Let the ‘blood­ing’ be­gin

Winnipeg Free Press - Section H - - FRONT PAGE -

AS the RCMP in Prince Ge­orge, B.C., con­tin­ues its ar­du­ous quest to solve the cases of a miss­ing per­son and three mur­dered women, a civil lib­er­ties group is protest­ing the force’s strat­egy.

The trou­ble­some files go back to 2006 with at least one link to B.C.’s in­fa­mous High­way of Tears and its mur­der toll, now 18 strong.

The fuss comes with an in­ves­tiga­tive ap­proach some­times known as blood­ing, a ge­netic fin­ger­print drag­net where sam­ples of DNA are col­lected from a large tar­get group for com­par­i­son with crime data. The B.C. Civil Lib­er­ties As­so­ci­a­tion calls the move a vi­o­la­tion of hu­man rights.

So far, about 400 sam­ples have been taken, 100 from cab driv­ers.

The sam­ple (an oral swab or blood from a fin­ger prick) is vol­un­tary and taken with writ­ten con­sent of the provider. The counter-ar­gu­ment is it’s not vol­un­tary be­cause an in­di­vid­ual who de­clines to pro­vide a sam­ple gets placed in the crosshairs of sus­pi­cion.

The same ar­gu­ment was made in 2003 when 10-year-old Holly Jones stole the na­tional spot­light.

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