Thursday, July 23, 2009

Courtenay Sets Example for Country

Richmond Review: Canada is in an excellent position to foster harmony
Most recently, a 38-year-young black person, Jay Phillips, was attacked by three Caucasian youth. This happened (without any provocation from the victim) in broad daylight in Vancouver Island community of Courtenay. This ugly incident was viewed on YouTube worldwide. To their credit, the residents of Courtenay organized a big rally there and expressed their disgust and rejection of such behaviour. They sent a strong message against racism and hate crime.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

City hits back with Protocol alternative

Comox Valley Echo: Mayor wins narrow support for new statement of values
Last night Phelps persuaded a majority of his council to support a 'statement of community values' he had prepared in a bid to show they supported the spirit of the protocol if not the precise wording.

He also hoped the Community Justice Centre - which promoted the protocol initiative - was still open to minor changes to their own wording that would make it acceptable to Courtenay.

And he offered to help compile a more detailed protocol document that would set out a clear, easy-to-understand and step-by-step action program that could be implemented when an incident took place.

His new statement was supported by three councillors - Jon Ambler, Murray Presley and Larry Jangula - but opposed by Ronna-Rae Leonard and Manno Theos.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Police Say 3 Men Not Involved in Second Attack

Looks like the RCMP believes that they were only involved in the first attack.

Comox Valley Record: No additional charges for YouTube threesome
Comox Valley RCMP say now that the three men charged were not involved in that fight, and that there was no connection between the two incidents. Comox Valley RCMP were unavailable to comment why the warrants were issued or to answer any further questions about the second assault.

More Reports of Attacks at Courtenay McDonalds

I think they need a camera at the McDonalds
Comox Valley Echo: Just Regular Jackasses
Last Friday after a few drinks and dancing at a local bar my friends and I had our designated driver hit the Courtenay McDonalds drive thru where we had the pleasure of watching an orange-haired male in a plaid coat beat another kid down to the ground. Once he had him down he proceeded to kick his head into the side of the concrete building about twenty times. In front of a bunch of other kids, some who were presumably friends of the victim and who pretty much all did NOTHING?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Reasoning and Motive of Second Attack Could be a Ploy to Disguise Hate Attack

I believe the second attack was premeditated in the 3.5 hours after the attack on Jay Phillips. A plan was devised to make it appear that they were not racist to police by attacking a white teenaged boy.

After the attack the must have known they did something really bad. Why else would one of the men try to cover up the license plate of the truck while leaving the scene of the crime.

Monday, July 13, 2009

A-News / CTV Interviews Mother of Victim of Second Courtenay Hate Attack

More is now being reported:
  • 3.5 Hours later (approx 11:30pm) a junior-high-aged child was assaulted by a group of men where an unidentified 19-year-old man taunted the boy into a fight. Earlier reports mentioned the 3 men were participants.

  • The attack happened in the parking lot of the same McDonalds that was across the street from the attack on Jay Phillps.
  • After the fight, one of the men in the group said that the “tight skater pants” were associated with n****ers and that they were actually “n****er killers.”

  • They were released on condition to appear in court last week, but now are wanted under an unendorsed warrant due to this second attack coming to light. This means they’ll be under arrest until their court date.
  1. Not known if they are currently in custody under new warrant
  2. Not known who else was involved in the second attack
  3. Not known what happened in the 3.5 hours between the two attacks.

Theories on why another attack was formulated for 3.5 hours later:
  1. Wanted to call Phillips out for another fight by using the N-word so close to the scene of the first attack.

  2. Wanted to make it seem like they're not racist by attacking someone the same race as them. Since they shouted the N-word eariler during the attack of a black man, they wanted to let the RCMP know that they can use the N-word in a non-racial way -- by attacking a white child and using the N-word.

  3. Wanted to spread the blame on more guys by inviting more people to come watch a second attack. OR wanted more witnesses to point (2) above.

The mother of the child victimized in the second attack told A-News:
In the interview with A-News, the mother said, "He's a skater so he wears the tight jeans and he was told he shouldn't wear jeans like that because, quote, 'that's how niggers wear their pants', so he looked like a nigger, that they hated niggers, they were actually nigger killers." Then the reporter said that one person made reference to the attack on Jay Phillips 3.5 hours earlier that evening.

"I'm saying then why three hours later were you in the parking lot of the McDonald's saying, bragging once again about the fight and going on about being nigger killers?" the mother said.

Watching the interview, I thought the mother was inelegant at expressing herself, which made me question the sincerity of everything she was claiming.

*UPDATE 14.7.2009* after no statement from police since monday, they released some information to the Comox Valley Echo:
Echo: Trio charged in attack now suspected of second assault, Police hoping residents won't take vigilante action
Douglas said the second attack was not racially motivated, something that Phillips confirms.

"I think the victim's mother is white, but I think it was what he was wearing, that's what she said to me last night," said Phillips on Friday.

Douglas appealed to the public to remain calm in the wake of the highly publicized attacks.

New Junk Food Instigation Incident Reported in Vancouver

Another report of a violent crime steaming from junk food being thrown.

Adam Huber claims Jay Phillips, who was on his way to the gym, was the instigator with an alleged cheeseburger (video). Police report a water bottle was thrown instead when Phillips was verbally assaulted, racially.

CTV News: Potato chip thrower threatened with gun
A Richmond, B.C., man is facing 15 criminal charges after allegedly threatening a woman with a gun after she threw a potato chip at his truck.

Great Editoral in Vancouver Sun on Racism in Canada

Racism happens to everyone, even against white people. We must stop the circle of hate and the stupid blame game where people blame everyone else. Stop it now... and just judge everyone on an individual basis.

Vancouver Sun: We can't stamp out hate, but we can defend tolerance

Among incidents motivated by race or ethnicity, about half targeted blacks, 13 per cent South Asians, 12 per cent Arabs or West Asians, five per cent Southeast Asians (Chinese, Japanese, Koreans, etc.) and five per cent Caucasians. Although only one in 10 hate crimes were motivated by sexual orientation, such attacks were more likely than others to involve violence.

Canada takes pride in its diversity but our multicultural mosaic is truly a fragile co-existence that must be managed with care.

Keeping Courtenay Safe Blog on the Defense

My intention when I started this blog was mainly to point out a big problem we have in the Comox Valley, and those are drug houses and crack houses where the Valley’s hooligans live. They’ve been around for a long time, for over 12 years I’ve seen no change. I don’t think they’re on every street corner, but I think every neighborhood has one. They harbor criminals, young prostitutes, and sometimes hate groups. I know drugs houses are everywhere and in every city in this country, but I think we’re a small enough community to curb them and eliminate.
So the day after the attack all my friends were talking about the attacks and how they lived in a drug house and are white supremacists, I got really really upset.

I thought to myself, is this what we’re going to see more of? Coupled with the fact a good friend of mind was jumped buy a group of hooligans when he was younger. After that he was always afraid to be out late. Then you always hear stories of someone close to you getting roughed up or something.

At that moment I asked myself: what was being done about it? Why do these reports of unprovoked attacks never stop? Do I still want to raise my children there?

What Good Does Talking About the Issues Do?
I want to bring light onto this issue. That way the citizens of Courtenay can be educated when they vote for a new Mayor, City Council Members, and School Board Trustees in the civil elections. Also people should know about these problems with young people before voting for their MLA.

It is also good that we know about the issues that plague our community so that we can take our concerns to the already elected members of local government.

My Suggestion to Fix Our Problem:

This Blog is Helping Spread Rumors
That might be true, but what I’m trying to do is hold the media and police accountable. I believe that the RCMP was not going to invested or probe the issues as closely as they did without the intense media attention and questioning. Without it, I think, the case would have been swept under the rug without the public knowing of it.

Also, I think critical thinking and questioning is needed to maintain accountability with our public officials, like our Mayor and city council who didn’t say a word about the attack while they voted on a protocol, made to end hate related crimes in the Comox Valley. Could have said, “Hey the wording isn’t right, so in light of the recent attack, let’s send this back and get things rolling again soon.”
You can read my rant to City Hall Here:

The coverage will give the men an unfair trail and sentencing
Even with the coverage, our Justice and Court System will treat this case fairly. They will use the facts gather by police and will determined if any crime was committed that day.
And if the media coverage has biased the sentencing, then we have a bigger problem – a flawed justice system. But I have faith in it because I know how honorable, righteous and diligent our court system is.

*UDATE 12.7.2009* Just read a blog comment I agree with and would like to share:

I watched as the Courtenay City Council rejected signing the Justice Committees Protocol for dealing with harassment, intimidation & racism.

Anneal Datto shared a personal story of racism that he encountered as a young man on a soccer team.

Mayor Phelps response was "Maybe we should ban Soccer."

I can see the point that this document may be flawed; the wording may not be perfect and the protocol perhaps redundant.

Greg and councillors agreed that it's simply a "Feel Good" document. Right now I need to Feel Good! Courtenay needs to Feel Good, We need to feel Safe, and we need to feel part of a community that shares the values of this protocol.

Stop being so stubborn; in light of these recent events, your reasons don't seem so valid anymore.

Sign the damned protocol.

John Van Egmond

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Mother of Child in Second Attacked, Claims Victim Was Targeted for Being Emo

We have now learned that the second attack on July 3rd, that has just come to light to the Police and the public, was an attack where the victim, who is white, was targeted for wearing tight skater pants.

Mother claims that "racial" remarks were then made regarding the boy's pants. It now reported by the mother to be a "one-on-one" engagement, with a crowd watching, instead of the "3-on-one" reported by the Vancouver Province Newspaper and police on friday(link). It is also reported that statmets were then made referencing the eariler assault, on Jay Phillips, during the attack.

The Vancover Province reported (link) that the second attack happened "just hours after the first attack." Still unknown what happened in the time between the two attacks. In an offical RCMP press release:
Subsequent investigation has now revealed that a second altercation later the same evening took place, and may be related to these same individuals.

Voilent crime agaisnt people who participate in the Emo subculture is not new. Emo attacks occur all over the world. Most anti-Emo attacks are fueled by homophobia. They occur independent of the person's race. Take for example the anti-Emo attacks in Mexico that frequently occur there.

I hope we don't see more of these attacks on people based on who they are and what they wear. No matter if you're Goth, Rock-a-billy, Cowboy, Emo, Skater, or Hippie, we should have the freedom to wear whatever we like and where we like without being targeted for the chic we're in.

Time Magaine: Mexico's Emo-Bashing Problem

Let work to make sure that it doesn't become our problem as well.

Insight Into Life of One of the Accused Attackers by Loving Sister

We learn more into the personal story of one of the three men charged. I think it's a sad situation but we must learn from it. I want to thank his sister on speaking out and providing solutions and helping the community heal from this event.

Excerpt from the Keep Courtenay Safe Facebook Group:

David and his so called “friends” fucked up really bad, and they’re going to lose this one, for a huge reason (but not the only reason), it was caught on camera.
I’m sure some of you are travelers in some way, every where around the world there are hate crimes, and it just shocks all of us because it happened so close to home. Do yourselves a favor, see the world and don’t get stuck in a small town like Courtenay where you become jaded and stupid. Educate yourselves by opening yourself up to the world, choose enlightenment over happiness, we often forget what we were taught as small children (and Tina Berg, I thank my mom constantly for teaching us that color doesn’t matter) because we surround ourselves with Courtenay “jiggers” and people that don’t actually care about our well beings. Racism still exists and forever will, but we CAN do something about it! Even our beloved messed up Michael Jackson (RIP) as corny as this may seem said in one of his songs, “If you want to make the world a better place, take a look at yourself, and then make a change.”

My siblings and I were brought up Orthodox Jewish for 6 years!??? We were NOT taught to discriminate against color in any way; in fact my dad preached the complete opposite on a near day to day basis. My Father converted while my brother was teased starting at the age of 8 years old. The whole change took a toll on my family. My father later on due to many hardships committed suicide and had previously influenced my brother into drugs and my brother spent a lot of time surrounded by other messed up kids in a juvenile institute at the age of 14. He and the rest of my family have seen things that most adults will never experience. It fucked with his head, and there is NEVER an excuse to HATE on other races, what he and his friends did that day was wrong in every sense of the word, and believe me he IS terrified. There HAVE been threats to not only him but to the families involved. I WILL NOT stand aside, or hide in a cave just because he is my brother. I love my brother, and I called him as soon as I heard just to tell him that, but I also told him my intake on the whole scenario.

Claims of Clean Criminal Record in CHEK Interview by 3 Men are Questioned

Seems that only Adam Huber has an exstensive court record. The other two men have spotless records.
Court Services Online: Search Criminal By Participant Name

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Mother of Victim Claims Racisim is Alive and Well

Racism is real. It happens when we don't question the use of racially offensive jokes from friends, even when it is said behind closed door. It happens when we pre-judge someone as a "drunk native" when all they want is to buy bottle of wine for dinner. It happens when you let it slide when you let your children they mock accent of a diffrent culture. And it also happens when you label someone a racist for just being a cowboy.

You might not think much of it, or think that it's not racist behaviour, but its a pretense that instills ignorance in people's psych. Then oneday it will come out in an ugly fasion, like it did on July 3rd.

Kirsten Phillips, mother of Jay Phillips, was interviewed by Vancouver Province:

Initially, Kirsten felt the gut-wrenching emotion of a mother watching her son on the pavement getting hammered by six fists.

“My heart stood still and I still choke up when I watch the video,” she said. “But I had to cheer when Jason got up and they started to scatter like little flies.”

“It shows racism is alive and well,” she added. “First and foremost, people are talking about it.”

Adam Huber Refutes Claims of Bigotry

It’s never good when a child is separated from their father. But are there exceptions to that rule? I do pray for the child, its mother, and for their lives to return back to normal.

Hopefully this experience will turn a page in Huber’s life and set him in a new positive direction, so that he can be a proper father, who is not full of hate, to his child. I would like to end this with a quote from the famed Denis Leary – “Racism isn't born, folks, it's taught. I have a two-year-old son. You know what he hates? Naps! End of list.”

One of the men involved, Huber, told the Times Colonist he is not a racist and publicity over the incident has cost him his girlfriend, who left with his son, and his home, because he's been forced to move as a result of threats against him. "We're not white supremacists, we're not KKK," Huber said. "It was totally not because he was black."

Surprising to me too, I do pray and hope the 3 charged will change their way of thinking. Any punishment should include cultural education. Maybe send them backpacking around the world to see how we should instead celebrate how rich in culture the whole world is, and how here in Canada, we are fortunate enough to have a little bit of everything. Celebrate how we're all diffrent, instead of doing that stupid circle of hate where you just blame other people. People who are racist should just stop it and treat other people how you would like to be treated yourself. Because if you don't, the circle of hate will continue.
*However, if they're found to be white supremacists, I'll pray just little bit less for them*

Men Charged Known in the Commuity As Racists and Trouble Makers According to Post

Are any of these 3 men known to police? According to their CHEK interview, they claim to have a clean record.

"..... A couple of the "quality" people live in my neighbourhood and always are disrupting the area with loud parties telling the neighbourhood to f off and mind their own business, when you want them to shut-up at 2am. Since their movie came out they have not been around and the area has been nice and quiet every night since.
I hate to say it but the point of my posts was it has been nice and quiet in my neighbourhood since this all came to light. They have been lying low and scarce, haven't been kept awake or woke up at 2am since, it has been very nice. I have staff that know these guys and they tell me this is not out of character for them,
and they are very much tilted towards the racist side. They revel in the deep south thinking, including the confederate flags throughout their homes and a string of racist comments and jokes regularly."

I, and many others, have complained online about the flagrant display of the Confedrate Flag in the Comox Valley, which had no role in Canadian history. However, in any other "progressive" (used for a lack of a better term) city it wouldn't be acceptable. I don't believe we should have a bylaw against having it displayed (considering what happened at the last Courtenay City Counsel meeting, I don't think they would had cared anyways). I believe people should have the freedom to say and display anything they want, as long as it doesn't offend the population at large. Only that we, the public, should frown upon its display as a tasteless act. If you're a true Canadian and proud of it and want to support the feedom that comes with it, then I would fly the Canadian flag!

Whether we like it or not, Courtenay is widely known as a "hick" town. Some people relish the city's title, while some people despise it. Also, I want to say that Cowboys are not racists and there is such a thing as a sophisticated cowboy who still drives a 4-wheel drive. Look at Alan Jackson - he's a real cowboy and also a real classy stand up guy. Like how Calgary is refered to as loving a Country City, can we be progress and still be able to wear our cowboy hats & boots without being labled a racist? In Calgary everyone dresses country... white, black, brown, whatever... it's rual country culture they celebrate there. If anything, these 3 boys have also attacked the freedom and reputation of cowboys everywhere. Whatever the case, we all call the Comox Valley our home and we want to keep it a safe and respectable place for anyone to live and work.

CHEK/GlobalTV 'Their side of the story' Interview, Now Removed from Their Video Archive *UPDATE*

*UPDATE 12.7.2009* Video may have been taken off due to symbol shown. Too soon to speculate until more on the symbol, displayed on Adam Huber's sweater, can be learned.

Today, CHEK/GlobalTV removed their contraversial interview with the 3 men charged with a racially motivated attack on Jay Phillips, a black man from Courtenay, BC.

Possibly because the reporting was flawed (video, my concerns) on the video, IMO, is a little self incriminating to the 3 attackers. Or that their account of what happened during the fight did not match the short timeline in the video. One of which is how they claimed they let Jay Phillips back on his feet because they thought he had enough. In the video, it was clearly shown that one of the attackers stopped the onslaught of punches when he notices two cars driving into the complex to intervene.

The video is full of inconsistencies of what has been reported and shown on video. I don't have time to talk about them all, but when I do, I might post the video on youtube and point most of them out.

Rampant Accounts of Reverse Racism on Whites, by Aboriginals

I’ve been reading the boards, facebook groups, and online forums about unprovoked attacks by Natives on the island. They all seem to follow the same format:

  1. White guys minds his own business doing stereotypical guy thing

  2. Describes unprovoked attack where a group of native guys uses racially degrading names

  3. Complains about how nothing became of it or that justice was not served.

The number of these posts and their similarity makes it seem like there is an epidemic of racially motivated attacks of White people by native men. But I just think that there is a group who is trying to use the attack as a way to promote their hate. And if you guys are reading this: This is our town, our problem, and we'll deal with it the Canadian Way! so bugger off.

I’m not denying that there are not any racially motivated attacks committed by a small number of native men. I even know of an account of a friend of mine who was chased by a group of young native men for being white in the interior of BC. But that doesn’t affect my relationship with my other aboriginal friends because I know not everyone is like them. By doing so, I’m breaking the circle of hate.

If we continue the circle of hate, people will blame other people for being jerks, then those people will blame the first people for being jerks… and it will go on and on in a big circle.

If we judge everyone individually when we meet them, we won’t have this problem of hating someone based on their skin colour. Instead you would dislike someone for not returning your stereo, or them returning your car with an empty tank of gas.

Everyone has a different opinion. I like the colour orange and I hate cooked onions because of their texture. I’m pretty sure not all white people hate onions as much as I do, so why should they think the same about race?

Identify Problem: Unfortunately, most often than not, it's mainly misguided young, could be white or native, men who without strong family and community support, usually committing crimes of hate or join hate groups.

Provide Solutions: As a community, strong, positive local role models should be supported. Role models could be someone teaching young men and women the discipline of playing a sport. Or providing extra support to a troubled youth who is routinely expelled from school (one of Jay Phillips' attacker, Adam Huber, was rumored to be expelled from Cumberland Junior School). Sometimes when family situation isn't strong at home, the school district can identity those children and provide them with an afterschool activity that doesn’t involve, a barrier to entry, costly school fee.

There are many charitable groups who help youths, but the support from a school board level is needed to close the gap and idenifty troubled youths. Things like this cost money, and would have to be paid by the Valley’s taxpayers. But I think it’s worth it to have a city full of positively energized kids running around, rather than a bunch of trouble making youth and thugs owning the streets.

Credibility of Statment from Second Victim in Question

I'm saddened to hear that there maybe a second victim, who's assault,3 hours later, is just coming to light. It is unknown if this boy is known to any of the attackers.

An attacker seen covering up licence place while leaving the scene of the fight

I am again saddened to hear that the junior-high-aged boy won't be pressing charges. But who can blame him with all this media attention. At least he is providing valuable information to the police that maybe useful in Jay Phillips' case according to a press statement by RCMP Const. Tammy Douglas.

The 3 men charged with attacking, 38-year-old, Jay Phillips, said in an interview with CHEK, “It could have happened to anyone – white or black. We’re not into that crap.”

An attack did happen to someone black, and reportedly, someone white as well. Did the statement in the interview, coupled with the race of Phillips and the young boy, conveniently or coincidently mirror each other?

Phillips said a mother had called him and reported her junior-high-aged boy had been attacked, allegedly by White, Huber and Rodgers.

"She was crying, saying they beat him up just for what he was wearing," Phillips said. "I told her to press charges."

Douglas said the alleged victim does not want charges laid, but information from the alleged attack can be used to add evidence to the Phillips attack case.

Why did the mother contact Phillips first? Why did she not put her trust in the RCMP first? (I have no proof she contacted Phillips first). Unclear if the boy was targeted for his style of clothes, or for color affliation of clothing (like the rivarly between the Bloods and the Crips).

Did the 4th man/boy in the dark top seen in the video also drive the group of thugs to the second attack as well? If so, will he be charged as an accessory by the police?

Friday, July 10, 2009

This Time Fair Reporting by CHEK on Interview

I wrongly reported the host was Hudson Mack last night, but I think he works for A-News now.

I'm glald to see CHEK News is using the interview they did with the 3 charged fairly tonight on their 6PM broadcast. I haven't seen Global National yet.

Questions that Still Need to be Answered

  1. Did the 3 charged, assult a white male 3 hours later to make it appear they're are not racists to police? What happened between the times of the two assults? Witnesses are needed. Did the 4th man/boy in the dark tank also drive the group of thugs to the scene of the second attack? If so, will he be charged as an accessory by the police?

  2. Why did the RCMP only pickup the orginal copy of the video on the afternoon of Monday, July 13th -- 3 days after the incident.

  3. Why did Courtenay Mayor say his email was flooded Monday morning and then say he was unaware of the attack before he voted on the protocol that same day. I don't know about you, but the first thing I do is check my email the very second I get into my office.

  4. What's the deal with the cheeseburger? Surveillance video or eyewitness account needed from McDonald to verify if Jay Phillips, or associate, bought a cheeseburger from McDonalds before heading to the gym. The 3 charged said publicly, a cheeseburger landed in the bed of the truck. Were police able to recover the alleged cheeseburger?
*UPDATE 11.7.2009* I'm not sure if the police picked the video the morning of the 6th or the afternoon. But i any case it was picked up Monday July 6th, 2009 by the RCMP; which was a day after the video went viral

*response to blog comment*
In regards to question 3 if you visit the city of Courtenay Website there is an explaination from the Mayor on why council voted the way they did. Regardless of the unfortunate timing of this vote being declined, it really is a seperate issue from this most unfortunate and horrific event.

Rhianrider, you're right, the council's vote on the Critical Incident Protocol is completely separate from the attacks that happened on July 3rd. I’ve known that all along.
But, what I’m trying to do with this blog is to have the City of Courtenay and other higher bodies of Government to acknowledge that racism, like the Valley’s infamous undertoned ignorance towards aboriginals, is a problem in our community. And I think the fact that no one on city council mentioned or acknowledged the attack during their vote at 4pm on Monday, is another sign of council ignoring the problem of cultural ignorance in the Valley.

That's why I mention local government so much in this blog, and asking for their statements. I want them more involved in helping solve this problem. The more that people and organizations, such as municipal governments, talk about these issues, the easier it is to find answers and solutions.

The mayor, Greg Phelps, has been quoted by the Globe and Mail to have said, “I really didn't think we had a big issue, and I still don't … I've lived here most of my life and this is the first incident like this I can recall.” I’ve lived here all my life and racism has always been a problem, even if it’s not apparent to the eyes and ears. I even recalled an incident outside of Jiggers Bar about 9 years ago where, allegedly, a racially motivated fight had one young man’s face scared with a broken beer bottle. In that incident, nothing more was said about the fight publically. It created more hate in the Comox Valley when some facts turned into angry rumors, strengthening and reinforcing more racism already instilled in the ignorant.

I’ve only talked about the City of Courtenay to respond to your comment, but there are other civil organizations, bodies of government, and community groups who should take a more proactive role in stopping racism as soon at it starts. These include school boards, worker’s unions, and local authorities to name a few.

There are active groups in the Comox Valley, such as all the ones who have already signed the protocol, that do everything they can to curb hate, discrimination, sexism, and racism to make the Comox Valley a safe place for everyone to live and work. They can’t do it alone, so I urge the city to take the first step and acknowledge that there does exist an undercurrent of racism in the community. In a small defense to the mayor, he was said on record that, “… you always get a few in every town who are really ignorant" to the Victoria Times Colonist. Which, albeit small, is a partial acknowledgement but is short to mention a problem in the city where he was elected mayor, and also where the burtal swarming took place on July 3rd.

Racism is a circle of hate between people and cultures. The cycle must be stopped and I hope the City of Courtenay, its beautiful citizens, and the RCMP will: 1. Acknowledge a problem exists, 2. Talk, educate, live, and understand cultures other than their own, and 3. Speak up when racism occurs. This may include telling your buddy to stop using a hurtfully racial joke because it’s not funny.

Is it the municipals government responsibility to end racism? Not entirely, they should do the best they can while still being able to deals with other problems such as maintaining roads and sewers. However, it is also one of their mandates to ensure public safety. I don’t expect the city to fund programs or anything, there are groups who promote diversity already and are doing a good job at that; the recent Peace Rally is an example. But my issue is with the mayor, Greg Phelps, who I believe does not give race/culture related social issues enough importance. If he did, he should have gone on record to say that we had an undercurrent of racism that lead to the recent verbal provocation of a black man.

More Discussion on Racism in the Comox Valley on the Keep Courtenay Safe Facebook Group:

The Mayor's Message Talks about the Comox Valley Critical Incident Response Protocol:

Charges Laid - RCMP PR Claims Second Altercation That Day

I would like to personally thank Jay Phillips for taking a stand that day for himself, his family, his child, young man also harrased that night, and everyone else who has been bullied, taunted, and harrassed. There comes a point, when after repeated offences, and no change that one person has to put themsleves on the line and fight back. I'm not advocating violence, but instead understanding why Phillips decided to fight back they way he did. Hopefully now that the eathquake has happened, and done some good with awareness, we don't see smaller aftershocks being reported in the Valley.


A little more is now known. But they still need witnesses. If anyone was at [the river] a lake (*Retraction: the 3 young men claim they just came back from the river. There are many swimming holes in the Comox Valley*) and saw the red truck in question, please contact police. We need to make the Comox Valley, and this country to be a safe place to live and work. We need to be able to walk the street without being afraid when we see a confederate flag on a truck or displayed on clothing.

No word yet on the Cheeseburger Instigation claimed by the 3, alleged, attackers that was first reported by CTV News.

  • Now Comox Valley RCMP are saying the three men were also involved in an altercation later that evening with another teenage boy who was afraid to come forward. That second fight, while not racially-motivated, could support evidence that the three were the instigators in the fight against 38-year-old Phillips, Douglas said.

    Douglas said the altercation started when the three drove by Phillips in their red pickup truck and yelled a racial slur. Phillips yelled back “F*ck you” and through a water bottle in their direction. They pulled a U-turn and what happens next has been broadcast on YouTube, garnering international attention.

  • In a press release RCMP Const. Tammy Douglas said the file is still under investigation and a second altercation took place after the one caught on video, possibly involving the same three men.

  • Subsequent investigation has now revealed that a second altercation later the same evening took place, and may be related to these same individuals.

    This file is still under investigation and anyone who may have information is asked to contact Comox Valley RCMP at (250) 338-1321 or if you wish to remain anonymous, call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS. (8477)

Courtenay Mayor Will Make Himself more Accessible to the Public

So he intends to make himself available during the mornings of the first and third Wednesday in each month, starting next Wednesday (July 15).

People will be welcome to drop by in the same way as they do at the mayor's office in Nanaimo and Campbell River, he said.

New Video Footage Minutes after the Truck Drives Away

Hear Phillips talk about the attack mere minutes after the fight. He can be seen visibly shaken and he paces around sliently.

Phillips Stands by Original Claims of Hate

Phillips stands by his original claims
While Comox Valley RCMP are still considering the evidence with respect to whether or not the incident constitutes a hate crime, Phillips has no doubt.

"I know it was a hate crime," said Phillips. "When you use the word lynch ... and say you're going to kill me and my family? I have a nine-month old boy. That's the wrong thing to say to me."

Dean Stoltz shows Attacker's Letter of Apology to Jay Phillips

Watch Video Here:

On a short segment on Global TV's earily evening news (July 9th), a reference, in the letter, to an alleged thrown cheeseburger was made news by Globle TV. Reporter for CHEK, Dean Stoltz, who earlier that afternoon interviewed the accused attackers, urged Jay to read the letter on his laptop. Jay Phillips, for days, has refused to read the letter until confronted by Stoltz. As Stoltz read out the letter and mentioned the reference to the thrown cheeseburger, Phillips was to quick denounce the Letter of Apology as full of lies. He then asked Stoltz to stop. The letter seemed to have been given to Dean Stoltz in electronic format by the three men. I guess it's an Open Letter of Apology and not personally written for Jay Phillips?

I urge Mr. Stoltz to make public the contents of the letter so we can see why Phillips was so upset by its contents. I question the sincerity of the letter and whether or not it's a sham of an apology. It's a very sensitive time in this case, and right now the Crown counsel is reviewing it to determine if charges should be laid. I also urge the counsel to take a look into the contents of the letters delivered to both Dean Stoltz and Jay Phillips to see if they are identical.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Possible Involvement of Alcohol

I've been to the lake before, and a lot of swiming, smoking, and drinking happens there. Were any or all of the 3 accused instigators intoxicated during this incident? And it was a Friday night. Was the driver of the truck (nonparticipant in the violence) the only sober guy of the pack?

I suspect there might be more witnesses at Comox Lake who can give accounts of the demeanor of the 3 men hours before the verbal attack?

*UPDATE 11.7.2009* They said in an interview with Dean Stolz from CHEK that they were at the river before the incident. I wrongly heard Lake in the interview

The Accused 3 Defends their Actions and Apologizes to the Public in an Exclusive Interview with Global National

After watching their exclusive interview with Global Nation, I believe they felt sorry for letting this incident happen the way it did. They apologized to the neighborhood for the debacle that took place and to anyone who was offended by the language that was used. And a welcomed statment for me, they also assured the public's safety by saying they're not after anybody. However slightly contradictory, he goes on to say, “We didn’t attack him because he is africian American,we were just driving the truck, It could have happened to anyone – white or black. We’re not into that crap”

When asked “why the language,” the accused stated they weren’t racists but pissed off. They then defended their use of the N-word by saying it was used to make “him mad because he made [them] mad.” And one male also acknowledged that “it shouldn’t have been said.”

The reporter, Dean Stolz, lead the interviewees into answering, "yep" to how the use of the racial slurs were out of character for them. Earlier in the interview, Stolz, who started his broadcasting career 16 years ago, also lead the boys into answering that their use of the racial slur was just a wrong choice of words. I'm slightly dissapointed at Stolz' use of closed ended questions in this interview. These series of pigeonholed questions helped paint these guys in a good light. Journalists are taught that the use of opened ended questions will give more objective answers and will highlight more of the subject's real feelings.

Reporter, Dean Stoltz from Global, asked one of the accused to take him through what happened. The male in the black sweater began to tell the story starting from their departure of the McDonalds drive-thru:

“we were driving the truck through the McDonalds drive-thru when we turned the corner, I guess Jay is his name is – is with a buddy of his on the corner, drove by, something may have been said, and I see a cheese burger flying through the air. That’s when we turned around -- we turned the truck around, and when we did, I preceded out of the truck to ask him ‘why, what are you throwing at my truck.’ He proceeded to throw his hands in the air and call us all names, slander, say he wanted to fight all 3 of us, he’ll take us all on. I don’t want to say the words that he used but that’s pretty much the gist of it.”

When the Stolz wanted to make clear which side the initial insult came from, one male answered,

“we’re not really sure, we seen the cheeseburger flying through the air. We turned around [the truck] and asked him what the deal was. He wouldn’t even answer us why he threw the cheese burger. He just kind of threw his hands in the air calling us all out… you know.”
Another male answered by chuckling after saying, “I just actually seen a cheese burger lying in the back of the truck.”

Asked if they were disgusted when reflecting back on the video, one male answered, “3 on 1 is definitely bad, we usually fight one on one.” (Video: Statement abruptly cut from segment on CHEK on July 9th) Apparently fighting is something they do often. One of the men accused Jay Phillips as the aggressor by referencing the section of video where Phillips can be seen still charging them after getting back on his feet. But I think it's only human nature, especially with adrenalin, to want to get even with your opponents after being swarmed, taken to the ground, and pummeled.

Stolz also asked them to comment on how the internet initially labeled them White Supremacists. One man replied, "It’s disgusting really, it should never had been said. They should have said ‘[three] male beat up on one male’ you know, something like that. It didn’t have to be labeled white supremacists".

How they were unfairly labeled white supremacists was about the only thing I agreed with them on; unfortunately it was also something I did. Early in this development, rumors were flying around that there was a beating of a black man involving some white supremacists. When I saw the video and heard their use of the N-word with such malice in broad day light so loudly in front of people, I truly believed they were part of a hate group. So that was my fallacious reasoning behind unfairly labeling them white supremacists that day. But again I stress, people should not speculate before all the facts are gathered and released by police.

Watch the full RAW interview: Wait for 2 commercials to play

*UPDATE* 10.7.2009 The National Posts and Echo also writes about interview:

*UPDATE* 10.7.2009 The evening news on CHEK, they used the questionable quoted of the language being "out of character," but had anchor Hudson say it live instead of using a clip from the RAW interview. *retraction: host/anchor of CHEK News unknown*

*UPDATE 11.7.2009* Video has now been removed from CHEK/GlobalTV's online video archive.

*UPDATE 12.7.2009* Rumours around town of hate group symbol on back of Adam Huber's black sweater may indicate rank and affiliation. Not Confirmed.

Courtenay Police Expects Charges to be Laid

I have a feeling whether charges are laid or not may hinge on eyewitnesses. I urge anyone who knows anything about how this fight was instigated, to share their information with police.
“Charges have not been formally laid yet,” Const. Tammy Douglas said Thursday morning.

They expect charges will be laid soon — and investigators are still finishing their report for Crown counsel, which will make the final decision on charges.

Claims of Cheeseburger Instigation by the 3 Accussed Attackers

The 3 Accused Racist Claims Their Use of the N-word Was Used Only to Incite Anger in Phillips

In an interview and short segment with Global News at 6PM, all three accused attackers appeared with their identities concealed. They maintain their use of the word N-word, used during the attack, on Jay Phillips was only to incite anger in their target. I guess they think it's okay in that case.

I would like to ask the 3 young men: Do you guys honestly believe it’s acceptable to call someone the N-word in order to get them to fight with you.

I see this all the time with drunk young men in small town bars; groups of smaller guys always trying to start a fight with a bigger guy to prove themselves.

Accused Racist Criticizes Media for Putting His Family in Danger

Gone are the days of being able to call someone the N-word, to provoke a fight, without putting your family’s safety in danger. This fact was hard to swallow by one of the accused in his interview with CTV. This impromptu interview was conducted while in the middle of his family’s move.

If you think you can call someone the N-word to get their blood boiling and NOT think you're going to put your family's saftey in danger, then you must think you're living in another era!

These young men still don't realize they are the ones reponsible for their actions. Ironically, they’ve taken on the victim mentality instead of helping the public heal from this incident.

I would like to close with saying that people, friends, and family associated with the 3 men, shouldn't be harassed. They never did anything wrong. Instead, they should be outraged at the 3 young men for putting them in that situation.

CTV News caught up with the three on Thursday at a Courtenay residence they said the attention is getting to be too much and they are moving out of town.

"I can't answer, I'm in the middle of moving, my wife and kid are in danger, seriously," one of the men told CTV British Columbia's Lisa Rossington.

Huge Turn Out for Peace Rally + PICTURES!

I Hope this sends a message that acts, like what happened July 3rd, will not be tolerated in the Valley.
Over 1,000 people turned out Thursday for a rally, planned to speak out against hate and violence in the Comox Valley.


One of the 3 Men Speaks Out on the Attack

I think it's good that we're hearing, at lest, one of the accused speaking for his action. If they want this issue to be resolved, they should release a public statement. Explain why things unfolded the way it did, and then provide suggestions to prevent racially motivated attacks/fights in the future.

In my personal opinion, I think the guys were out looking for trouble and they found it. But we won't know for sure unless the air is cleared so that the public can be assured of their safety.

The problem is, we don't know if it's safe to go out at 8PM to grab a burger alone. Is there an underlying hate problem in our community? Should we watch over our shoulder next time we see a confederate flag on a hat or truck?

One of the three men accused said yesterday that the incident has been "blown out of proportion."

"Adam," as he identified himself in a telephone interview with CHEK News yesterday, said that he and the other two men are "not racist and not white supremacists."

He did not comment any further.

Attackers Sends Jay Phillips a Letter of Apology

If this is a sincere act, I think it's a good start to towards understanding each other. However, one summer, when I was 19-years-old, I once stole a garden gnome and my mother made me to go up to the house and apologize to the owner. Sadly I can only remember how much I just wanted it to be over so I can get back home to play Counter-Strike on my computer.

Phillips said Wednesday that one of the three men has since written a letter of apology to him, although he has not yet read it.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

CTV Reports Attack Not Motivated by Hate - Rather a Hamburger Attack by Phillips

What drives a man to throw a hamburger into the cab of a truck full of of 4 guys? Was this hamburger attack unprovoked? If not, what motivated Jay Phillips to forfeit his dinner that night?

CTV NEWS reports the young attacker's friends claim the attack was not an act of hate, but rather retaliation to, 38-year-old, Jay Phillips' attack with a McDonald's hamburger.

It is not yet known if any of the 4 young men riding in the red Ford F150 were hurt by the Hamburger.

However, according to Phillips, the 4 men verbally assaulted him by calling him N****r and telling him that Courtenay was a "white town." But, again, It is also not yet confirmed if that verbal assault is what lead Phillips, who was on his way to the gym, to throw the hamburger into truck (not sure if it landed in the cab or bed of the truck).
New details have emerged about an alleged racist attack in Courtenay, B.C. captured on video. Friends of the suspects charged say the attackers were not motivated by hate.
Phillips says the attackers shouted racial slurs at him before the fight began. Racial slurs can be heard on the video.

But friends of the three accused say the YouTube video doesn't tell the whole story. They told a CTV British Columbia's Lisa Rossington that a cheeseburger was tossed into the truck they were driving before the fight broke out.

*Update* 9.7.2009 I was a bit satirical in my posting of the story above. But I just read an article which, I believe, is more objective in its wording:
Nobody knows yet just what initiated the assault on Phillips. He may have provoked it or it may have been his alleged assailants.
*Update* 10.7.2009 Today CHEK/Global released the full interview with these guys. The guys didn't mention anything about anyone getting hurt by the cheeseburger. Apparently it landed in the bed of the truck. And Maybe... just maybe reporting of the cheeseburger attack is news worthy. However, it's still ridiculous to mention in the press.

*Update 10.7.2009* Just now, the police statment metioned a water bottle being thrown. No word on a cheeseburger.

Objectivity With Ground Roots Bloggers and Viral Videos?

Okay I must admit I like to sensationalize headlines sometimes; but I've worked in the media for serval years, and headlines are what sells newspapers. I guess I've carried that to my blog as well. After reading this, I think I'll add a small editorial piece when I aggerate news reports. I'll leave the reporting to the reporters and make future YouTube videos as objective as can be.
YouTube recently created a citizen reporters' centre. Proponents say there's something about a story reported by a citizen witnessing news events before their eyes that sends a more powerful message, and it's this type of emotional response that drives action among citizens. However, critics say citizen journalism can lack objectivity.

Rally Planned for Thursday at Noon + More Local Leaders Condemns Recent Attacks

"Racism in any form is reprehensible," said Paul Ives, Comox mayor. "It's unacceptable in any practice and is particularly horrible when racist views manifest themselves in violent behaviour."

Vancouver Island North MP John Duncan also spoke out against the incident.

"The people who did this are the exception and not the rule, but if we as a community do not stand up against this type of action, then this behaviour will continue," said Duncan. "We should not hesitate to speak out against intolerance and violence of any kinds or we will ourselves become victims of it."

Jay's Own Account of How it Started

They were yelling “ ‘we're gonna lynch you, we're gonna kill you, get out of our effing town.' I'd never seen these guys before in my life,” said Mr. Phillips, who describes himself as half-black and half-white.

“So I called back ‘eff you too.' They turned the truck around and got out and surrounded me with their fists up.”

“They were saying ‘this is a white town and you and your whole race aren't welcome here.' ”

New Video Emerges

We were able to obtain a higher quality version of the video from a tipster. Although it’s not the original, it might have been an HD video ripped/saved from YouTube.

Earlier videos posted by other users were pulled off YouTube for showing the license plate number of the red truck. The copy we received was specially edited and subtitled to make out the license plate. We’re currently editing the video to protect the innocent and the identities of the attackers.

This might be the highest quality video available as we’re told the RCMP has the only uncompressed version of the attack; and they are not willing to release it.

One of the accused seen covering licence plate

Courtenay Mayor and City Council Voted 3-2 Against a Protocol that would help Fight Hate Crimes 3 Days After Attack.

According to Gregg Phelps, it was only was a stranged coincidence council voted aginst the protocol days after the attack. In additon, the mayor claims none of the city council member were aware of the attack before the vote took place.
Just five weeks ago, many organizations in the Comox Valley signed on to a protocol to deal with hate crimes at a moving ceremony hosted by former B.C. lieutenant governor Iona Campagnolo.

The only local government not to sign on was the City of Courtenay, whose city hall building is just a few blocks from the site of the attack. Mayor Greg Phelps would not provide specifics about why Courtenay didn’t sign the protocol, but said there was language in the document with which the city is uncomfortable.

There will be no change of heart by Courtenay City Council about signing the Valley's critical incident response protocol. The city was conspicuous by its official absence when the document - drawn up by the Community Justice Centre - was formally signed by 35 local groups and organizations last month.

Aniel Datoo, president of the Community Justice Centre, and Douglas Hillian, a board member, asked councillors to reconsider their spring decision not to sign the protocol.

Editorial By Ethan Baron

Phillips alleged the racist comments began when the truck passed by him, and the video does not capture any such slurs. But police believe witnesses were present who would have heard them.

"We are hoping that some of those eyewitnesses will come forward," Douglas said.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Transcript of YouTube Video

Although some of the context is lost when you just read it, a lot can be learned from the language that was used to help people determine, on their own, whether a hate was committed that day.

Our best efforts were used to try to transcribe everything that was said. If you believe there was an error in the transcription, please post in the comments.

0:19 - Get him Mike get him, come'on Mike. [Off camera voice]

0:27 - Get him Mike! [Off camera, audibly louder and angrier]

0:44 - Get him Adam [Unidentified Attacker]

0:45 – Just fuckin' do it Adam [Attacker1 then pats Attacker 2 on back]

0:48 - [Attacker2 throws a punch, no contact]

0:50 - Lets take him down [Unidentified Attacker]

0:55 - Guy in truck, Come'on! [JP]

1:10 - [JP falls to ground and is swarmed by the 3 attackers]

1:19 - Ah get up [Sounds like Attacker1]

1:21 - Come'on and fight you fuckin' Nigger [Unidentified Attacker, JP, however, still defenseless in headlock by Attacker1]

1:22 - [Attackers disperses as bystanders come to help]

2:25 - Ahhh come'on! You're fuckin' dead [JP is heard screaming after getting back on his feet]

2:34 - You're fuckin' killing me.. you fuckin (inaudible).. you're dead.. what the fuck.. come'on [JP]

2:49 - Niggers [Unidentified male]

2:53 - Come'on you fuckin' goons, don't look at me. [JP]

2:55 - Do you want to come with me? I'll take you were you gotta go. [Bystander to JP]

2:57 - Come'on guys lets go [Unidentified Attacker]

2:58 - Good bye nigger. [Attacker 1]

Inspector Tom Gray of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police said the attack is being treated as an isolated incident at the moment. He said the three suspects do not appear to be part of any organized white supremacist group.

"I don't want this to happen to anybody — anybody," Phillips said. "There's a lot of native people here, a lot of Asian people here. Nobody should have to go through this."

Mr. Phillips, who escaped with two stitches above his right eye and a couple of bruised ribs, said Tuesday the incident is yet another example of the racism he's battled all his life, despite being a born and raised in B.C.

Offical Statment from the Comox Valley RCMP Detachment

Thank-you for expressing the sentiments that we share in regards to this incident. This occurrence is uncommon here and unacceptable by any standard as we are a very inclusive community respecting of all peoples.

I wish to assure that the individuals involved will be held to account and charges will be laid as soon as possible.


Comox Valley Detachment
Royal Canadian Mounted Police

New Developments from CTV

I just realized after watching this CTV segment, these 3 guys not only attacked Jay Phillips but have hurt tens of thosands in BC; even if it was for 5 minutes.

Courtenay mayor, Greg Phelps, was interviewed by CTV News and he promised a stronger protocol to help crub any future attacks. No word yet from other by leaders in surrounding communities.

According to Constable Tammy Douglas, from the RCMP, the last two attackers at large turned themselves in only after realizing that the issue is not going to go away. The suspects are currently charged with standard assult charges, but that may change at sentencing. The BC Hate Crime Team is currently involved.

Currently Charged as a Standard Assult


Watch CTV Evening News 6PM Tonight

They'll be doing a big story I think...

Check your local listings:

More on the Man Who Decided to Take a Stand Against Hate

Now 38 years old and the recent victim of an assault police are investigating as a potential hate crime, Phillips is speaking out in hopes his own infant son's upbringing will be in a world far, far different from the one he's experienced.

All 3 Are Now in Custody

Three men, age 19, 24 and 25, have now been arrested and face assault charges in what Cst. Tammy Douglas of Comox Valley RCMP said today appears to be a “racially motivated” incident. One of the men had earlier been arrested after the Friday attack.

Local News Finally Reports

Const. Trevor Busch said members did attend a report of the assault in progress on Friday but at the time, had no leads. When the video was posted though, it changed gears.

A-Channel Evening News Report on Attack

Monday, July 6, 2009

Tomorrow's Frontpage News

Great Article:
    "Const. Tammy Douglas said in a news release police are interviewing witnesses to determine the cause of the incident. “Preliminary investigation indicates that there may have been a racial element involved.”

    The men "got out of the truck, surrounded me, still calling me names, threatening me, threatening my family, saying this is our white town and you're not allowed here — stuff like that.

    RCMP say the file is still under investigation and are asking anyone who has information about the incident to contact Constable Trevor Busch at 250-338-1321 or through Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

    “Police are currently reviewing video evidence and conducting witness inquiries to determine the cause of the incident. Preliminary investigation indicates that there may have been a racial element involved in the incident,” Douglas said in a news release.

    RCMP have arrested a 20-year-old from the local area and charges of assault are pending. Police are looking for the two other men.

National News

It's now national news:

I dunno about the whole nation knowing about our problem here :(

It looks bad for the Comox Valley.

Attack made it on the evening news

On the 6 o'clock news as the headliner on CTV and A-Channel news, they featured the racially motivated attack that was committed last week.

One of the attackers was arrested and release. Sad thing is, according to the news report on A-Channel, charges will only be made on future arrests. But on CTV, they said that the police are expecting more charges.

Although one suspect was arrested, the two others are still in hiding.

Some people are saying that Jay should have been a bigger man and should have just walked away. But when people are calling you Nigger from the back of a pickup truck, your freedom is being taken away. Just like countless people before who were once victim to this degradation, I believe people should stand up so that they won't be bullied again.

Of course violence should be the last measure, but isn’t being verbally assaulted by hate mongering racist serious enough to put your life on the line to defend everyone’s freedom? Even if Jay just walked away and filed a police report, what would have come from that?
I’ll tell you what would happen. It would have been given to a rookie RCMP officer to follow-up on. There would have been too many red F1-50’s in the Valley to visit. Even if they did find the truck that was used in the assault, the people he interview would not be willing to co-operate anyways. Frustrated with his/her progress, this police report would have been shoved away and never seen again. Also, if it wasn’t for all the yelling, this incident would not had been witnessed by the whole world.