Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Michael Bryant and Spin Doctors 'Diminish Us All'

(Originally published at BikingToronto, where I write, "Michael Holloway's BikingToronto Blog" and "Toronto/GTA Bicycle Route Mapping Wiki".)

Audio of Michael Bryant's press conference of May 25th 2010 - juxtaposed with video testimony of witnesses from the night of the killing of Darcy Allan Sheppard.

“We are all diminished by any loss of life,” said Mr. Bryant

I would opine that we are all diminished when after one takes the life of another, the institution we have built that maintains our civilization offers no sanction.

The starting point, the point where Michael Bryant losses his humanity to fear and objectification of the other happens before the hellish ride that kills Darcey Allen Sheppard. It starts with an assault at the intersection when Bryant uses his car to throw the cyclist onto the hood. He then brakes and backs up, spilling the injured man to the pavement, then wheels right around the man and over the bike, trying to effect an escape of the scene of his criminal act - at this point Sheppard grabs onto the side of the car. It is in this attempt to escape the consequences of his assault on Sheppard that Bryant embarks down the road to murder - and becomes Sheppard's Chauffeur of death.

Here's audio of the carefully scripted stage play that served as a news conference this morning. After, reporters pose questions that seem intended only to help Mr. Bryant flesh out the details of his spin of the story he has just delivered, to add colour to his script:

"28 seconds..." This is the theme the script writers are going with, it talks to the fact that at a moment of fear and surprise you might have done what Michael Bryant did: cross to the opposite side of Bloor Street at 90 kph and use a mail box and a light pole to "brush off", to snuff out the life of, a man hanging onto your car for dear life.

From the witnesses:

What charges do you think should be brought that will have a reasonable likelihood of resulting in a conviction?

Dangerous Driving?
Assault with a weapon?

Story from the National Post (note the spin in the headline): Former Ontario AG Michael Bryant was ‘terrified’ during fatal encounter with cyclist.

Thanks to The National Post for the audio of the press conference.


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