Posted by Curt on 8 February, 2023 at 9:07 am. 1 comment.


by Michele Mandel title via The Truth About Guns

What a farce this is.
Just before Christmas, an Ontario judge gave Shaquane Stewart a most unbelievable gift. Despite his tossing a loaded handgun into a school yard while on the run from Toronto Police on his 19th birthday, Justice Jill Copeland said she was required to consider the social context of anti-Black racism and as a result, gave the young Black first offender a conditional sentence of two years less a day rather than sending him to prison.
Copeland, now a judge on the Ontario Court of Appeal, said she was satisfied  a conditional sentence “would not endanger the community. ”
So much for misplaced confidence in rehabilitation.
On Feb. 3, less than two months later, Stewart, 23, was arrested outside his probation office — and it sure doesn’t look like he took advantage of the chance he’d been given. Police allege he was packing a concealed and loaded Glock 17 5th Generation pistol equipped with a functioning laser pointer and extended high-capacity magazine containing five 9mm bullets, with one bullet in the chamber.
A search warrant of his apartment allegedly uncovered another empty .40 calibre Glock magazine and 122.8 grams of suspected cocaine.
“The facts of this case are almost too outrageous to believe,” says Toronto Police Association president Jon Reid, “but sadly this is the day-to-day reality for our members who dedicate time and energy to investigating, arresting, and charging those who carry loaded firearms in our communities.
“The conditional sentence was frustrating enough for our members but to arrest the same person, with another loaded firearm, after just six weeks is not only an insult to the work they do but an affront to the notion of community safety.”
Stewart has just become another poster boy for the revolving door of justice. But he’s not even the only one this month.
On Monday, Troy Matthews, 36, was arrested by Peel Police Police and charged with possession of a Kodiak Defence WK180C rifle, ammunition and prohibited devices containing ammunition. Police said the Mississauga man was under a lifetime weapons prohibition order as a result of a violent home invasion and aggravated assault.
None of the charges against Stewart have been proven in court, of course, but if convicted, he played the system with an expert violin.
On Sept. 24, 2018, undercover cops stopped him and his buddy on a North York street on suspicion they were armed. Stewart took off, jumped a fence and landed in a field connected to McKee Public School. Aiming for the roof, he threw his Smith and Wesson .40 calibre handgun and kept running.
The weapon fell to the ground and lay in pieces until a caretaker luckily found it early the next morning — not far from both a play structure and an entry door to the elementary school.
There was still one round of ammunition in the gun’s chamber.
After convicting him of four gun possession-related charges, Copeland cited the 2021 Morris decision by the appeal court that advises judges to consider the impact and role of anti-Black racism in sentencing. After reading what Stewart told a social worker, she found he was a victim of “ systemic bias in the educational system, ” grew up in dangerous subsidized housing and was traumatized when his sister’s partner, his only father figure, was shot and paralyzed.
“Mr. Stewart’s experiences with gun violence do not justify the offences he committed or reduce their gravity. Mr. Stewart’s actions put the community at significant risk, ” the judge noted.
“But his responsibility for the offences must be viewed through the lens of his background, including the experience of systemic discrimination.”

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