They say Justice is blind; blind to her own failings perhaps. Look only to the legal debacles of former Canadian Football League (CFL) linebacker, Trevis Smith. Even after years of exposure to AIDS group think, I went from disbelief, to shock, to outrage as his wife Tamika told me the real story of their ordeal.
According to Tamika, whose irrepressibly cheerful voice belies the ferocity of her words, it is not even clear, to either she or Trevis, that his antibody positive diagnosis is accurate. He was tested in November of 2003, after a former sexual contact revealed his name when she discovered she was reactive during a routine blood donation. The first ELISA showed he was possibly a carrier of anti-HIV antibodies. A second test was first inconclusive and then quickly reinterpreted as positive, and a subsequent ‘viral load’ determination months later came back “no detectable virus”. How Canadian officials could arrest her husband for possibly endangering lives when his HIV status has never been definitely resolved is a question I suppose some professional reporter or another might endeavor to answer.
But of course that would imply the term reporter in modern Canada means an independent source of verifiable data instead of a propagandist for AIDS, Inc. Or maybe the answer can be found in the AIDS establishment's latest war on the African American segment of North American, as exemplified in this piece of racist innuendo from the Harvard Gazette. At the 2006 International AIDS Conference Black delegates were encouraged, by Black AIDS awareness groups, to wear t-shirts with the slogan “GOT AIDS?” to promote widespread testing based on their shared skin color.
Tamika turns to describing how the Canadian gendarmerie, as opposed to the health officials, behaved. Most who have heard of her husband's case assume that when he was arrested in October, 2005 it was because the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) had just discovered Trevis was a potentially “dangerous” man. However, even the slanderous pieces published in the mainstream media contradict this assumption.
The RCMP were well aware of Trevis' HIV+ diagnosis, and his horrible crime of having 'unprotected' sex while ‘infected’, as demonstrated by the timing of passing this information on to the Saskatchewan Roughriders. If Trevis' apparent HIV status and behavior were so damning, why did it take the RCMP so long to arrest him? And how in the world did they allow him to participate in a "contact" sport, like football, without revealing it?
Be that as it might, in the fall of 2005 Smith was arrested on the basis of information that the RCMP had known for an entire year, and the RCMP publicly announced Smith's HIV status and not so sordid, but made to seem so, details of his private life. While even the Canadian media questioned how ethical this disclosure was, the RCMP maintained it was necessary for public safety. The police also asked other women who had perhaps had sexual contact with Smith to come forward. Was their evidence so weak they needed to find more potential 'murder' victims to have a case against him?
Tamika continued: After his arrest in October 2005, her husband was released on $10,000 bail in November. The conditions of this release were many. He was prohibited from being alone with women (other than his wife and family), barred from visiting nightclubs, and was issued a curfew, which restricted him to being home from 11pm to 7am. He was also told that he had to remain in Regina, Saskatchewan and surrender his passport. As well, he was informed he could have no visits or communication with any of the complainants (that his accusers have broken this one seems of no consequence). These and other conditions (reported in this Canadian Broadcasting Corporation press release) were deemed, by Smith and his attorneys, to effectively prevent him from earning an income since he had been summarily dropped by his former team whose generous (by CFL standards) contract had ensnared him in the first place.
Trevis supposedly has violated the terms of his release several times - most recently, for the incident that led to his rearrest earlier this month. According to Tamika this came about because a female friend communicated directly with Trevis offering a painting job, which the not so long ago glamorous, star linebacker gratefully accepted.
Although he was not reported by the friend, his contact with the woman was discovered, and Canada's finest considered this a violation of his release conditions so Smith was once again taken from his family -- this time through his attempts to provide for them.
A bail hearing will be held this Friday, the twenty-second of December. If Canadian legal officials have their way, Smith will remain in jail until his court date at the end of January, and his family will spend Christmas alone, in a rented house, in a foreign country, with no money to renew the expiring lease, and facing deportation as undesirable aliens.
I wrote "Justice is blind" to begin today's narrative, and qualified it for the purposes of an engaging I hoped introduction. I close with this unqualified statement of naked truth.
Justice is not only blind, but in Canada today, She is also deaf and dumb.
[To be continued.]
Shelley McNeil is a single mother of three, and a final year student in the environmental studies program at Memorial University of Newfoundland.