Good Day Readers:
Last week Prime Minister Harper tabled a Bill (The Citizen's Arrest and Self-Defence Act) in the House of Commons. If passed Canadians will be given a reasonable amount of time to make a citizen's arrest should they discover someone has committed a crime on their property or in relation to it. As it currently stands, such arrests can only be made if the culprit is literally caught red-handed. An amendment to Section 494(2) will be required.
This undoubtedly resulted from a case involving a Toronto shopkeeper who mand national headlines (May 2009) when he was charged with assault and forcible confinement after chasing, restraining and tying up a man who had stolen items from his store. He was subsequently acquited.
This article was inspired by a recent posting on The Public Eye which we'll get to in a moment.
Truth To Power (www.accesstoinfo.blogspot.com; email@example.com)
So in our tongue in cheek approach we reasoned if Canadians will have increased powers of citizen arrest shouldn't they also have the right to carry handcuffs and night sticks? But why stop there? Our government is always telling us how out of shape and obese so why not issue us with ticket books. Here's how it would work.
Here's how it would work. We'd be encouraged to go walking and running if we can issue official parking tickets along the way. If you spotted an infraction all you need do is complete and mail a citation to Winnipeg's parking authority from your numbered book and poof you'd receive half of the monetary penalty.
Can almost see it now:
"Jeez Martha, had a great run tonight. Feel and look great plus made a really easy $350 writing tickets along the way - God that was easy! I'm going to do more running!"
Talk about healthy multi-tasking - makes perfect sense to us! Good idea/Bad idea?
Now for the Truth To Power article.
Sincerely/Clare L. Pieuk
Man charged with threatening to 'arrest' Kirkland mayor, assistant city attorney
February 28, 2011
By Levi Pulkkinen
As originally posted on: seattlepi.com
September 29, 2010
King County prosecutors have filed felony charges against a traffic offender accused of threatening to arrest the mayor of Kirkland and an assistant city attorney.
Prosecutors contend that David Russell Myrland - apparently upset that his car was impounded following a traffic stop - sent a threatening e-mail to Kirkland Mayor Joan McBride.
In the letter, Myrland, 52, of Redmond, suggested the mayor leave her home unlocked to facilitate a citizen's arrest, according to charging documents. He went on to claim to have issued a "writ of probable cause" and said he would be arriving at the mayor's home with 50 armed, concerned citizens, police said.
"DO NOT RESIST as these Citizens will be heavily armed and will meet all resistance with all necessary force, as provided by law," Myrland continued, according to charging documents. "If you default or otherwise do not appear, and if my application is granted, I would advise you to keep your front and back doors to your home UNLOCKED to better facilitate your lawful arrest."
The August 30 e-mail came three weeks after Myrland was arrested and his vehicle impounded by Kirkland police. Myrland was suspected of driving with a suspended license and an expired temporary license plate; at the time, police contend Myrland had an unloaded pistol and a loaded ammunition magazine on the passenger's seat.
Four days after the e-mail, police contend Myrland left a short threatening message on the home phone of an assistant city attorney who'd been involved in a civil case filed by Myrland.
"Keep your doors unlocked," Myrland said, according to police. "Don't resist. You're going to be meeting people."
Court records show Myrland had previously, unsuccessfully argued police lack the legal authority to issue traffic tickets and conduct law enforcement activities.
In a 2009 case handled by the assistant city attorney, Myrland - whose is identified as a tax avoidance expert on various websites apparently created by him - contended he had the authority to arrest city employees.
"(The City of Kirkland) is scheming in private and in secrecy to damage (me) by malicious prosecution and other pains to cover up the crimes of which (Kirkland) employees and officials stand accused from coming to light of day for examination," Myrland wrote.
Asserting that he has the right to arrest public employees, Myrland noted he "has never mentioned justifiable homicide in his dealings" with the city.
Myrland went on to claim that the city was attempting to force him into "an armed confrontation so they can kill him." He asked a King County judge to order the Kirkland police to turn in all of the firearms and ammunition owned by the city.
Contacted by a detective, Myrland reiterated his threat and expressed his concerns about police conduct during the traffic stop.
"He stated that the Kirkland Police Department illegally arrested and kidnapped him, stole his motor vehicle, disarmed him by taking his handgun, and allowed fines to be incurred against him in both tow impound fees and illegal traffic citations," Detective Joseph Indahl told the court.
"Myrland stated to me that he has every right to 'arrest' both the Mayor and Assistant City Attorney for 'felonies' that they have committed and he is going to carry out those arrests."
Myrland offered to not pursue those "arrests" if the city dropped the charges against him and paid his impound fees, the detective added.
Asking that Myrland be held on $50,000 bail, Senior Deputy Prosecutor Gary Ernsdorff noted that the man "apparently does not believe that State laws apply equally to him."
A King County judge instead issued a summons ordering Myrland to appear for arraignment and a restraining order directing him not to contact the mayor or the assistance city attorney.
Myrland has been charged with two counts of intimidating a public servant.
Levi Pulkkinen can be reached at 206-448-8348 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Levi on Twitter at twitter.com/levipulk.