a reply to: SlapMonkey
Well... This is a difficult one.
On the one hand, the RCMP entirely failed to impress upon the parents that not only was an investigation taking place, but that the cretin they were
watching, would be clapped in irons the very second he even so much as farted in the wrong direction. In a scenario like this, it is absolutely
imperative that the authorities communicate with the parents in detail, about exactly what measures are being taken to prevent a reported threat to
their child, from manifesting into an actual incident. Any reasonable parent, being given the correct and detailed information which would lead to
their comfort and knowledge that their child is being actively kept safe by ongoing and constant surveillance on the target, would stand down and
permit the law enforcement community to perform its function. What happened here however, seems to have been that the parents were given a boiler
plate response by the RCMP, which did nothing whatsoever to disperse their fear for the safety of their child, and the fault for that, lays squarely
at the door of the law enforcement community.
However... as utterly understandable as their actions are to any person who happens to have a child of their own, and the right stuff about them in
terms of protective instinct, the plan hatched by the parents in this situation involved a deliberate entrapment, from a legal perspective, and it is
difficult to see what method they could have used to achieve a capture, that would not have involved entrapping the suspect in some way. While I have
absolutely no concern whatever for the feelings, the liberty or the right to due process that a confirmed predator of this nature encounters when
faced with capture or rough treatment, from the perspective of the courts boxes must be ticked, i's dotted and t's crossed, before successful legal
action can be taken against any criminal entity. Without bypassing due process, there is no way this offender could have been put through a court
proceeding, based on what happened at the house of his target, without that legal proceeding failing entirely to achieve its goals, and furthermore,
any attempt to force him through the system into a jail cell, could have resulted in his legal representatives being able to:
a) Secure his release on a technicality (of which there would be several, given the nature of his capture by the parents and the entrapment of the
suspect by them)
b) Make any future legal action against him more likely to fail, perhaps by way of his legal team arguing before a judge that the treatment he had
already received was tantamount to harassment by the police, as a result of their frustration with not being able to secure a clean conviction the
c) Produce a situation where the suspect is considered by law enforcement untouchable from a legal standpoint, because no judge will be willing to
rule against him, given the history of unlawful or technically incorrect treatment of the suspect by the police and the courts in attempting to try
him, after the entrapment by the parents, and the subsequent likelihood that any ruling against him would be more prone than most, to be overturned or
quashed on a technicality later, which, although we know to be utterly unimportant, makes prosecutors very nervous.
Now, I will grant you, that none of what I have written in these examples are what I would call, good reasons not to press forward with charges
against the individual in question, because no matter how it happens, scum like that should either be in a concrete box with a metal door on it, or a
pine box under the earth, and that is just how it damned well is, regardless of what the ridiculous and broken thing that passes for law says of the
matter. But realistically speaking, that is simply how the system works, and for all that it is a mess and should not work that way, that is how it is
in the world these days, and there is nothing that can be done to change that rapidly enough to effect this case or how it shakes out.
But I have to turn once again to the police here...
They told the parents to delete the messages, and forget about it, according to the parents. The RCMP protest this report of events, suggesting
instead that they actually referred to an investigation being conducted of the suspect. Personally, I am inclined to believe the parents over the
RCMP, if only because police officers rarely speak in terms which feel like a press release to read, unless there is a camera in their face. It is far
more likely that the parents were indeed instructed to forget about it, than it ever is that they were properly informed of the status of the
investigation into the suspect, or that they were given any information which amounted to reassurance that their daughter would not have to worry
about being accessed by this individual again. This whole event therefore, in my view, is on them, not the parents. This is the order of events, which
should have occurred as a result of the parents report of the communication between the suspect and their child.
First, the police should have taken details from the phone, using computer forensics methods to access its memory, copy the data under chain of
evidence, and maybe even retain the phone as evidence itself. This might have been inconvenient to the child and parents, requiring that a new device
be acquired for the childs use, but given the severity of the situation, I am sure they would have been ok with that.
Second, the suspect should have been identified by way of the user information attached to the message he sent.
Third, once identification of the sender was established, the investigation should have moved into the surveillance realm, involving actual physical
surveillance, and a warrant being sought by the police on the basis of probable cause, from a judge, permitting them to utilise their anti-cybercrime
systems and experts, for the purpose of accessing the suspects computer to recover any further evidence of criminal behaviour.
Fourth, upon receipt of that warrant, the police should have deployed all available resources to do as suggested above, and upon receipt of the
information sought by deployment of those resources, arrested the suspect, and charged him with offenses as appropriate to their findings.
But all they did as far as the childs parents know, was tell them to destroy evidence and forget the incident. That is utterly unacceptable.
Communication and information flowing from investigators to victims and witnesses, is VITAL in cases like these, and I am certain the parents would
have been far more reasonable than they were, if they had been treated as anything more than an inconvenience by the RCMP officers they were in