On October 31, 1998 John Melenchuk, Myles Ducharme and Darrell Osecap stopped to buy offsale beer. They were attacked by a man with a knife who was known to Ducharme. Melenchuk was seriously injured and Ducharme was also hurt. Melenchuk was in no condition to be interviewed but Ducharme gave the name of the attacker to police.
Five days after the incident, when Melenchuk had sufficiently recovered from surgery, he assumed that the man who had almost killed him would be in custody. When he found out that this was not the case, he set about to find out why.
He has received the same run-around that many people who have complained to the police have encountered. He conducted a 24 hour vigil in front of the police station in January in the chilling cold. Chief Sabo brought him a cup of coffee. The local media took him less than seriously. He has from time to time continued his demonstration and he has a large hand-out of material about his case and others involving Saskatoon Police Service's failure to serve and protect without racial bias.
All he has been asking for is that the man who stabbed him be charged and tried.
According to Gritzfeld from the Complaints Dept. in Regina, he has no legitimate complaint because he failed to give police the name of his assailant (Myles Ducharme did give the name) while he was questioned by police in hospital. Gritzfeld goes on to say that during the course of the police investigation, neighbours were said to have overheard one of the three tell police, "Don't worry about it. We'll take care of it."
I therefore assume that the assailant was also Native. And that the police were satisfied with allowing street justice to take its course.
It is not that often that a Native person will express a willingness to file a complaint against another Native. When that happens, as it did in this case, the police should be delighted: they are finally being allowed to do their jobs. But no. They have resisted Melenchuk's complaints to the point of idiocy.
A letter from former Chief Dave Scott dated April 27, 2001 states "I am in agreement with Mr. Gritzfeld's decision [to close the file] . . .it is unfortunate that both of you were unable to identify your assailants and that there were no independent witnesses to assist . . ." while Melenchuk had provided the assailants' name to him in May, 2000.
Now that Scott has gone, we hope that Melenchuk will get somewhere with his complaint.
There can be no healing and no racial harmony in this City until bad policing, like the service Melenchuk received, is fixed.
John Melenchuk received the following letter which shows how arrogant and self-serving another agency which is supposed to protect the rights of citizens can be: Letter