A judge on Thursday granted prosecutors’ request to add a third-degree murder count against a former Minneapolis police officer charged in George Floyd‘s death, offering jurors an additional option for conviction and resolving an issue that might have delayed his trial for months. Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill reinstated the charge after the former officer, Derek Chauvin, failed to get appellate courts to block it.
Law & Crime
Conservative MP Michelle Rempel Garner presented the largest petition to parliament in Canadian history calling upon the Trudeau government to end its targeting of law-abiding gun owners. The petition, signed by 230,000 Canadians, demands a federal crackdown on gang violence and gun smuggling while lifting regulations on law-abiding gun owners. “Over 230,000 Canadians have signed a petition to stop firearms violence in Canada,” Rempel said. “This petition acknowledges that firearms violence in Canada is caused by firearms that are smuggled in illegally from countries like the United States and are related to gang violence.” Data from Toronto appears to support this assertion, with former police chief Mark Saunders having previously admitted that more than 80 percent of gun violence in Toronto took place using firearms illegally smuggled from the United States.
A piece of anti-gun legislation passed by the Democrat-majority House on Thursday will receive a vote in the Senate, according to Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer. H.R. 8, which was sponsored by Democratic Rep. Mike Thompson of California, passed by a vote of 227-203 with eight Republicans voting in favor of it. Also known as the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2021, the legalization will target firearms transfers between individuals that bypass the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System. The bill would essentially criminalize friends who trade guns back and forth — forcing them to go the FBI first for clearance and making their transfers criminal if they didn’t abide by the new regulation.
The George Floyd memorial and surrounding areas in Minneapolis have reportedly become sites of extreme tension as the trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin begins. While violence has broken out, police have been barred from even entering the area. In a video posted to his Twitter account on Wednesday, Brian Entin of News Nation Now interviewed a protester named Kim Griffin, whose nephew was shot and killed near the memorial last weekend. She said police were not even allowed to enter the square as her nephew lay bleeding. “Police were not allowed to get into that area,” she said. “He was carried outside the zone of George Floyd square.” When Entin questioned who had the authority to bar the police from the area, Griffin said that “it was made clear law enforcement was not welcome to penetrate that zone,” which she called “an atrocity.”
The Canadian Constitution Foundation (CCF) is launching a legal challenge to the Trudeau government’s mandatory quarantine hotels. In a statement on Monday, the CCF said it will argue that forcing people to stay in quarantine hotels and pay out of pocket violates the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The CCF is joining five individuals who were forced to stay in quarantine hotels after travelling abroad for compassionate reasons, such as attending a funeral or attending to a spouse who received surgery abroad. “The quarantine hotel policy is an unjustified limit on the rights of Canadians’ Charter protected right to enter Canada. The $2,000 cost per traveler is exploitive and punitive, and some of the hotels have been operating with inhumane conditions,” said CCF Litigation Director Christine Van Geyn.
A judge has thrown out a Nanaimo man’s lawsuit against the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC), in which the plaintiff sought $32 trillion in damages, an audience with the Queen and an MRI scan of his entire body. According to court documents, Tyler Adam Chamberlin was hit by a car while riding his bicycle in Nanaimo in 2018. The driver allegedly fled the scene and Chamberlin later filed a civil suit against B.C.’s auto insurer, claiming physical and emotional injuries. The Nanaimo man then amended his claim, adding more defendants, including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, B.C. Premier John Horgan and Queen Elizabeth II, among others. Without a lawyer, Chamberlin appeared before the B.C. Supreme Court to argue his case on March 1. Appearing via teleconference were lawyers for ICBC, the Attorney General of Canada, the Attorney General of British Columbia, the City of Nanaimo, Nanaimo Regional General Hospital and the Chief Electoral Officer of British Columbia.