Reporter John McFadden by Walter Strong.
Except – “…When McFadden first showed up in Yellowknife, people didn’t know what to make of him. He carried a big city sense of journalistic duty to a place smaller than his hometown of Orangeville, Ontario; 20,000 vs 27,000. He gained readers quickly, but made enemies just as fast. It was the RCMP who jumped the line; banning him from news conferences, forcibly removing the writer from the courthouse in an episode that resulted in the Justice department compensating him for torn clothes. But most profoundly, it led to the Mounties challenging McFadden after he criticized the force for refusing to alert the public when sexual predators were released from prison, even though it’s a policy that was changed after the reporters’ protests. … This was merely a prelude, however, to what happened last July in Yellowknife outside the Black Knight pub, where McFadden was cuffed, thrown in a police cruiser and hauled off to the cells, where he was kept for a number of hours after being charged with obstruction of police, an offence related to pictures he was taking of a van that the police were tearing apart in one of the city’s busiest downtown neighbourhoods. McFadden claims that he was not obstructing police procedure, while the cops—three of whom were questioned on the stand a few weeks ago at the beginning of the most sensational trial in Yellowknife in the last decade—insist that he was inside the van, or “breaking the plane,” in the words of one of the officers. If the three policemen who testified produced varying accounts of the incident, one thing was consistent: McFadden, who emerged from the Black Knight after midnight to investigate the nature of the police operative (centred around the van’s stolen plates and the identification of the vehicle’s owner, a very drunk man who immediately complied with the search), was portrayed as a person who was “yelling and screaming” and creating havoc as he approached the van. The presence of the reporter might have been alarming to the constables, but it was one in which most Yellowknifers, by this point, have become familiar. You heard him, and you knew who it was. You either turned around or charged forward, depending on what kind of night you were looking to have. ..”