An arrest was made on the weekend in a notorious assault case here in Prince Albert.
You’ll notice that the Daily Herald is no longer using the name of the victim after the judge imposed a publication ban on that particular bit of information. It’s a standard response to a case like this, and it’s a ruling that the Daily Herald will honour.
It couldn’t have been an easy case for the Prince Albert Police Service to solve.
It happened in a remote spot in the middle of the night involving people who quite frankly don’t always trust the police.
Police Chief Troy Cooper has been quite forward since it happened about committing the very best resources his department has to finding the culprit.
He noted in an interview with the Daily Herald recently that investigators were poring over video footage from a variety of businesses in the area.
It’s a new form of policing that has become far more prevalent with the advent of video cameras everywhere. Once the toys of the wealthy, most people who own a cellphone now have one available to them.
Video cameras have also become a standard tool for businesses looking to protect themselves.
As a result, police have a whole new avenue of investigation open to them as they seek leads on crimes.
Chief Cooper was quite open about the fact that the surveillance footage was playing a major role in the investigation, with investigators painstakingly examining the video for leads.
One comment on the Daily Herald’s website questioned how hard the police actually worked on this case. The commenter noted that the arrest was made after they were actually able to speak to the victim.
That’s an incredibly simplistic reading of the investigation.
It’s far more likely that the case was solid before they spoke to the victim. Basing an arrest solely on the testimony of a badly beaten person is a recipe for disaster in court.
Having said all of that, it’s important to remember the presumption of innocence that must weigh in to any court case.
Until the Crown and police have made their case in court or the suspect has pleaded guilty, a rush to judgment helps no one.
This is a crime that prompted an unusual amount of soul searching in a community that has its share of violence.
Perhaps it was the degree of damage in the crime or the history of the victim, or maybe a little of both. But this crime showed both the very worst and the best of Prince Albert.
Regardless of what the verdict may be as the case winds its way through the legal system, it’s important that the citizens of Prince Albert remember both their horror at the crime and the tender mercy shown to the unfortunate victim.
Because no matter what happens in court, this crime will continue to echo forward in the life of the victim.
Prince Albert Daily Herald