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Canadian Tire Store Case Study

1. There are multiple key actors at the beginning of this criminal event. For a criminal event to take place, three things need to take place which is a motivated offender, a suitable target and a lack of capable guardianship (Carleton, 2017a). Here, we have a motivated 38-year-old Vancouver resident who committed multiple crimes in order to steal firearms. The suitable target would be the 52-year-old Canadian Tire clerk who was innocently victimized by the violent actions of another person. These two participants would likely overlap for a few reasons.

In a Canadian Tire store, a clerk needs to unlock a cabinet before customers can buy them. The offender knew that in order to get the firearms he would have to interact with a store employee. Likely, the second the clerk opened the cabinet, the 380-pound motivated man attempted to overpower the targeted clerk by stabbing the clerk. This would have rendered the clerk from being able to functionally patrol the unlocked firearms, which would be considered the lack of capable guardianship to this criminal event.

The police officer who was stabbed in the torso and head while trying to arrest the suspect would have also been considered a victim as well. The police and the offender interacted because they wanted to subdue the man and prevent further escalation or injury to other members of the public (Carleton, 2017b). Witnesses would include the 82-year-old male hostage, who was taken after the stabbing of the clerk. Although people aged 65+ are the least likely to be victimized, this man would have interacted with the offender from just being in the wrong place at the wrong time (Carleton, 2017c).

The offender easily would have been able to control the man, especially since he was held at knifepoint. The customers and public that watched this unfold and stayed to talk to the police would be considered witnesses (Carleton, 2017d). Witnesses carry a huge amount of influence because they can impact other components of the CJS. These people may have been able to watch from the moment the man walked into the Canadian Tire store until the police showed up and killed the man. Witnesses could have captured direct evidence like videos or pictures, which help in the investigation (Carleton, 2017e).

Providing videos and pictures shows different angles and confirms what people are saying. If the police were not phoned by the witnesses, it could have resulted in the man victimizing other people and/or committing future crimes with the stolen firearms. Any person who witnesses a criminal event, but never interacts with the police, would be considered a bystander (Carleton, 2017f). They may have done this for reasons because they didn’t want to get involved or want to talk with the police. Since the crime was in a populated public place witnesses may innocently walk by and think nothing of it.

They may have also thought that a lot of other people were around and it was being dealt with, which can be called the bystander effect (Dewall & Myers, 2015). In addition, bystanders can also make investigating harder and some information could be withheld. This could prevent a case from being solved or future arrests from being made 2. The first responding person in this situation would be the police. They were called to the store from 911 calls and tried to apprehend the large man and prevent further injuries. Police officers have to follow certain procedures when investigating and interacting with a crime scene.

They must keep an open mind and investigate with an inductive perspective and look at the evidence, rather than immediately assuming the outcome (Carleton, 2017g) The first responding officer must secure the scene. Once, the officers arrived in this escalating scenario, it must be their job to request backup and protect any more people from becoming a victim or hostage. They will also have to make sure they preserve any evidence from damage. In this situation, the police likely would tape and block the public from entering the store or parking lot.

It is crucial at this point to block off the area and prevent damage or it could cause devastating consequences later. For example, if the officers did not block off the area, nothing would have stopped a member of the public from stealing the firearms the man attempted to steal. This would be a disaster in court because nothing would prove (fingerprints) that the dead man touched the firearms or was near the unlocked cabinet. Police officers must also write down a wittiness’s personal information and record what they heard and saw before and during the criminal event.

The police separate witnesses because they want the rawest account from each person. A witness may innocently change their stories if they heard how others perceived the event, which could leave out information and make the investigation harder. Police will also scan the scene for details and make sure that the criminal event occurred in the area. For this Canadian Tire scenario, there was an initial primary location where the robbery and assault occurred and for where the hostage was grabbed. There could also be a secondary location in the parking spot where the man died if that is not already considered primary.

They would also see the scene and take photos of everything from different angles and with scales. Police understand that the Canadian Tire is a public place and eventually will reopen. Time could also be a factor from the evidence naturally deteriorating. Police want to make sure they have all the pictures they need because once the crime scene is clean they can never retake photos again in a busy parking lot. The police will also sketch the entire scene from two immovable objects like a lamppost.

In this scenario, they would record the distance from the cars in the parking lot, the cabinet to where the man was shot, the exit doors and where the firearms ended up. This part is very important because it shows exactly where these objects were at that particular time. For example, if it is later determined that the body was moved or the guns are meters from where they originally were, then it shows that someone has tampered with the crime scene and police failed to protect the evidence. Finally, police also would search the evidence and examine the area for any trace of evidence.

They would walk in a grid or use different lighting to make sure they find any evidence associated with the case. If one police officer forgot to look somewhere, then evidence could be potentially be lost and would not be used in court. Police also have to make sure all the evidence is packaged, sealed, labeled, and protected. If not, then the evidence will not be used in court because it has been destroyed, deteriorated or left unidentified (Carleton, 2017h). Not preserving evidence could make or break a case, especially like this scenario

3. Although the offender in this situation died, for argument sake let’s say he lived and made it to the provincial court. The multiple participants in this scenario have multiple jobs. A judge is a person who has the power to sentence a convicted person. He/she also interprets the law and rules what evidence is admissible in court (Carleton, 2017i). In this case, a judge might turn down evidence from the prosecutor if anything is mentioned about how the man was wearing camouflage. It is very common to have people walk into a Canadian Tire wearing hunting gear and this would be irrelevant in court.

The prosecuting lawyer or crown attorney is on the side that represents the government and shows evidence that the man committed a crime. The burden of proof is associated with this participant and they must prove the guilt beyond reasonable doubt. In other words, the crown proves that the man and no one else has committed the crimes with the evidence they provided. (Carleton, 2017j) The defense is a lawyer that would be the one to defend the man in court. It is their job to lessen the punishment or to prevent a one altogether.

Witnesses and victim statements would also be used in court to explain exactly what they saw and experienced (Carleton, 2017k). For this scenario, dozens of witness statements would help the prosecutors more than the defense, especially with the video and camera evidence. Theoretically, there could be a few possible defenses for this scenario for the man. He could have had a mental illness, since the average criminal would not go into a crowded store and commit a violent stabbing. Having a mental illness could prove that the man didn’t know what he was doing at the time or what he was doing was wrong.

If he had a mental illness, it may have prevented him from understanding the officers, which could have escalated the situation. If the man went to court, a psychological test would have already been completed to show if his mental health was good enough during the trial as well. Another defense could be the police screwing up during the procedural process or witnesses exaggerating the situation. On the other hand, evidence found at his home with the plan for future intentions would show that he understood what he was doing.

Plus, video evidence would not lie, especially if CCTV documented the beginning until the end which would not help his defense. 4. If the man lived and made it to the correction stage, he would likely have a long sentence. The man attempted to steal firearms for future criminal intentions. He also violently assaulted a store clerk and stabbed a police officer in the head while resisting arrested after a hostage situation. All this should be considered an indictable offense, which serves a harsh punishment of a minimum of 14 years in prison or longer.

If the man was found to have some mental health problems, programs would likely be made available. It is called corrections for a reason and hopefully, this would prevent him from offending in the future after release. At this point, victims of the crime might also get some physical and mental therapy to improve their overall well-being. Victims might want to ask the offender questions that could potentially benefit and heal some mental wounds. There are many important actors in corrections. They would be line personnel, which are the people who come into direct contact with the prisoners and may handle them to their cells.

Other people in corrections may not come into direct contact with a prisoner. These people would be considered staff personnel, and they help keep the prison going. They may include the accountants, food and laundry service workers which are needed to keep the prisoners healthy and alive (Carleton, 2017l). 5. I would say that this scenario and journey through the CJS would solidify and improve society’s trust in the system. I do not think the public would lose any trust in the system from this case because the police did the best that they could do. The public would be upset about how an innocent Canadian Tire clerk was stabbed in the back.

Almost every Canadian has been in a Canadian Tire store, making this location familiar to many. The public would already assume the man was in the wrong and that police needed to be involved. Police did not immediately shoot but attempted to arrest the man instead. This would show that the police thought of what to do first and did not immediately go for their guns. This may help persuade the public from thinking that police are not impulsive like the media portrays them as. They didn’t try to kill a man right away but looked at other options first.

When the officer involved was stabbed in the head, the public would understand that lethal force was necessary as previous methods failed. Although the man died, if he made it to court most people would be happy. The general public would be glad that a dangerous man is off the streets and behind bars. Everyone would also be thankful that the police investigated and possibly prevented future criminal activity and injury to others. Although there have been cases that lost public trust in the CJS, this is not one of them. Most people would understand the police did the best they could do and sacrificed their own safety and health for others.

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