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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Violence in Markham, Calgary and Atlanta...random, wanton and dangerous

By Jennifer Yang, Toronto Star, November 9, 2010
Police are urging Markham residents to safeguard their homes and come forward with any information that could help catch three suspects wanted in a random and deadly home invasion.

“Given the very brutal nature of this crime, it goes without saying that the individuals that are responsible for the home invasion and the murder last night pose a very real danger to our community,” York Regional Police Chief Armand La Barge said Tuesday afternoon.
“These are, for all intensive purposes, residents that were just enjoying a nice night and suddenly three individuals burst into their homes and terrorized them.”
Monday night’s invasion left 53-year-old Bich-Ha Pan dead and her 57-year-old husband in hospital in serious condition.
The couple — who immigrated to Canada from Vietnam — has a 24-year-old daughter who was tied up by the intruders but unharmed. Their youngest child, a son, is reportedly studying in Hamilton and was not at home during the attack.

And from CNN, Atlanta, November 9, 2010
Bobby Maurice Tillman, the Georgia teen stomped to death outside a home where a party was being held, died from a lacerated heart, Douglas County Coroner Randy Daniel told CNN Tuesday.

He said the 18-year-old likely suffered a break in a rib bone, which in turn punctured his heart. If the young man had not been stomped, he probably would not have been injured in that way and would have survived the beating, Daniel added.
Police say Horace Damon Coleman, 19, Emanuel Benjamin Boykins, 18, Quantez Devonta Mallory, 18, and Tracen Franklin, 19, stomped and beat Tillman outside a party in metro Atlanta over the weekend. The four men are facing felony murder charges.

CBC's The National also reports that a home invasion in Calgary has resulted in the four children belonging to the family whose home was invaded and trashed, have been held by the child protection agency in the city. Police suspect that the couple's activism against racial violence is behind the invasion, and although the couple is not accused with having done anything wrong, authorities may suspect another violent incident, endangering the children.

The randomness of the Markham home invasion, and the randomness of the teen "stomping" in Georgia make one pause to consider just what must be missing in the minds/hearts and conscience of those who perpetrated these acts. The Calgary incident was likely motivated by revenge, since the suspects are members of a white supremacist group.
Of course, there is not a day that goes by when the papers, and the radio and television are not reporting incidents like these, but their  increased frequency and their randomness and therefore their relative danger, seem to enhance the difficulty of putting a stop to them.
Where are we safe? Why are we not as safe as we once were? Why is there more violence today, or is it just that we know more about it today?
Are video games, plus two wars, plus skirmishes in several locations, plus the pirates off the coast of Africa...on top of the usual violent suspects making the situation more critical.
Bobby Tillman's mother (a single mother) has started a fund in his name to help head off this kind of bullying violence before such deaths as that of her son are committed. The fund is located with Bank of America.
And yet the couple in Calgary are already publicly active working to stem racial violence, and they are targetted perhaps by the very people they are seeking to stop commiting acts of violence based on race.

In all three cases, men are the prime suspects. And we know that men, especially alienated estranged and powerless men, are very dangerous. It is their very powerlessness that makes them bullies. It is their very cowardice and impotence that they seek to overcome, and therefore engage in acts that would convince them and their peers, that they are not powerlessness.

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