?! Swear you don’t know Tian’anmen Square Massacre, live organ harvesting, Uyghurs in concentration camps, HK protests being brutally cracked down! Where is your conscience sir?!”
“Whose going to tell him they have two of our people in torture like conditions?”
“#TheMichaels will appreciate the irony in the Human Rights part…”
“Human rights and ‘industrial scale murder for organs’ are not compatible”
“It’s time to drop Chengdu as a sister city. And certainly time to revoke any future invitations to ANYONE who denies the existence of these concentration camps. Oh, and you’ve officially lost my vote.”
Bowman was also ripped by some Canadian leaders, including Conservative MP James Bezan, and former Canadian Ambassador to China David Mulroney:
“Statements like this play into the PRC’s agenda of obfuscation, and actually undermine efforts to protect human rights. They reflect the false assumption that diplomacy cannot cope with plain-speaking and hard truths”
“Too bad @Mayor_Bowman was played. The only discussions with Chinese officials should be about the release of Michael Kovrig & Michael Spavor, removing Chinese sanctions on our agriculture products, & respecting human rights in China. Until then, everything else is off the table.”
Bowman has made a fool of himself, and sent a message that will encourage China to treat Canada even worse, as they once again see that the only response from Canada’s political elites is pathetic weakness.
If Bowman had any integrity he would listen to Yaakov Pollak and resign.
The public broadcaster’s shrinking audience and relevancy has led to ad revenues dropping 53 percent from 2014 to that of 2019.
In the first six months of 2014 the CBC pulled in $192.2 million in ad revenues. The first half of 2019 that overall number had dropped to $90.9 million. In in the first six months of 2017 the CBC brought in 92.8 million in ad revenues, almost $2 million more than this year.
The CBC cut 35 jobs at its HQ in Toronto in November due to the continual downturn.
“I often joke it is easier to manage growth than downsizing,” said CBC’s Radio Canada’s executive vice-president Michel Bissonnette at the Commons heritage committee earlier this year. “Unfortunately we are in a downsizing environment, and we have to maintain our services for all Canadians.”
The CBC receives $1.2 billion from federal taxpayers every year, a total that was increased by $150 million annually by the Trudeau government when the Liberals took power in 2015, fulfilling a campaign promise which left the public broadcaster in a major conflict of interest in covering federal politics.
Almost two years ago the CBC relaunched its flagship show The National with a new format, replacing anchor Peter Mansbridge with four anchors. Despite The National‘s audience dropping 10 percent (from 525,000 to 460,000) by April of 2018. By June 2019 the audience had dropped off another 59,000, or 13 percent. Even though the new format is failing, a distant third for ratings compared to CTV and Global, the CBC has continued on with the new format and four hosts.
The National‘s co-host Rosemary Barton was caught in conflict-of-interest controversy during the 2019 election when her name was included in a lawsuit against the Conservative Party of Canada for using clips of CBC coverage for copyright infringement. Although her name was eventually removed from CBC’s lawsuit, Barton never answered whether she knew her name was going to be included as a plaintiff initially, and she continued to cover the news for the rest of the election in spite of the apparent conflict of interest. This and other actions by CBC employees during the election raised questions about the public broadcaster’s claim to impartiality.
Amidst calls for proactive measures on the global “climate crisis”, 11,258 scientists from 153 nations agreed with the findings in a recent BioScience publication. They warn of “untold suffering due to the climate crisis”.
Unless we commit to reproducing less, “transition” from fossil fuels, cut meat from our diets and end deforestation, the effects will only worsen, according to the publication.
The Liberal Party dogma echoes these sentiments. From using Inuit Canadians as props to giving fictitious sympathies to the prairies (having labelled them as “climate change deniers” in the past), the false moral platitudes undermine attempts for rational discourse.
When that discourse sours to the received wisdom being beyond reproach, and media mix education with indoctrination, society suffers as a result.
Yes, climate change is just that–a serious issue trumped up by alarmist rhetoric.
Like health care, education, and yes, even climate change, contentious issues such as these require honest debate, realistic goals, and a plan to achieve said policy aims. Combating climate change can occur without alienating large swaths of the population or moving to “phase out” entire industries.
While it is no secret that Albertans are the least receptive to coercive climate action, the backlash from a recent poll demonstrates how divisive mere inquiry can be. Suggesting an alternative to the carbon tax even constitutes the label of climate change denier.
Therefore, if it is true that “Scientists have a moral obligation…to ‘tell it like it is’, then, perhaps, the demonizing of one’s opponents, as the political left often does, is not how we save the world from the pending apocalypse.
Effectively, the climate change issue has become a means by which tragedy is politicized, opponents mischaracterized, and the genuine need to educate gone with the wind. It’s all about centralized control, increased taxation, and not the freedom to choose.
The recent High Level fire was not caused by climate change, but arson
The CBC pinned the devastating fire this summer near High Level and Chuckegg Creek on climate change, using wire copy from Canadian Press reporter Corlette Derworiz with the misleading headline “Alberta wildfires linked to climate change, scientist says”.
Despite the fires still raging, the CBC article began by spinning the story in service of the climate change narrative, before the smoke had settled and the cause of the fire was even established.
We now know from the release of the RCMP’s investigation that the largest of the fires around Chuckegg Creek and High Level were caused by arson, something that was made public on Oct. 22.
Of course, climate change will result in more wildfires. Nobody would contend that warmer weather makes for drier conditions, but in this case, the reporting was dishonest. Emphasizing a single factor without acknowledging other causes, including arson, was irresponsible.
The premier’s response at the time included the need for more context as to why this fire season may be worse than others, including but not limited to climate change.
“‘I accept the science on anthropogenic climate change,’ Kenney said in a news conference. “But, in this particular instance, I can tell you we are on the five-year average for forest fires in Alberta… The large one right now is happening in an area where there has not been a fire for 80 years, and so, regardless of other factors, it was due eventually for a large wildfire.’”
In our interview with the CP reporter, she said, “Kenney’s comments aren’t wrong, but fire scientists say they don’t tell the whole story,” which is ironic, given the original story included misleading quotes from the scientist she interviewed.
It all seemed quite strange that the quotes from Dr. Mike Flannigan, who has a Ph.D. in Plant Sciences, and who specializes in fire’s interaction with climate, would give such a lopsided take on the northern Alberta wildfires. His quotes, peppered throughout the article, read like climate change propaganda, which, now having talked to him, are deeply misrepresentative of his views.
A quote like “We are seeing climate change in action,” makes it sound like Dr. Flannigan is speaking on the northern Alberta wildfires, and like other quotes, are lacking in context, suspiciously short, and do not reflect something a respected environmental scientist would claim while a wildfire is still burning.
When we called Dr. Flannigan to ask why he seemingly had attributed the fires solely to the increased risks from climate change, the ensuing discussions pointed our concerns back to Derworiz’s piece that the all-too-credulous CBC published because it fit the public broadcaster’s confirmation bias.
Upon questioning him, it was soon evident that Dr. Flannigan is very detailed in the way he handles the issue of forest fires. The quotes included were tailored down to meet the CP’s and CBC’s climate change narrative.
As Dr. Flannigan put it:
“Media like sound bites of ten to thirty seconds, where, unfortunately, you can’t get into all that you know, but you try and hammer home the major points and often I do try. But it doesn’t always make it because things get cut, that the amount of human activity in northern Alberta has increased significantly. And so we’re seeing more impact because more people are living and working in the forest as compared to 40 years ago. So that’s why we’re seeing more Chuckegg Creeks, Slave Lakes, and Fort McMurray. It’s because there are more people there, and they’re starting fires.” Dr. Flannigan
When we followed up with the CP reporter to question the editorializing in her news article, she said it was unfair to expect her to get the cause of the fire correct as she had less information when she wrote the article. This misses the point entirely.
The issue is that CP wrote a story about the northern Alberta wildfires and linked them to climate change before having all of the evidence. Even if the cause of the major fires around Chuckegg Creek and High Level had been strongly linked to climate change, it would still not be correct to write the story before confirming that as factually accurate.
If you don’t have the information, then you don’t write the story. That’s how journalism works.
On the call, the reporter pivoted her position from climate change being linked to the fires to climate change, generally making wildfires worse, which is a palatable position, but not one that was portrayed in her article.
She deflected criticism of the information she presented back at Dr. Flannigan, stating, “I’m not giving you different information. The prof is the expert. He’s the guy that you should talk to.”
Dr. Flannigan told us, “I don’t usually like to go to individual events and say, yes, that’s a direct result of climate change.” That contradicts the premise of the article which broadly links all the fires, including those close to Chuckegg Creek and High Level, to climate change.
Again Dr. Flannigan had said that he doesn’t just give soundbites nor link causes or factors to fires while they are still burning. He will provide extensive information to anyone who comes looking for his expertise.
“Media wants a hook, and the more sensational, the better. So, I can sometimes talk for 40 minutes, and it will be reduced down to thirty seconds or twenty seconds, and they [only] take snippets. And sometimes it’s out of context, or at least it’s not complete. It’s incomplete. And yeah, I mean, it’s a very complex issue, and to reduce it to one point is–yeah.”
The CP reporter responded to us when asked if it was okay to run a story before getting in all the evidence, saying, “Well, I don’t think that is any different than Premier Kenney making statements about what he thinks caused the fire at the time.”
Having mentioned Premier Kenney’s response to the fire, she claimed her article was a response to his “strong statements.”
“I believe that is why we did that story at the time,” she states.
Though the author isn’t wholly to blame, the CBC is dogmatic on the climate change issue and gladly publishes alarmist rhetoric on their website regularly. Those opposing the so-called “climate crisis” are ex-communicated as “deniers”, while Greta Thunberg is given sainthood.
Based on this editorial trajectory, it isn’t a shock that the CBC has set up an incentive structure that could result in a biased, inaccurate piece being published without sober second thought.
It doesn’t seem to matter to them that a misreporting of the issue could impact the lives of people living in northern Alberta. People need to know accurate information on what caused a fire to be able to make an informed decision on continuing to live in the area or not.
For the record, the CBC never updated the original article or made any retraction of the information provided within.
Since CBC receives well over a billion dollars of taxpayer money annually, it would be nice if Canadians could rely on accurate information, especially in stressful situations like wildfires or extreme weather events where evacuations occurred.
While CBC and CP mislead Canadians, The Post Millennial provided quality coverage of the region, even before the fires
The importance of shining light on underreported issues with a large platform or spotlight is crucial—especially so as we make concerted efforts to mend historical injustices.
And speaking truth to power, including the mainstream, is vital for the free press to do so consistently, and to do right.
The authorities can’t be everywhere, and that’s for the best.
After all, we wouldn’t want to live in an authoritarian police state in which signs of government power were omnipresent.
So, in a democratic society, the rule of law is paramount, and the rule of law functions on the basis of the vast majority of people agreeing to follow the rules, even when someone could technically get away with lawbreaking.
It also functions on people believing that the rules will be applied when warranted. If people are allowed to brazenly steal, show total contempt for any basic decency, and then get away without punishment, that kind of attitude can spread throughout society like a sickness, signalling a deeper level of corruption and breakdown.
Unfortunately, that’s exactly the kind of breakdown that’s happening right now in Winnipeg. And it’s worse than the rampant LCBO thefts in Ontario.
Twitter and Facebook conversation among Winnipeggers is increasingly focused on the appalling sight of Manitoba Liquor Marts being beset by criminals who brazenly walk into stores, steal vast quantities of alcohol, knock alcohol onto the floors, and then scurry away, all without any punishment or action from the authorities.
In many cases, security guards simply stand there and watch, doing absolutely nothing, not even admonishing the criminals to stop. The Liquor Mart employees stand there watching as well, and the only thing they usually do is tell law-abiding Liquor Mart customers not to intervene.
And how about the police?
Well, they’re telling people not to intervene either, warning they could face “legal action.”
“Winnipeg police are addressing the issue of customers physically intervening in liquor mart thefts. As frustrating as it is, officers are warning people not to get involved. Police say you could be hurt and could be held liable criminally or civilly if someone else gets hurt.”
So this is what society has now become: Criminals break the law with impunity, while the authorities warn law-abiding people to do nothing or else risk getting in trouble.
What the hell is this?
Society is supposed to punish those who violate the laws, and reward those who follow the laws. It’s actually incredibly simple. This combo of punishments and rewards is what keeps any healthy society functioning, and when it breaks down, then society breaks down as well.
And that’s exactly what we see happening.
The system of punishments and rewards is being reversed, with the criminals being rewarded – with free alcohol and no punishments – while law-abiding citizens are punished. And law-abiding citizens are really being punished three times, first with the threats from authorities not to intervene, then with having to pay for alcohol while criminals don’t, and finally by the increased taxes that will be extracted by the government to cover the mounting costs of the Liquor Mart thefts.
All of this is outrageous, and it’s an insult to every Manitoba Liquor Marts customer who is following the law and following the rules.
There’s also something deeper going on here. It’s no coincidence that this type of weakness from the authorities is being matched with our country’s inability to stand up to China’s mistreatment of our citizens, the rise in meth and opioid related-crime and death, and the rise of gang crime. Meanwhile, the federal government wants to jail people for five years for sharing what they call “misinformation” about politicians on the internet.
Our so-called ‘leaders’ are so weak and corrupt that they only know how to be aggressive against good, law-abiding citizens. They can’t deal with criminals, aggressive strength, or brazen disregard for the law.
This will have dire consequences. The more people see that the rule of law is breaking down, and the more people see that following the rules results in punishment while breaking the rules results in reward, the worse and more chaotic things are going to get.