Kitty Metrovese

For those of you following the buck-passing on metro security passing the buck, we’re getting some interesting and, of course, contradictory reports from all sides. The STM says it never ordered anyone to stand by and laugh do nothing while some guy beats up on his girlfriend. The security workers union spokesperson says the police told them not to intervene while calling it “absurd”. And the public safety minister wants an investigation.

A few comments from the peanut gallery here. First, why is nobody talking about the report that the employee in the ticket booth refused to call 911? That doesn’t require putting anyone in danger, yet for some reason it was apparently refused. It’s unclear if that led even in part to delaying police arrival (they came 17 minutes later), but if it did I would expect that to be an even more serious story.

Second, why didn’t anyone do anything? There were plenty of ordinary people around who had plenty of time to bark at the metro employees. Why did they not intervene? The guy didn’t have a weapon. You could argue that putting people in harm’s way like that is dangerous, but if so why are these metro employees who don’t have arresting power, don’t carry firearms and are not supposed to intervene in these cases expected to do so?

Finally, with over a hundred police officers patrolling the metro, why were none in the system’s busiest station? Or the library or bus station next door? Why did it take police 17 minutes to get there?

UPDATE (Sept. 6): An “error in judgment” but no disciplinary action.

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