Wednesday, September 07, 2022

Today's News: Still at large

We are now in Day 3 following the Saskatchewan massacre and Myles Sanderson is still at large: And the keyboard warriors have reached the "who can we blame?" stage. 
Mainly right now, we're pointing fingers at the Parole Board for deciding in February to let him stay of jail -- in spite of how for the last several years the Canadian justice system has been rightfully questioned for over-policing, over-charging and over-jailing Indigenous people, particularly on the Prairies. 
We're also hearing people try to blame Trudeau and Saskatchewan Justice -neither having anything to do with Sanderson -- and the Saskatoon police are also coming in for some blame because they had issued a warrant for Sanderson in May
Some are using the tragedy to try to score points for their own particular hobbyhorses -- anti-Liberal, pro-death penalty, anti-gun control, etc.  The Cons couldn't resist the temptation. I'm glad to see that Scott Moe and Karla Beck are not indulging themselves with petty political fights: APTN National News reports on what the Parole Board said about Sanderson in February and I think it provides a more nuanced picture of why they reinstated the release: 
... Myles Sanderson told the board that regular use of drugs and hard alcohol would make him “lose (his) mind” and get angry. 
 “Your criminal history is very concerning, including the use of violence and weapons related to your index offences, and your history of domestic violence,” said the document obtained by The Canadian Press. 
 .....Sanderson received a statutory release from prison in August 2021, but it was revoked about four months later because the board said he failed to communicate with his parole supervisor. 
In the document, the board said it decided to reinstate his statutory release with a reprimand. “It is the Board’s opinion that you will not present an undue risk to society if released on statutory release and that your release will contribute to the protection of society by facilitating your reintegration into society as a law-abiding citizen.” 
Sanderson was serving his first federal sentence of more than four years, four months and 19 days for a slew of offences including assault, assault with a weapon, assaulting a peace officer and robbery. 
In total, the document says, he has 59 criminal convictions. 
Sanderson’s childhood was marked by violence, neglect and substance abuse and led to a “cycle of substance abuse, seeking out negative peers and violent behavior,” the document said. 
He lived between his father’s home in an urban centre and his grandparents’ house on a First Nation.
There was violence and abuse in both households, it said. Sanderson started drinking and smoking marijuana at around age 12 to cope with problems, the document said. Cocaine followed soon after. 
 “You can be easily angered when drunk, but are a different person when sober,” the decision said. 
The board said many of his crimes happened when he was in a state of intoxication. 
In 2017, Sanderson went to a home where his ex-girlfriend and two children lived. The children were rushed upstairs into a bathroom and put into a tub for protection, the document said. 
“You went upstairs and acted in a threatening manner, talked about the gang, and punched a hole in the bathroom door, frightening the children,” the decision said.  Sanderson fled before police arrived but a few days later he tried to fight a First Nation band store employee and threatened to kill him and burn down his parent’s house, the document said. 
 A few months later, Sanderson threatened an accomplice and forced him to rob a fast-food restaurant by hitting him in the head with a firearm and stomping on him, the decision said. Sanderson watched the robbery from outside. 
 In 2018, the board said Sanderson was drinking at a home and got angry with people he was with. It said he stabbed two of them with a fork, then attacked a man who was walking nearby and beat him until the man lost consciousness in a ditch. 
Sanderson was located at his partner’s home two months later. During the arrest, he kicked an officer in the face and on the top of the head repeatedly, the decision said. 
The board said Sanderson seemed to have maintained sobriety and obtained employment. He was taking part in cultural ceremonies and had found a home for his family. The board said it appeared he was making good progress on reintegrating with society. 
The board said if he stayed sober his risk would be manageable. He was released with conditions to not contact his partner or children, except when necessary for parenting responsibilities. 
In May, a Crime Stoppers bulletin was issued for Sanderson, warning he was unlawfully at large. 
A monster now, but still I could find it in my heart to weep for that little boy.
Finally, this:

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