Thursday, October 30, 2008

New Westminster Police Const. Tomi Hamner charged with impaired driving after she crashed police vehicle

Names seem to be popping up out of nowhere these days.

Getting It Right has learned that it was New Westminster Police Const. Tomi Hamner who crashed a police car (paid for with your tax dollars) while enjoying driving-under-influence, somewhere in North Vancouver(!).

A popular British Columbia school liaison officer is the latest police officer in the province to face drunk driving charges after she crashed an unmarked police car into a highway sign and flunked two breathalyzer tests.

RCMP Cpl. Peter Thiessen confirmed Thursday that the 47-year-old off-duty New Wesminister police officer was arrested on Oct. 16 and was released on a promise to appear in North Vancouver court Dec. 17.

New Westminster police Const. Tomi Hamner, who was a well-liked school liaison officer with the New Westminster Secondary School, is on "administrative duties" and police had no plans to embarrass the officer by making the incident public until an anonymous tipster called media, said Thiessen.

I suppose it is embarrassing, but why the favouritism? Why give off-duty police officers who drink-and-drive and crash a police car (paid for by the public, to serve and protect us) preferential treatment?

Yes, that's what it is. This accident didn't happen yesterday, but on October 16. That's two weeks ago! There are a plethora of examples where the RCMP/Police could not wait to get the names of the suspects out to the public before any hearing. Here are just a few:

Example 1
Chilliwack drug war heats up
Curtis Wayne Vidal, 22, Chad Hansen, 21, and Martin Snowden, 22, face assault and weapons charges.

Example 2
RCMP have shut down a known drug house and arrested six people.

Police raided the 9th Avenue home and found a large quantity of cocaine and marijuana. Shannon Hernandez-Zuniga, 29, Sundown Bill Steiger, 32, Travis Starblanket, 20, Wesley Teal, 25, Chan Van Troung, 45, and Michael Bruce, 18, face a string of drug charges.

Example 3
Richmond - Off-Duty Officer Assaulted, Charges Laid
On December 9th, 2007, at approximately 2:20 am, an off-duty RCMP officer observed three intoxicated males harassing a female in the drive-thru line up at a Richmond Restaurant. The off-duty officer approached the males and told them to leave the female alone. [...] The three males immediately became verbally abusive towards the officer. [...] Richmond RCMP officers responded and all three males were arrested. [...] The off duty officer suffered minor injuries.

Charges have now been approved for the three males, they are scheduled to appear in Richmond Court on January 22nd and 24th, 2008. They are charged with Assault of a Police Officer and are identified as: Darcy BARBER, 21 yrs old, from Burnaby, Jeffrey FLUNEY, 26 yrs old, from Richmond, Christopher RUSSELL, 25 yrs old, from Surrey

Example 4
Nickelback front man faces impaired driving charge
Nickelback lead singer Chad Kroeger has been charged with impaired driving, after being stopped by the RCMP in Surrey last month. [...]Kroeger, who has a home in Abbotsford, is scheduled to appear in court on Aug. 25, facing charges of impaired driving and driving with a blood alcohol level over .08. His lawyer says the singer should be treated as innocent until proven guilty.

There are others, backed by years of experience, who know that the RCMP is lying through their teeth when they say that favouritism among police officers doesn't exist:
Defence lawyer Rishi Gill, a former Crown prosecutor, scoffs at the claim neither officer got preferential treatment.

"My experience is that rarely do police officers release people on a (promise to appear) for a serious crime, such as impaired driving causing death, and I have had clients accused of very minor crimes where police wouldn't consider releasing them on a (promise to appear)," said Gill.

As I said before, I'm personally not fond of the idea of releasing full names of suspects, or even of convicts; prison-time (after a fair trial) is good enough for me. But if the full name does need to be exposed on ideological grounds (and the law-and-order types in N-America are convinced it does) than at least be consistent about it.

Tomi Hamner and Benjamin Robinson DID get preferential treatment because their names were NOT released by the RCMP, while others were not so lucky.

- I enjoy drinking and driving a lot better than going to jail; waisting public moneys is in my genes alright
- Getting It Right: I enjoyed not having being charged for drunk driving for as long as it lasted
- Getting it Right: I like drinking and driving too!


Anonymous said...

I'd suggest editing the post to reflect that Const. Tone Hamner is an officer of New Westminster Police Service, not an officer of the RCMP. Doesn't change the seriouness of the incident, but best to be accurate!

Eric said...

Thanks anonymous, I've corrected the headline.


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