Missoula’s Proud Helpers

by Travis Mateer

Yesterday I got a chance to see how our criminal justice system “helps” friends and family members understand why cops use lethal force. Sure, it took over two years, and no one in local media seems all that interested in reporting on this, but that won’t stop County Attorney Matt Jennings from doing his job.

If you are a fellow Missoulian like me who was unaware of this lethal incident, here are some details from two years ago:

Authorities say Steven Gill, 35, of Missoula died after he suffered gunshot wounds during an altercation with police in the area of Second Street North and A Street.

Law enforcement received a suspicious activity call in the area at 4:40 p.m. on Monday and when officers arrived on scene they attempted to talk with Steven Gill which caused an altercation that lead to shots being fired.

Gill was struck and while it’s still unclear how many times, he was transported to Saint Patrick Hospital where he died due to his wounds.

Missoula Police Chief Mike Brady requested the Department of Justice help investigate the matter to provide a different perspective on the incident while MPD also continues to investigate.

Yep, this happened so long ago that Mike Brady was still our police chief. If you don’t remember Mike Brady, he’s the guy who helped our Mayor keep the extent of his on-the-job alcohol abuse a secret from the general public.

Something that’s NOT helpful is asking questions of our helpers because questions indicate a lack of confidence and lacking confidence is hurtful, not helpful.

To bolster confidence in helping Afghan nationals, our Missoula County helpers communicated recently with the State Department about how PROUD they would be to help out. Here’s some more on the help that will be provided to the Afghan helpers who helped our military exploit Afghanistan for two decades:

The International Rescue Committee, which reopened its office in Missoula five years ago, has resettled hundreds of refugees in Missoula from a growing list of nations, including Iraq, the Congo and Syria, among others.

The agency also is working to ensure any Afghan nationals settled in Missoula find housing and employment in an effort to “get them as self-sufficient as quickly as possible.”

“Several of these individuals have already resettled and enriched our community, and we look forward to the opportunity to welcome more,” the county wrote in its letter. “Missoula County takes our humanitarian obligations seriously. We would be proud to help in this endeavor and support the continued resettlement through the IRC and Soft Landing”

I added the emphasis on HUMANITARIAN OBLIGATIONS because I’m unclear what policy is being referred to here, and what else this supposed “obligation” might apply to.

Is there a HUMANITARIAN OBLIGATION to provide timely information about what the fuck happened to Johnny Lee Perry out in the woods when Sheriff Deputies shot and killed him?

Is there a HUMANITARIAN OBLIGATION to provide the same access to addiction treatment that our alcoholic Mayor received?

Is there a HUMANITARIAN OBLIGATION to avoid the establishment of a medical apartheid system in which a subgroup of people are dehumanized and depicted as unclean bio-medical threats?

No, including the above topics as “obligations” is not something you will hear from our elected officials. That’s because they don’t live in reality–they live in a delusional bubble where things like vacancy rates in Missoula’s rental markets aren’t even acknowledged. That’s why Farmer Josh can say shit like this:

Commissioners describe Missoula as an ideal city for resettlement, and notes past efforts in doing so. Hundreds of Hmong refugees resettled in Missoula in the late 1970s and 1980s, later joined by Ukrainians and Belarusians.

More recently, hundreds of refugees from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Syria, Iraq and Eritrea also have arrived. Afghan nationals began arriving shortly after the U.S. withdrew from Afghanistan in August.

“It would be an honor to host these folks who have worked with our military in tough spots throughout the world,” said Commissioner Josh Slotnick. “Hopefully we’ll be able to help them out.”

Since Missoula DID NOT have an affordable housing crisis in the 70’s and 80’s, Farmer Josh’s assertion that Missoula is “an ideal city for resettlement” is a bunch of crap.

Missoula can’t even house its homeless families, which is why I write posts with titles like The Unstated Competition Between YWCA Families And Refugees In Missoula.

I wish the helpers of Missoula were capable of leaving their delusional bubbles for just a few moments in order to experience the reality of what is happening in this town.

Instead, they seek to impose their delusions on the rest of us, and those who are left to deal with the harsh reality they are creating have two options: move away or die.

And if you need assistance with the latter, Missoula is here to help.

About Travis Mateer

I'm an artist and citizen journalist living and writing in Montana. You can contact me here: willskink at yahoo dot com
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3 Responses to Missoula’s Proud Helpers

  1. Dare I ask was there ANY HUMANITARIAN interest shown to my family in the bizarre death of my son Sean Stevenson?

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