A rally in protest of what many motorcyclists consider an escape from justice brought about 100 people together at the Surrey, B.C., courthouse on Tuesday.
The rally was held as RCMP Cpl. Monty Robinson was scheduled to make his first appearance in court on a charge of obstructing justice. A lawyer appeared for him.
Police had intended to charge the Mountie with impaired driving causing death and dangerous driving causing death, but the Crown decided there wasn’t much chance of convicting him on those counts, since Robinson had left the scene after his Jeep crashed into a motorcycle ridden by 21-year-old Orion Hutchinson a year ago. Robinson returned to the crash site later, but told officers he had drunk alcohol in the meantime.
Hutchinson died at the scene.
The protestors wore motorcycle jackets and some even rode their bikes to the courthouse, though it was cold out. One was stopped by police as he was leaving and may have been ticketed for riding slowly on a sidewalk. Some protestors yelled at the small number of RCMP officers who had left the detachment building across the street and stood by watching the event.
The B.C. Coalition of Motorcyclists supported the rally. B.C.-C.O.M. executive director Adele Tompkins, who was interviewed on a province-wide CBC Radio show that afternoon, said protestors felt that Robinson was getting off lightly and that justice seemed to be bent in favour of police in this case.