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Crime

ASIRT investigating after man goes off 4th floor balcony in west end

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Downtown Edmonton buildings

ASIRT investigating serious incident in southwest Edmonton

For Immediate Release: 14-May-2020 @ 1:09 PM
MRU #: AR20005

At approximately 3:30 a.m. this morning, police received a 911 call regarding a possible assault in progress, where the caller reportedly heard yelling and screaming at an apartment suite in the area of 170 Street and 64 Avenue.

Uniformed officers arrived, and after attempting access through door knocks, were required to force entry into the suite. While police were forcing entry, a confrontation occurred with a man in the suite, resulting in several different uses of force to attempt to gain control of him, all without success.

The man then went out onto the fourth floor balcony and either fell or jumped to the ground below.  Officers followed and observed the man lying on the ground.

The man was transported to hospital with life-threatening injuries.

The Director of Law Enforcement was notified, and has directed the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT) to investigate this incident. Therefore, the EPS will not be providing further comment.

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Addictions

Claims about ‘safer supply’ diversion aren’t disinformation

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News release from Break The Needle

This month, police in London, Ont., admitted to what critics have said all along: safer supply diversion is happening at alarming levels

Last spring, Canada’s minister of mental health and addictions claimed critics’ concerns about “safer supply” diversion — the illegal selling and trading of taxpayer-funded addictive drugs — were based on lies.

“For Pierre Poilievre to state untrue information about safer supply, and try to create barriers to accessing harm reduction services that are saving lives amid this ongoing crisis, is incredibly irresponsible and dehumanizing to people who use drugs,” read a statement by then-minister Carolyn Bennett’s office.

Fast forward a year, and it’s clear which side was telling the truth.

This month, police in London, Ont., admitted to what critics said all along: diversion of pharmaceutically supplied opioids to the streets is happening at alarming levels. London is home to Canada’s longest-running safer supply program, which dates back to 2016 and was significantly expanded in 2020.

The London Police Service released data that shows a staggering 3,000 per cent increase in the seizure of hydromorphone tablets — the opioid predominantly given out by safer supply programs — over the last five years. In 2019, London police seized just under 1,000 tablets. By 2020, that number had tripled. In 2023, they seized 30,000 hydromorphone tablets.

For context, hydromorphone is as potent as heroin and just two or three of these pills, if snorted, can cause an overdose in an inexperienced opioid user.

Earlier this month, the city’s deputy police chief, Paul Bastien, told CBC’s London Morning, “We recognize the value that safe supply plays as part of that harm reduction piece, but diversion is an important issue that is affecting community safety. I won’t say that everyone’s doing it, but some of the tablets from safe supply are being diverted for that purpose.”

“Criminal groups are fairly adept at exploiting policy changes that are well intended. But unforeseen consequences sometimes arise and this appears to be, at least in part, one of them,” he continued.

A reasonable person may assume that, given this alarming new evidence, proponents of safer supply would change their tune about widespread diversion being “fake news.” Unfortunately, they haven’t.

Some activists are now claiming on social media that London’s spike in hydromorphone seizures was not caused by safer supply, but rather by a high-profile theft of 245,000 hydromorphone tablets from an Ontario pharmacy. Yet the spike in seizures began years before this theft and, according to multiple addiction physicians, the street price of hydromorphone collapsed in the city well before 2023, suggesting an earlier influx of diverted supply.

However, these mental contortions aren’t surprising. As more and more evidence of widespread diversion emerged over the past year, accusations of disinformation and misinformation haven’t stopped –– they have simply evolved. The narrative changed from “Diversion doesn’t exist” to “Fine, it exists, but only on a small scale” to, now, “Fine, diversion exists at scale, but imagine the alternative?”

This is the angle already emerging in British Columbia, where the province’s top doctor, Bonnie Henry, authored a damning report that acknowledges the regularity and harms of safer supply diversion, yet still concludes safer supply is “ethically defensible” and advocates for its expansion.

Like many safer supply activists, Henry often argues diversion isn’t a significant concern because most opioid deaths are caused by fentanyl.

While it’s true that most opioid deaths are attributable to fentanyl, hydromorphone is still incredibly dangerous. When diverted into the black market, it creates new addictions, often among young people, which culminate in fentanyl use.

Moreover, data indicate hydromorphone is implicated in an increasing share of drug-related deaths in young people in B.C. In 2019, there were no reported deaths involving hydromorphone. By 2022, that number jumped to 22 per cent. Similarly, a recent report by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Ontario found the number of youth in the province who self-reported using prescription opioids for “non-medical” reasons jumped 71 per cent between 2021 and 2023.

Still, safer supply activists continue to insist, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, that widespread diversion isn’t happening.

In 2017, Collins Dictionary declared “fake news” the word of the year. Since then, the term –– along with sister terms “misinformation” and “disinformation” –– have taken on a disturbing new life.

While fake news, misinformation and disinformation are very real democratic threats, some politicians and activists realized they could delegitimize opponents’ arguments and unflattering media stories by simply proclaiming them fake. Now, we’re in the dizzyingly ironic position of real news, and real facts, being dismissed as misinfo and disinfo by self-declared guardians of the truth.

This is the exact problem journalists and concerned medical professionals continue to face when raising the alarm on so-called “safer supply.” Despite the abundance of solid reporting, emerging data, whistleblower warnings and first-hand accounts of widespread diversion, harm reduction activists and their allies in government don’t just recklessly dismiss the problem, they weaponize the language of fake news to discredit a reality they don’t like.

Communities across Canada, and addicts themselves, deserve better.

A guest post by
Sabrina Maddeaux
Bold opinions and analysis of the political and economic issues that matter.
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Crime

Secret Service Tells Senators They ‘Identified’ Shooter Roughly 50 Mins Before Trump Took Rally Stage, Sources Say

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From the Daily Caller News Foundation

By NICK POPE

 

“I have no confidence in the leadership of Director Cheatle and believe it is in the best interest of our nation if she steps down from her position.”

The U.S. Secret Service (USSS) and the FBI told lawmakers Wednesday that former President Donald Trump’s would-be assassin was identified well before shots rang out at the Pennsylvania rally, according to sources familiar with the briefing.

Federal law enforcement held the briefing with lawmakers to go over specifics of the shooting that nearly killed Trump on Saturday in Butler, Pennsylvania. During the call, USSS and FBI officials stated that the gunman, later identified as Thomas Crooks, was noticed about an hour before the shooting, or approximately 50 minutes before Trump took the stage to address the crowd, according to two sources familiar with the briefing.

“There was zero accountability from Secret Service,” one source familiar with the briefing told the DCNF. “They identified the shooter 60 minutes prior to the assassination attempt.”

Given that the shooter opened fire about 60 minutes after being identified, and about ten minutes into Trump’s speech, this means that the identification occurred roughly 50 minutes before the former president took the stage.

Another source familiar with the briefing confirmed this particular detail to the DCNF. One of the sources said the officials told senators that Crooks was spotted with a range finder.

Both sources familiar with the briefing described it as a major disappointment given the gravity of the subject it addressed.

“Multiple members” who wanted to ask questions on the video call were not granted the opportunity to do so, according to another source familiar with the briefing. “They did not have answers to basic questions,” the source told the DCNF in reference to USSS and FBI.

USSS also spotted Crooks on the roof from which he opened fire about 20 minutes before shots rang out, according to ABC News, citing its own sources familiar with the briefing.

The security lapses that allowed Crooks to get several clean shots off at Trump from close range have raised serious questions from Republicans, who have widely and sharply criticized the USSS’ performance on Saturday as one of the worst failures in the agency’s history.

USSS Director Kimberly Cheatle has been lambasted for her response to the situation, which has included a statement to ABC News that security was not present on the roof from which Crooks opened fire because it is sloped.

Several lawmakers went public with their criticisms after the briefing as well.

“I just got off a briefing with the Secret Service and FBI. I am appalled to learn that the Secret Service knew about a threat prior to President Trump walking on stage,” Republican Tennessee Sen. Marsha Blackburn wrote in a Wednesday post to X. “I have no confidence in the leadership of Director Cheatle and believe it is in the best interest of our nation if she steps down from her position.”

Republican Utah Sen. Mike Lee expressed a similar view in his own post to X after the briefing.

“Secret Service Director Kimberly Cheatle needs to step down immediately. Today’s (mostly) information-free briefing only confirmed that,” Lee wrote. “What little information she gave us was at once deeply troubling and glaringly incomplete.”

Republican Sen. John Barrasso of Wyoming also ripped the Secret Service after the briefing concluded.

“This was a 100% cover-your-ass briefing. He was identified as being suspicious one hour before the shooting. He had a range finder and a backpack. The Secret Service lost sight of him,” Barrasso said in a statement shared on X. “No one has taken responsibility. No one has been held responsible. Someone has died. The President was almost killed. The head of the Secret Service needs to go.”

The FBI and USSS did not respond immediately to requests for comment.

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