Halifax man's post about downtown violence ignites social media firestorm
Published Monday, February 18, 2013 7:16PM AST
Last Updated Monday, February 18, 2013 7:22PM AST
A Halifax man says something needs to be done about violence downtown after he witnessed a disturbing incident outside a typically-quiet nightspot.
John Wesley Chisholm says he was at The Carleton Music Bar & Grill Saturday night when things got out of hand.
“A guy was too drunk in a bar. A bouncer wanted to get him out,” says Chisholm, who sometimes performs at the popular music bar on Argyle Street.
“The guy didn’t want to leave. He wanted to get his coat, talk to his friends. The bouncer pushed and pushed and pushed him, pushed him out the door.”
Chisholm says the patron threw a punch at the doorman, and things escalated into a street fight.
Upset by what he felt was excessive violence on the part of the bouncer, Chisholm posted his account of the incident on Facebook, igniting a firestorm on social media.
His post has earned thousands of ‘shares’ and ‘likes’ and hundreds of comments, both on Facebook and Twitter, and Chisholm says the reaction only reinforces his belief that conflicts between bar staff and patrons escalate into violence far too often.
He says feels no ill will toward The Carleton, and has since met with police, the bar owners and others to discuss the issue.
The owners of The Carleton won’t be making any statements about the alleged incident until they have investigated the matter further, but they did say the bouncer in question has had all the necessary training.
Halifax Regional Police responded to Chisholm’s post today, saying Supt. Sean Auld will be looking into the matter further.
But it doesn’t look like charges will be laid in the case as police say the victim doesn’t want to press charges.
Legislation that will set standards for bar staff training across Nova Scotia is set to be enacted this summer.
“Now we’ll have certain requirements with regard to record checks and training and mandatory from that will be followed up by the province,” says security firm owner Kent MacDonald.
He says a lighter touch is often required in the hospitality industry.
“It might just be a matter of trying to get somebody outside and pointing out to them that they’ve had too much to drink and, you know, maybe wait with them for a cab and try and give them that feeling that they’re not being forcibly removed.”
While Chisholm believes a culture of violence is the root of the problems downtown, Supt. Sean Auld says the real culprit may be a culture of alcohol abuse that persists across the province.
If so, he says it may take more than legislation to fix the problem.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Ron Shaw