The coverage of the Matthew Dumas inquest has been spotty and confusing. Carol Sanders is doing the most thorough job so far for the Winnipeg Free Press, but even she was either absent or unaware of the importance of what came out Monday.
The inquest heard from Ken Warren, who was robbed in his Martin Avenue East home in an incident that sparked the eventual shooting of Dumas by police, and from the Spring Taxi driver who inadvertently drove the gang of thieves to the Martin Ave. home and back to the North End.
Cab passengers should know by now that their picture is taken every time they enter a taxi. As you would expect, the police recovered the photos of the group that robbed Warren. And guess who's face showed up, according to the unreported testimony at the inquest.
None other than the man of the hour's, Matthew Dumas himself.
It was headline news that never made it.
Immediately after Dumas was shot, the blame-the-cops crowd was in full hue and cry that Dumas was killed in a case of mistaken identity. They insisted he had nothing to do with the robbery. He was a poor, innocent, aboriginal kid who ran from the police because all poor, innocent, aboriginal kids fear the police. Dumas became the poster boy for all the native organizations that exist to blame the police of racism. And, it appears, they were wrong, wrong, wrong and he was guilty, guilty, guilty.
We did some digging, starting with square one, the robbery on Martin Ave.
It turns out a group of four travelled by cab from Dufferin Avenue to Martin. A girl stayed in the taxi and the other three went to Warren's house. One of them, an eight-year-old boy, the inquest was told, rang the doorbell. When Warren answered, a man and a teenager popped up from around the corner of the house and confronted Warren. The man demanded to speak to someone named Ashley, and when told he had the wrong house, he snatched a chain from Warren's neck.
"Shoot him", he told the teen.
A terrified Warren slammed his door shut and phoned 911. The robbers walked back to the taxi which took them back to Dufferin Avenue.
Within minutes the police were following the trail, from E.K., over the Redwood Bridge, down Main Street, to Dufferin. The investigation of the Dumas shooting took precedence, but eventually they got the pictures of the taxi passengers and saw their prime suspects for the Warren robbery.
Other than Dumas, who was no stranger to the Youth Centre, they saw a very familiar face belonging to one Derek Bone.
It took a couple of weeks before they caught up with Bone and after a few months in the hoosegow on remand, he pleaded out---to theft. The Crown stayed the robbery charge. He was sentenced to one day in jail. He was given a lifetime suspension from owning a gun.
One year later, police announced a raft of serious charges against a man named Derek Bone. Same man? This Bone also like to hang out with teenaged boys, and also on Dufferin Avenue.
Police charged this Bone and a 17-year-old companion with a near-fatal stabbing of a sixteen-year-old boy on Lorne Avenue. And a machete attack on a 23-year-old man in the 500 block of Dufferin.
This Derek Bone, 33 years of age, was charged with Aggravated Assault, Assault Cause Bodily Harm, Assault with a Weapon, three counts of Possession of a Firearm While Prohibited X 3, and three counts of Failure to Comply with Condition of Recognizance. A search of his home turned up:
- .22 calibre semi automatic handgun (loaded)
- Two 9mm semi automatic handguns (loaded)
- 40 rocks of crack cocaine
- 12 grams of marihuana
- Two sawed off rifles
If the two Derek Bones are one and the same, then Dumas was associating with a very, very dangerous individual when he went to Martin Avenue. Suddenly the order "Shoot him" doesn't seem like an empty threat.
The MSM, particularly the CBC, has been pushing the meme that police should be blamed for failing to handcuff Dumas when they caught up with him minutes before he was shot. A heretofore unknown witness to the shooting said Tuesday he agreed with that idea. Except that his own evidence proved how impossible it was.
William Sinclair said he saw a policeman catch up to Dumas on Dufferin Avenue. The officer put Dumas' left arm behind his back in a restraining hold and started to lead him off. As he radioed for assistance Dumas sucker punched him, knocking the radio from his hand.
Question: How many arms did the police officer have?
One arm restraining Dumas, one holding a radio. Which arm was he supposed to use to slap on the cuffs.
What about the first time Dumas was caught? You mean the time he fought with two police officers in the backlane? It's pretty hard to secure the handcuffs when you're dodging punches.
And have we mentioned the knife dropped in the lane?
Oh well, let's not spoil the surprise for the reporters.