Wednesday, July 13, 2011

What "Alleged" Means

The story of Buddy Tavares is back in the news. (See an earlier post here.)

He was found innocent of any crime. The police officer who kicked him in the face (see video below) has been arrested and charged. And Buddy Tavares has started a civil case to get get compensation for pain and suffering inflicted.

But news journalists still present this story, and the following tape, by saying that the "alleged" assault by RCMP officer Geoff Mantler...

Why use the word "alleged"? It is utterly obvious that he booted Tavares in the head after ordering him down on all fours with his gun drawn. The defenseless Tavares took the full force of the kick in the side of his head injuring his eye and aggravating a previous brain injury.

I could see using the world "alleged" before a trial, but not before a trial in which such graphic evidence as this is available. Whose interest is served by pretending that what you see on the video isn't an assault? Are we supposed to pretend that Buddy Tavares "provoked" the RCMP officer into kicking him in the head? (Even if he did, it isn't legal to kick somebody just because he is needling your or taunting you. Tavares wasn't. This was simple assault by a cop with a chip on his shoulder... and who has previous instances of assaulting people.)

So why does the news media persist in talking about an "alleged" assault?

Here is more on the case from Global TV.

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