So just because Toronto Chinatown grocer David Chen is now a folk hero for inspiring the Citizen’s Arrest and Defence Act, it doesn’t mean that our right to defend ourselves is secure.
Take the recent case of Moses Mahilal. Peter Worthington explains the case:
Mahilal ... grabbed a knife from the kitchen and raced upstairs where he caught the guy, hiding and loaded with stolen property. Mahilal didn’t waste any time in attacking and stabbing the guy. The thief, Kino Johnson, 33, ran away with Mahilal after him. Johnson landed in hospital, and at his trial was sentenced to 20 months in jail and two years probation.
His record includes convictions for assault, robbery and theft, so clearly he’s a potentially dangerous guy. I doubt there’s a reasonable citizen in this country who doesn’t identify with Moses Mahilal’s reaction, and feels that anyone burglarizing a home takes his chances, and no tears wept if he’s caught and and manhandled.
Oh, Johnson is quoted in the Toronto Star that, with a knife wound in his chest he could’ve died. Few tears if this had been the case.
The problem is, Mahilal has now been charged with aggravated assault.
I suppose the defenders of our criminal justice system would say that this is different. Mahilal attacked Johnson with a dangerous weapon (a knife). So are we only allowed to defend ourselves with our bare hands? To make it fair for the criminals who stalk law-abiding citizens?
And yes, he apparently knifed Johnson while Johnson was in the act of fleeing? OK, so it wasn’t strictly necessary, but as the police like to say in these cases, Mahilal was in ‘hot pursuit’. And as Worthington points out, Mahilal didn’t know if Johnson is packing a knife or a gun. He also doesn’t know what his criminal record is like. And by stopping Johnson, he took this dangerous predator off the streets. What about all the home invasions that Mahilal prevented with his act of ‘recklessness’?
It is obvious that our criminal justice system is biased against citizen’s defending themselves. Normally, I sympathize with crown prosecutors and cops because they are our first line of defense against criminals. Except that they aren’t really the first line of defence, we are.
And in cases like this, by enforcing the police’s use-of-force monopoly, they show where their true allegiance lies, with ‘the system’ and not with the citizenry.