Two fatal shootings in Metro Vancouver in as many days prompt outcry from families, police
Politicians, victim’s mom call for public release of gangster information, posters
By Kim Bolan, Vancouver Sun May 4, 2012
IHIT Cpl. Adam Macintosh told the media that a deceased male was found in a rented a basement suite at a residence at 12432 70th Ave. in, Surrey, Thursday, May 03 2012. IHIT will continue to investigate for 24 hours to determined the cause.
Photograph by: Les Bazso , PNG
Two fatal shootings in two days have politicians and a victim’s mom calling for police to publicly release more information about violent gangsters who threaten community safety — including posters with their photos.
The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team was working Thursday night to identify a man shot to death in a Surrey basement suite near 124th Street and 70th Avenue.
The slaying came just a day after notorious Vancouver gangster Ranjit Singh Cheema, 43, was executed in a drive-by shooting in front of his parents’ home on East 61st Avenue.
Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson and NDP justice critic Kathy Corrigan endorsed a suggestion by Liberal MLA Kash Heed Thursday to consider the public disclosure of more police intelligence about those involved in gang wars, including their photos.
Heed said he is getting lots of positive feedback for his suggestion that the time has come to better inform the public about those perpetuating the mayhem, the same way Vancouver police did after the Stanley Cup riot.
“You can replicate the success they had through social media by getting the information out there through posting the pictures in very strategic spots and exposing these gang members for what they are,” said Heed, a former West Vancouver police chief and solicitor-general.
“Because at the end of the day, public safety trumps everything else.”
Robertson agreed the safety of innocent community members must be paramount.
“It is definitely an approach worth considering. The police board should consider this with our departments,” he said of gang posters.
But he also said the release of information about those suspected of being involved would have to be done carefully and constructively.
“If it is too close to Wild West — ‘most-wanted’ posters everywhere — I don’t think the public wants to engage in vigilante-style response,” Robertson said.
“But if there is a way to engage the public and use technology and social media effectively to support policing efforts and discourage gang crime, I am all for it.”
Surrey mom Eileen Mohan, whose son Chris was caught accidentally in a gangland shooting, has been proposing a gangster website for years.
Back in 2007, when her son was killed, she had no idea the people living across the hall were known traffickers who would be targeted by murderous thugs.
“I believe if these gangsters are known to police, then they should be known to the public at large in order to maintain public safety and security,” Mohan said Thursday.
But her website idea ran into obstacles when police agencies said it would violate gangsters’ privacy rights to out them online or on posters.
“We cannot throw up our hands and say it is inevitable that this is going to happen. We need to roll up our sleeves, think differently and work harder to prevent this from occurring,” Heed said.
Meanwhile, Vancouver police Const. Jana McGuinness said investigators are working hard on the Cheema file and want anyone who saw anything suspicious to call 604-717-2500.
“We know that residents living in this neighbourhood have been shaken by this brazen, gang-related shooting,” McGuinness said.
“It was very possible that an innocent person could have been caught up in the violence.
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