COWBOYS AND INDIANS: The Shooting of J. J. Harper (2000 Arthur Ellis Award Winner, Best Non-Fiction)
by Gordon Sinclair, Jr. 2 B&W photo sections.
Condition: Gently pre-read (it was my book - read twice) 1999 M&S large Trade Paperback, first printing. I didn't store this book well, and it is out of square with spine creases and small edge wear. Interior clean.
Content: When J.J. Harper of the Island Lake Tribal Council was fatally shot on a wintry Winnipeg street in 1988, the city police department was quick to absolve the officer involved from all blame. Less than a day after the shooting, Police Chief Herb Stephen announced that Harper had died during a struggle for Constable Robert Cross’s gun. But the truth was not so cut and dried. Far from closing the case, Stephen’s remarks were just the start of this dramatic tale of sex, death, threats, flimsy charges, and a police force so out of control that a prominent lawyer, a senior Crown attorney, and a respected journalist all had reason to suspect they were being watched by the police. Pursued doggedly by Winnipeg Free Press columnist Gordon Sinclair Jr., the stranger-than-fiction story of the shooting of J.J. Harper points a finger at the growing disaster of race relations and policing in Canada’s inner cities. For nearly twenty years, Gordon Sinclair Jr. has been a writer for the Winnipeg Free
Press, producing thrice-weekly, wide-ranging columns on whatever catches his eye about the city. Sometimes it is about wild trips with Governor General Ed Schreyer and writer Farley Mowat, sometimes it is about investigating a police shooting where the whole police department seems intent on covering up the truth. Sinclair pursued the story of the shooting of J.J. Harper so single-mindedly and so painstakingly, he became a character in this remarkable story, and a target for the police. He won a Manitoba Human Rights Award and a National Newspaper Award (the first of two) for his columns on the Harper case. Well worth the read, IMHO. The 2003 made-for-TV (APTN?) movie was directed by Norma Bailey and starred the great Adam Beach (J.J. Harper) and the equally great Eric Schweig (brother Harry) with Gordon Tootoosis and Currie Graham. Satisfying but not yet on DVD. Questions welcome. [1 copy available]
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