Friday, February 24, 2012

Busted — For an Imaginary Gun

This is the first Bizarro News item of the day. More to come!

The following news story is extreme, even for notoriously gun-hating Canada. Many thanks to Vlad Tepes for uploading this video:

According to media articles, the Mr. Sansone was released without being charged later the same day he was arrested:

Kitchener man arrested, strip-searched, after daughter draws picture of a gun

A Kitchener man says he was arrested and subjected to a strip search after his daughter drew a picture of a gun at school.

Jessie Sansone, 26, was taken into custody when he went to pick up his three children from Forest Hills public school on Wednesday.

His wife and their 15-month-old child were waiting for them at home.

Sansone said he was taken to the principal’s office, where police officers were waiting. His children were taken in by Family and Children’s Services, and he was taken to a police station in handcuffs.

Then, Sansone said, police went to his home and searched it.

Kitchener Police have not responded to requests for comment.

In a published report, the school says they notified the authorities because they were concerned children in the home had access to a gun.

Sansone told CityNews he was subjected to a strip search while in custody. Several hours later, he was released. No charges were laid and no gun was found in the home.

Sansone added that the allegations were especially hurtful because he had worked with the principal in the past. Sansone, who is a certified personal support worker and life-issues coach, often works at Kitchener schools, including Forest Hills.

Sansone admitted he was convicted of assault and attempted burglary five years ago, but he has never faced weapons charges.

What do you think — does this man’s record give the authorities probable cause to arrest him for what his daughter drew in that picture?

I couldn’t find many articles about this story in the media. But the SUN TV reporters weren’t the only ones outraged about the incident. Matt Gurney, writing for The National Post, had some choice words:
Even in a country with gun laws as warped as Canada’s, the story of Jessie Sansone is still mindboggling.

Sansone, 26, is a father of three and Kitchener, Ont., resident. As a younger man, he admits getting into trouble with the law, but claims to have lived clean for years. He’s now a certified personal support worker, husband and father of three. He was even reportedly offered a job at the very same school where this bizarre story begins. On Wednesday, Sansone arrived at his children’s’ school to pick them up. He was asked to step inside and meet with the principal. In the principal’s office, Sansone was met by three Waterloo Regional Police officers and immediately arrested. He was taken to a nearby station, strip searched and locked in a cell. His wife was also summoned to the station, and their children taken by Family and Children’s Services. At no point were they told why this was happening. It was not until officers had told Sansone that he’d be held in custody overnight before a bail hearing in the morning that his lawyer was finally able to tell Sansone that he had been arrested for possession of a firearm.

After hours in custody, during which time Sansone understandably became alarmed, he was suddenly released, without charges or conditions. A detective with the Waterloo Regional Police service apologized to Sansone, and explained that the entire sequence of events had been set in motion because a teacher at the school became alarmed when his four-year-old daughter drew a gun and said the picture was of her father. The teacher then noticed Family Services, who decided that the police needed to be involved, telling the police that they had reason to believe that there was a gun in Sansone’s home that his children had access to. That is what led Waterloo’s finest to bust Sansone in front of the entire school, strip him naked, confine him in a cell, bring his wife to a police station and take away their children.

That sounds bad, but it’s actually worse even than that. The drawing that set all this off was a drawing of Sansone being a good guy — according to what his daughter told her kindergarten teacher, the picture was off her daddy using a gun against “bad guys and monsters.” Protecting her, in other words. It was essentially a comic strip with her father in the role of the hero. Good Lord! We’d better call in the SWAT team, quick!


Everyone involved in this debacle would obviously concede that it shouldn’t have gone this way. But as long as every party involved in wronging Sansone and his family continue to claim that they did everything correctly and by the book, they are essentially admitting that given a comparable situation on some other occasion, another innocent man or woman is going to be arrested, stripped, thrown into a cell and have their kids removed from them. That’s not acceptable. It’s long been the case that gun owners, or even rumoured potential gun owners, are viewed as threats to society by default in this country. But Sansone’s experience is not about general cultural sentiment, but established procedures used by civil servants. The schools, Family Services and police all owe Sansone, his wife and their children an apology, and owe every citizen a commitment that they will never again act so rashly.


Nemesis said...

Amazing! The slippery slope of PC stupidity knows no bounds when started, and speaking of starting, what started this whole episode off, was it seems, that the teacher, or principal of that school, failed to establish whether the child who drew the picture had actually sighted a REAL gun in her father's possession.

If that lack of establishing a bona fide incident by the teaching staff is not bad enough, the attending police seem to have accepted the reasoning, when as a matter of good policing, it is necessary to establish the authenticity of any complaint. That appears to not have been the case with this incident, and attending police should have, as a matter of course, questioned the girl and established her reasoning for drawing the picture.

The purpose of the picture to be drawn in the first place has come to light only after the actions undertaken by ALL PC infected authorities concerned, and the wrongfull arrest of the girl's father, when the actual motive for the drawing should have been established within the principal's office.

This is a mindbogglingly stupid incident. It also proves how humans can become simple automatons when directed to follow mandatory guidelines which are designed to limit any use of discretion, or common sense.

I sincerely hope that the victim in this outrageous incident sues all authorities involved!

Robert Pinkerton said...

A short time ago, I sent an e-mail whose first paragraph I quote below, in point hereof.

To my friends in England:

The biggest of all reasons why I so intensely hate your country's Police, is the political impact they have exerted consistently for more than a century, toward disarming the English public. Consistently, in their so very damnable discretion, they have issued regulations interpreting your country's firearm laws even more strictly than Parliament enacted.

The personal handgun is the law-abiding person's first line of defense against interpersonal criminal aggression. On the other hand, disarming the citizenry is the harbinger of indecent designs on their other liberties. Does the gun-hater wish to privilege criminals - not excluding unconscionable Police activity (e.g.: Father Popeilusko at the time of the Solidarnosc agitation in then-still-Communist Poland, murdered by the Secret Police) falsely passed off as private criminal behavior - at the expense of lawful citizens?

Semantically strictly, a curse is prayer petitionary for descent of the Wrath of (the) God(s) upon the person or object one curses. I curse the State apparatus of Britain and Canada for their attitude toward the individual citizen's Right to arms; that attitude is simply wrong.

Chiu ChunLing said...

I personally would have been much more concerned about the allegations of monster activity. Particularly the appearance of collaboration between monsters and 'bad guys', humans no doubt subverted to the monster cause (whatever that is).

Then again, I think that disarming humanity so that they will be helpless in the face of ongoing predatory behavior by monsters is part of the monster agenda.

Chiu Chun-Ling.

Lawrence said...

She probably saw it on TV.

Maybe they should arrest the TV station owner.

laine said...

Is it possible that the Canadian educators heard of the incident on the same day in Washington state of a 9 year old shooting a schoolmate by accident and were therefore on a "hair trigger" themselves? I started imagining a mysterious pain in my calf was a deep vein thrombosis that might throw off a fatal lung clot shortly after an acquaintance had an actual pulmonary embolus. Any other time I might have just walked it off. Sometimes timing is everything.

Call Me Mom said...


Chiu ChunLing said...

Growing up, I was trained in safe handling of guns from a young age. I understood that it was dangerous to carry a loaded firearm, and impermissible to point any weapon, loaded or not, at another person.

Handguns are essential to the functioning of a modern society. We can wish that were not so, but boo hoo. Until they disarm the police and the military, the argument that guns are "unnecessary" is BS on its face.

I'd like to see an unarmed police force try and confiscate all the weapons out there. And maybe someday there will be a workable way for unarmed police to get all the guns "off the street." But for, there isn't.

That means that any responsible parent should teach their children both that guns are dangerous and exactly how to handle them safely. Learning to properly secure and safe a firearm is one of the essential skills of a prepared and responsible citizen, like knowing the Heimlich maneuver or basic First Aid.

Or you can just ban solid food and all other physical hazards. Cause that'll work.

Chiu Chun-Ling.

Unknown said...

Well, somebody else is certain to become "concerned" sooner or later, and very possibly because of what someone´s children say or do. Because people are crazy and unreasonable and because no petty official dares to err on the side of danger many more doors will be broken down and many more people will be stripsearched
Break doors down first, check junk and ask questions later
"We are from the government, and we are here to help you.."

Professor L said...

Though it never came to court, I shudder at the implications this has for the presumption of innocence. Alas, that man is assumed to be evil at even the slightest suggestion.

Chiu ChunLing said...

Or rather, precisely because it never did or will come to court, and those those that engaged in aggravated violation of this family's rights will not be held accountable before the law.

As I've said before, when the courts say "it is legal for people to do violence against you without penalty if you do X", then X has been made a de-facto crime, because there is a legally sanctioned punishment for it.

In this case, X happens to be having a young daughter who believes her father capable of protecting her and her family.

Monsters. And bad guys. Why exactly would it be wrong to shoot them?

Chiu Chun-Ling.