Countering the racist tweets of Lethbridge’s crisis negotiator

Mike Reeder is a sergeant with the Lethbridge Police Service. He’s been with the LPS for 32 years. In his spare time, he occasionally retweets racist stuff.

Note: Since the time I researched this story, Mike locked his account, so only those who follow him can see what he tweets.)

Mike Reeder is a sergeant with the Lethbridge Police Service. He’s been with the LPS for 32 years, making him the longest-serving cop in the service.

He’s also been a crisis negotiator with the LPS since 2011.

Going through his Twitter timeline one finds mostly retweets, many of them of typical right-leaning politics. He tries to portray himself as a centrist, but then he shares stuff from Dave Rubin, PragerU, Paul Joseph Watson, and James Woods, and the only politicians he shares tweets from are conservatives, such as Jason Kenney and Pierre Poilievre.

After coming across several problematic retweets, I thought I’d highlight a few here and counter the claims in those tweets.

In this tweet, the person who created the image is trying to create a narrative that these acts of vandalism are being perpetuated by immigrants, rather than those born in France. An article in Newsweek, however, reports that the executive director of the Observatory of Intolerance and Discrimination Against Christians in Europe claims that the motive for recent streaks of vandalism, in many cases, is actually unknown. In fact, she believes the vandalism is actually connected to “growing problems with anti-Christian violence, especially by anarchist and feminist groups.” It seems unlikely that such groups are from outside France, and are probably made up of French citizens. Also, I couldn’t confirm that exact number.

The study the article linked to in this tweet is called “Black and White Book of Terrorism in Europe”. Unfortunately, I can’t find a copy of it anywhere, so I was unable to review its dataset or methodology. Apparently, it was written by Maite Pagazaurtundúa, a Spanish politician, activist, and writer. Every article I found on it ultimately led back to an article by Le Figaro, a French right-wing newspaper, but that article did not provide a link to the original source, so it remains unverified, and how she obtained this data is unclear. Paul Joseph Watson, the person who shared the original tweet that Reeder retweeted, is a far-right YouTuber conspiracy theorist.

Why does Pelosi look like a kidnap victim? Because she’s stuck between a Latin American and a black Muslim? Is there something inherently violent or criminal about being Latin American, black, or Muslim? Would James Woods have drawn the same simile if there were white woman on either side of Pelosi?

Does this mean that Reeder thinks that his service firearm is designed to kill bad guys (whatever “bad guys” means)? Does he consider himself to be a “proper person”? Is his solution to bad guys shooting to kill? Is that his only solution, or does he have others?

The mainstream media covered this, so I wonder why Reeder shared Spencer Fernando’s tweet (which was of Fernando’s blog post on the topic) instead of a tweet from a mainstream media outlet. And what’s the point of it? I mean, it’s devastating that a 13-year-old was killed. But young kids are killed by non-refugee Canadians. For example, I didn’t see Reeder retweeting tweets about the stabbing of 14-year-old Devan Selvey by a white 18-year-old last autumn. Or the killing of 13-year-old Sarah Gartner by her father in May. Why single out the crime committed by a refugee?

This is the city’s crisis negotiator. How can someone who holds racist views and who sees gun deaths as a solution be depended on to negotiate with someone fairly and justly? Especially if that person happens to be a non-white, Muslim refugee?

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By Kim Siever

Kim Siever is an independent queer journalist based in Lethbridge, Alberta. He writes daily news articles, focusing on politics and labour.

2 replies on “Countering the racist tweets of Lethbridge’s crisis negotiator”

It looks like Lethbridge needs a new crisis negotiator. One who actually appreciates all people.

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