On August 31 local Bell Globemedia outlet CTV 9 ‘broke’ the story of Da Kine Cafe on its evening newscasts, followed immediately by a story on a teen’s Not Guilty verdict for impaired driving after a fatal car crash where he had ‘marijuana in his bloodstream’ (he was, however, convicted of dangerous driving causing death). Highlighted quotes focused on the difficulty of prosecuting a case based on THC levels in the bloodstream and how ‘the laws need to change now’ to make it easier to prosecute ? see Pot TV’s archived footage.
In the Da Kine story, reporter Rob Brown prods Vancouver Police spokesperson Sarah Bloor into feigning ignorance of the cafe’s ‘dealing’ and insisting that the officers who visited previously only noted someone ‘carrying marijuana’. Later that evening news vans waited outside Da Kine hoping to score some made-to-order bust footage, but went away empty handed.
Following further ‘coverage’ over the next week, the VPD finally caved and made its move September 9 at 6pm, with CTV’s Chopper 9 providing the aerial view (in the middle of a film shoot for The Fabulous Four that littered the Drive with a faux-NYC subway entrance, streetsigns, and mailboxes).
At least 40 officers and a dozen police vehicles attended the scene, barricading several blocks of Commercial Drive and surrounding lanes. Balaclava-clad individuals led the initial entrance, guns drawn at their side. Patrons were searched and ‘processed’, about a dozen arrests were made, and over the next 3 hours police seized an unknown quantity of property and inventory, finally clearing the street for traffic just after 9pm. At least 6 staff are being forcibly detained overnight. An inside eyewitness account of the bust was posted within minutes to the CC Magazine forum and CTV posted a brief, gloating newsbite soon afterwards about how they’d brought the cafe’s business to ‘a dramatic end tonight’.
Da Kine will reopen today (Friday September 10) at 11am — speakers and supporters from the neighbourhood and business community are strongly encouraged to turn out and show their solidarity.