Thanks to Rob Wipond for effecting change with the Victoria Police Department
NB: I agreed initially to Vince a couple years ago, to not disclose the details of this story to anyone other than Rob, but everything I've said below is public via Rob's articles, so glad his story is out there now!
A couple years ago I met a guy named Vince, who entrusted me with his dramatic story of how he was arrested, denied access to a lawyer, and drugged to unconsciousness, even while (according to the police report!) he was 'calm and cooperative'. He started to tell me how it has affected him and his lack of sleep since, and a few other serious outcomes from legally being forced unconscious by the state. He also shared his concern that none of the island's corporate media would publish his story to get the word out. He asked what I might be able to do to help.
I told him that if there was one person in Victoria who would verify it and chase it down, it was Rob Wipond. As I promised Vince, I told Rob about the story to see if he was interested, and Rob generously agreed to research it. Not only did Rob uncover several stories similar to Vince's, he discovered several areas of legislation allowing this mistreatment. He discovered that if you are arrested in B.C. under the Mental Health Act, you lose your right to a lawyer!
You can read Rob's (potentially nightmare inducing) an Overbundance of Caution [PDF] article outing these stories. Almost a year later, last night Rob humbly posted this shared Facebook status:
The Victoria Police Department has changed their policies and procedures for Mental Health Act arrests -- for the better. I wrote a short article about it here:
I can not overemphasize how amazed I am that although not to an ideal state, the Victoria Police Department have changed their policies and procedures for Mental Health Act arrests -- for the better, as a result of his work. It's sad we have a society where it takes one man years to make such a minor change to improve society, yet some others the ability to remove civil liberties as fast as an itch.
Thanks Rob for your tireless (i.e. years, for little gain!) efforts to make society better.
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