Please note: this post contains some commentary that reflects an emotional response to feeling let down by the London Ontario Police Department, as well as the Tucker and Taz show on FM96. These emotions are raw at the moment, but I wanted to make sure I got these feelings out in the open.
Dear Tucker and Taz,
This morning on the Tucker and Taz show on FM96, hosts Scott Tucker and Chris George (Taz) welcomed London, Ontario Police Chief Murray Faulkner on their show. Chief Faulkner was invited on to discuss issues of law enforcement in our city, as well as answer questions from callers. I had a question I wanted to ask the Chief, and so I called in to the show.
To give some background on the call, I need to go back a couple of years to when I was assaulted in downtown London. In 2007 I was visiting London while living in Barrie for Canada Day. I had spent a great day at the beach, at a movie and out for a drink at a London pub. At around 1:00am, I was walking along Talbot Street towards King Street where I had parked my car. On King Street, west of Talbot, a group of disorderly young adults were kicking garbage cans and yelling at people in the area, causing a disturbance.
As I approached King Street, one of the people in the group approached me, yelling obscenities and calling me derogatory names. I sped up to avoid confrontation. As I was crossing King Street, the person approaching me sucker punched me in the face, knocking me out and causing me to fall in the middle of the street. According to the woman I was walking with at the time, the assailant then kicked me in the face several times before leaving me, bloody and out cold, in the middle of the street.
Once the ambulance had come and taken me to the hospital, Officer Brown and Officer Campbell interviewed the woman I was with, who had witnessed the entire scene, as well as myself. I told the officers that I could not clearly remember what the attacker looked like, however they still pushed to get at least some descriptive information to help with the investigation.
The injuries sustained in the attack included a fractured orbital bone and a broken bone to the right of my right eye. My head felt like it was on fire, and I had to wait at least a couple of hours before receiving medication from the hospital as they ran X-rays and other tests.
I returned to Barrie after spending a day in the hospital and several days at home with my parents recuperating. About a week or so after the assault, I was told by the London Police that they had made an arrest, and had charged the suspect with Assault Causing Bodily Harm.
A few months later, I came back to London to give testimony at the trial. When I got to the courthouse, I was informed for the first time that there had been video evidence of the attack. However, apparently the defendant’s attorney had not received a copy of the evidence for review before the trial, so the trial was pushed back another month or so.
When I came back, I was asked to take the stand to give my recollection of the events. I was not introduced to the crown attorney, and believe from conversations with the investigating officers that they cared more about justifying their case than seeking justice for myself.
Both myself and the woman who witnessed the attacks gave our testimonies that morning. After the second testimony, the case was thrown out as the defendant did not match the description of the person we had described. As it turns out, the defendant had admitted to being present at the time of the attack, but was not the person who had assaulted me. In fact, the person who had assaulted me was, according to the defendant after the case, apparently at the house the police had arrested the defendant at the time of the arrest.
Since the trial, I have not received any correspondence from police, and have felt no closure to this episode in my life.
This brings me to this morning’s phone call. I did not call to discuss specifics of the case, but rather to simply gain an understanding of whether a case like mine would still be considered an open investigation. London Police have touted themselves in the media as protectors of the innocent, solving assault cases even years after the attacks. I was curious to know whether, even though a wrongful arrest had been made, if my case could still find some closure.
After describing in brief detail my situation, I was laughed at on live radio by Tucker, Taz, and Chief Murray Faulkner. When asked if I could give a description of the person who had attacked me, rather than listening to my response they made a joke that I had in fact been intoxicated at the time. When I tried to defend myself, I was cut off the air.
I was incredibly hurt and disgusted by how Tucker and Taz handled my phone call, and even more so by the way our London Chief of Police responded to me. I have been a loyal listener for the past year and a half I have been in London since my move back from Barrie, and yet I can say now that I will never again be supportive of your show, or any show on the Corus Radio network.
Update: I have just received responses from both Tucker and Taz. Neither outright apologized, but did indicate that they didn’t understand the full situation.
Also, I must admit that the radio may not have been the best venue for this type of inquiry. All I really wanted to find out was whether a case that results in a wrongful arrest is still considered open, and whether it is something that could be followed up on.