The Craig McDougall inquest is being deliberately botched. What are they hiding?
And if that's the case, the obvious question is 'why?'
The obvious answer is because they're hiding something. Something big. Hiding something important that they don't want the public to find out.
A week and a half into the inquest, we know next to nothing about what happened that early morning Aug. 8, 2008, when a policeman pumped three bullets into McDougall within two minutes of arriving at 788 Simcoe Street. He fired four shots but one missed and, wouldn't you know it, went who knows where?
The inquest has called a bunch of witnesses, none of whom saw the shooting, and most of whom weren't even there when it happened.
The shooter, Curtis Beyak, who should have been the first witness to testify, is scheduled to give his account on Monday, November 21.
So the most important witness at the inquest has been scheduled to appear on the one day when virtually the entire press corp will be diverted to another story, and even if some reporter shows up, his or her story will be given the least space and attention as possible.
Not when you realize that the parade of useless witnesses to date is obviously intended to dilute press interest in the inquest until no reporters or at most, the bored CBC reporter alone, attends.
This simply fits the pattern of cover-up that's carpetted the shooting from day one.
The alleged investigation of the death of Craig McDougall at the hands of police took TWO YEARS AND THREE MONTHS to complete and be sent to the Ontario Provincial Police for review, and then only after the chief medical examiner sent two emails to provincial officials, a year apart, asking "where's the report?"
The OPP then took more than another year (14 months to be exact) to send it back. Maybe they're slow readers in Ontario.
The Manitoba government then sat on it for two more months before passing it over to the Manitoba Prosecution Service, emphasis on the word Prosecution.
They were worried about something in the report, so they sent it to an "outside counsel", name unknown, to advise them whether charges could be supported. That lawyer said there wasn't enough evidence to get a conviction, so that's what they informed McDougall's family and the medical examiner, who had by then been waiting more than FOUR YEARS to call an inquest that's mandatory whenever someone is killed by police.
Guess what? It took another eight months before the inquest was called, and almost EIGHT YEARS to the day that McDougall was shot for its scheduled start. And then it was delayed another three months for good measure.
How can a mandatory inquest be sidetracked for eight years? Only with a lot of help from a lot of inside sources.
Start with the incredible double standard in how police treat cops who shoot Indians and Indians who manage to avoid being shot by cops.
The officer who shot McDougall and two others who were present were whisked to the police station where they were comforted and soothed to reduce any trauma they might experience.
Nobody comforted him or worried about his trauma at seeing his son's last moments alive. He wasn't given the option of coming back another day to give a statement. He was locked up for hours, then questioned right then and there, and hours later a videotaped statement was taken.
"Had they asked to leave, certainly, they would be (allowed). They’re not under arrest," Bell said.
A gargantuan falsehood.
Almost two weeks into the inquest and we know so little, other than how far police will go to twist the truth. The family of Craig McDougall hired a private detective, Bob Norton, a former RCMP inspector, to do his own report into the shooting.
- McDougall lived at 788 Simcoe St. with his dad Brian McDougall.
- Brian returned home from a local bar at about 2:30 a.m.
- People were having a few beers and about 45 minutes later an argument breaks outs forcing Brian to tell everyone to leave.
- He also tells Craig to leave and not come home until he’s sober.
- Craig is then seen in the lane behind the residence upset and arguing with people. One witness recalled Craig saying he wanted to kill himself.
- Shortly after three females leave the back lane and Craig follows them onto Notre Dame Avenue. They allege he assaults them, pulling one of the females to the ground. Witnesses said he was yelling and screaming but didn’t know why.
- The girls flag down a truck and the driver calls 911.
- Craig returns home, shirtless, talking on his cellphone. He was calling his girlfriend.
- The three females tell police Craig assaulted them and give officers his home address.
- Craig’s brother Johnny McDougall is at the house too and remembered seeing six officers outside and recalled hearing an officer say “He’s got a weapon. Put that knife down.”
- Johnny saw two officers with their guns drawn. It’s dark out with the scene lit only by a street light across the street.
- He said Craig took a few steps towards police then they started shooting and he fell on his back. He said police were on the sidewalk and Craig was in the yard. Between them was a four-foot fence.
- An ambulance doesn’t arrive within the 20 minutes following the shots and until police took Brian, Johnny and the woman away for questioning.
A total of five witnesses told Norton they never saw Craig with a knife in the period leading up to the shooting.
It’s not known where Craig would have gotten the knife because he never entered the house and it was too big to fit in a pocket.