JUNO Award nominee Alysha Brilla joins me re headline story concerning her topless bike ride with her twin sisters

AlyshaBrilla_2014-950x633Alysha Brilla is a rising Canadian music star.  JUNO Award nominee, U.K. song writing contest winner. Critically acclaimed singer and producer.

Alysha also made headlines this week after it was reported she and her twin sisters Tameera and Nadia, during an evening bike ride in the Kitchener-Waterloo area of Ontario, decided they would ride through the downtown area with their shirts off because of the heat.

They spoke with several people during the ride, including a female police officer and there was no reaction to their topless ride until a male police officer challenged Alysha and her sisters.

Initially, and I’m recording an interview with Alysha Brilla this afternoon, to be played back tomorrow on the show, the police officer reportedly said “ladies you’re going to need to put your shirts on.”

Not so. At least not according to the courts.

The issue was resolved in 1996 in Ontario when the Ontario Court of Appeal tossed out an initial conviction against Gwen Jacobs of Guelph for walking topless in public in 1991. A lower court had convicted Ms. Jacobs of committing an indecent act.

Tomorrow, Alysha Brilla and her sisters will be holding a march in Waterloo’s Town Square to show support for women’s right to be topless in public.

Also this week, there’s a report a B.C. woman, Susan Rowbottom, was sunbathing topless in Kelowna when a police officer instructed her to cover up.  In British Columbia the law, as decided by the province’s Supreme Court, allows a woman to be bare-breasted in public as well.

Listen to the interview with Alysha Brilla on tomorrow’s show and then we’ll open the phone lines for your thoughts.

Will anyone challenge this all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada and would the SCC decide to hear the case?

We’ll talk.

A follow up on the Sandra Bland arrest and death in Texas

There was intense on air reaction to our discussion about the arrest of Sandra Bland in Texas and my conversation with the new prosecutor in Waller County, TX, where the incident took place.

The prosecutor didn’t rule out the possibility of criminal charges being brought against the police officer who arrested Sandra Bland.  There’s a great deal of strong emotion about this traffic stop/arrest/jailing which ultimately saw Sandra Bland, according to the official autopsy, take her own life.

Interaction with police during traffic stops can be stressful for a motorist.  Unlike the police officer we’re not accustomed to the experience and adrenalin can flow.

I remember the former Chief of Police in Hamilton, Ken Robertson, telling me he instructed his officers to treat a person they stopped for a minor traffic infraction the same way they would treat one of their own family stopped for the same reason.  That always made great sense to me.

And I did repeat on air the story of the Surete Quebec officer who stopped me for speeding on the morning after my wife’s death.  I was heading home from the bank and my mind was elsewhere.  There was very little traffic at that particular moment, other than the cruiser and when officer approached my window he was courteous, asked me if I knew I was speeding and I answered honestly “no, I don’t know that” and told him my wife had just passed away. This officer went out of his way to be courteous and solicitous and no, even though he could have and I wouldn’t have argued the point, he didn’t write me a ticket.

Each situation is different.  It just seems to me the Sandra Bland interception began badly and deteriorated.  A rolling stop and lane change without signal change accusation didn’t need to, never should have ended as it did.  The officer could have written a ticket in his cruiser, handed it to Sandra Bland and been on his way.

When he shouted “I’m going to light you up (Taser)”, that was another indication to me that this officer was in a bad mood from the get-go in his encounter with Sandra Bland.

The Texas prosecutor in the case of Sandra Bland joins me, as does medical ethicist Dr. Arthur Caplan who compares Donald Trump to Adolf Hitler.

We start today’s show by speaking with the Waller County, Texas, prosecutor, who announced that Sandra Bland died of suicide in a cell at the detention centre in Waller County after that very controversial traffic stop, during which she was pulled over not signalling a lane change.  When the Texas state trooper (and he was belligerent) threatened to “light up” Ms. Bland with a Taser it made me think of Robert Dziekanski at Vancouver International Airport.  I’ll talk to the prosecutor and then we’ll talk.  Do you have a traffic stop encounter you can share with us?

Dr. Arthur Caplan is a highly respected bioethicist in the U.S.  He is the Head of the Division of Medical Ethics at NYU’s Langone Medical Center and Dr. Caplan, in an opinion piece (he does much media commentary) wrote that “Donald Trump is a racist firmly in the repugnant tradition of Hitler.”  Dr. Caplan wrote more than that and I’ll speak with him at the beginning of Hr 2.

You may recall a veterinarian called last weekend railing about what has happened to his profession with vet costs skyrocketing.  Margaret Wente, national columnist with the Globe and Mail wrote a piece about the costs of vet fare for her dying cat.  She’ll join us and the $$ numbers are astronomical.

Did you see the story about the London, Ontario couple convicted of leaving a 9 week old puppy locked in a bathroom while they went on vacation?  The conditions the puppy was living under when a warrant to enter the premises was eventually obtained were terrible. The executive director of the London Humane Society, Judy Foster, will be speaking about this situation.

Hackers have compromised baby monitors and the controls of Jeeps, prompting the recall of 1.4 million vehicles in the U.S., but none in Canada.  Scott Schobert, CEO of Berkeley Varitronics Systems and author of Hacked Again will offer his views and advice on what you might do to protect yourself.

and our business of sport voice Mark Yost, writes for the Wall Street Journal and is the author many excellent sports books, as well as action thrillers (look up Mark Yost at Amazon.com) will talk about golf and David Hearn’s quest to win the Canadian Open, whether Toronto should be bidding for the summer Olympic Games and how the criminal investigation into Barry Bonds alleged PED use was suddenly dropped.

Some of what’s on today’s show.