Monday June 21, 2010
The damage done Craig Hill/Voice
Continued from main page
I don't feel like writing this but it has to be done. As a matter of fact, I don't feel like writing at all for the time being because of an incident that took place over the weekend at the Greg Clark Fishing Derby which involved me almost being attacked by a trio of unruly people who are supposed to be parents all because I took three or four photos of their kids playing in the water.
I was cussed at, threatened, humiliated, embarrassed and given the finger by them as they screamed "pervert" while their kids and hundreds of people watched.
I was sick that day and still am as a matter of fact. But I forced myself to go anyway. Just a small sacrifice you make when its something you love to do.
At events I take pictures of everything to share with you folks who can't make it there and for people who'd like photos of themselves at the event. This is my job. And for that, in this case, I'm the bad guy.
Because of the sensitive nature of taking photos of kids these days, sometimes it can be sticky but if I have to walk on rice paper then I can't effectively do my job.
They called the police. Okay, fine.
When I photograph a kid, I give a business card to the parent if possible. That's the deal; take a photo – give a card. Over the past two years there have been many times where parents have posed for photos for me with their kids and 99.99% of parents are cool. I've handed out probably about 4000 business cards one by one in the last year.
However, when someone comes up to me like those loogans did, screaming and ranting, no then they aren't getting a card. The guy was so mad, he was standing there quivering with adrenalin. I don't care if you're the Queen Sheba of Gastown, if you're like that you're not getting a card.
On Saturday, I was interviewed by the Cultus Lake Police and the RCMP who took my camera and brought it to me at home, at which time they deleted the photos in question. I didn't like it when the constable grabbed the mouse on my desk and deleted the photos. I am capable of doing that myself.
I made a mistake, which the police pointed out, and put my home address on my business cards. The thought that I might be endangering myself never crossed my mind. Not until the police mentioned it. It's about trusting the community and until then I never gave it a second thought.
The police were just doing their job. Those parents, who are obviously lowlifes on glue, were overreacting. Additionally, now I fear for my own safety and have to wonder if my door is going to get kicked-in by baseball bat-wielding-gumbies.
Time to change addresses.
Parents out there need to pay attention to who they label a "pervert" because they do a lot of damage by shooting first and asking questions later.
In this case, I'm shutting it down on the Voice because I feel I am owed an apology by all concerned. Although I don't really expect it and assuredly wont get it, however, I do deserve it.
I have been urged to continue working and bringing stories to you folks but at this point in time, I'm burned out and give up. Perhaps in the fall I'll reconsider my decision to pack it in but for now, it's over. I have much better things to do – no offence, than to be screamed at and humiliated by people I wouldn't even sit beside on the bus. This project has cost me a lot of time and money and for what? You tell me.
I've locked the Voice's Facebook account down. Below you will find my final posting there and some responses from good people in the city.
It may be that the Voice will popup in another city. There are valley's everywhere. Maybe I'll do a Quesnel news site, which would be more of a fit seeing as how they named the city after my family.
Thanks for your support. Today, Chilliwack just got a little bit smaller.