Well, perhaps, just perhaps, Mr. Hughes was not the harmless man he's being portrayed as by the boneheads:
Man involved with neo-Nazi groups said police wouldn't take him alive
Danielle Bell, Canwest News Service
Thursday, December 24, 2009
The week before he died, Jeff Hughes told a former employer that if the police visited again they would not take him alive.
"He told me he had a gun. I never saw it. I believed him," recalled Tyler Madison, 54, onTuesday. "He told me, 'If they come to arrest me, they won't take me out of here in handcuffs.'"
Hughes was shot and killed by police outside his downtown Nanaimo apartment on Oct. 23.
Madison considered himself to be Hughes's mentor and friend, despite his strong opposition to Hughes's involvement with neo-Nazi groups. He last saw Hughes briefly a week before his death, and says the man he describes as intelligent, charming and funny seemed depressed and agitated, and concerned about disputes with neighbours about noise. Madison feared at the time that Hughes was suicidal.
"I think that might have been him crying out for help," said Madison. "The social system failed him. People fall through the cracks."
After his death, almost no one came forward to talk about Hughes, 48, and relatively little was known about the man whose life would end in a rare police shooting.
Madison, who met Hughes when they both worked at a small Nanaimo information technology firm, said Hughes was lonely, financially strapped and suffering from a lot of pain due to arthritis. He took painkillers and was on lifelong disability payments. He did not have a driver's license and fixed the odd computer for a fee.
Hughes shared with Madison stories of a troubled life, including a struggle with drugs and alcohol while living on Toronto streets as a teenager, a brief jail stint, a stay in a psych ward.
He bounced from job to job and community to community, working as a chef and with computers.
He never married, had no children and no close family relationships, said Madison, adding Hughes was devastated two years ago when his cherished dog was put down.
His involvement with neo-Nazi groups brought Hughes to the attention of police. Madison said Hughes was unhappy about being visited by an RCMP anti-hate crime unit, who were reportedly looking into his alleged distribution of hate propaganda.
Police have yet to release much information about the shooting including how many officers were involved, how many times Hughes was shot and whether he had a weapon.
The Vancouver Island Integrated Major Crime Unit is leading the investigation, which includes an independent observer with the Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP. The inquiry could take up to a year.So, did did Hughes meet the RCMP with a weapon? Perhaps time will tell?