Marc Erickson

Marc Erickson
Vancouver, BC, Canada
February 14
I'm 57 years old. I'm a Canadian with American, Estonian, Swedish, and Canadian grandparents. My tech writing can be found here:

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FEBRUARY 1, 2012 1:56PM

Unnecessary Force

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In the late 70s/early 80s I was driving a wrecker for Tritow, who at that time had the Vancouver city towing contract. I was working night shift, which went into the wee morning hours. I had been doing work on the east side of the city, and chose to come back and park underneath the Dunsmuir Viaduct (roughly where the skateboard park is now - it was lit and thus a good place to read) to wait for my next call rather than coming all the way back to the yard under the north end of the Granville Bridge.

There had been an old (40s? 50s?) small farm tractor parked there for a long time - it had dust on it. There was a series of arsons going on in Vancouver at that time and some copycats were doing so. I saw a copycat put a rag into the refuelling opening of the tractor and then light it on fire.

As a good citizen should, I radioed dispatch and asked him to call police. I followed the arsonist (he was on foot) and gave dispatch updates - which he relayed. VPD sent a K-9 team and cornered him in an empty lot behind (west of) the Cobalt Hotel. He knew was cornered - he put his hands up. Then the dogmaster released the dog, and the dog roughed up the suspect.

That police action was completely unnecessary. When I was called to court for the preliminary hearing, I sat on a bench outside the courtroom waiting to be called. Eventually the police witnesses showed up. THEY DIDN'T KNOW WHO I WAS. I'd had no contact with police at the arrest scene - me and my truck were a half block away.

One asked the other, 'Did they say anything about the dog?' The other laughed, 'No.' That was the first time. I've since seen other cops who abuse their powers - and been on the receiving end a couple of times - that's why I don't trust cops any more.

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