CBC News posted a report of an incident where an apparently drunk man is assaulted by police officers, an incident partly captured on video. Footage shows one or two officers striking a man who is restrained by other officers. Afterwards, police accused the man of spitting although that is not apparent on the video. Clearly though, unnecessary violence was used on the man.
VPD referred the matter to former VPD Deputy Chief Bob Rich’s friendly Abbotsford Police Department.
I think the CBC News headline should be something like:
“Officers’ assault leads to police investigation.”
Instead, we got this:
On the video, spitting is uncertain but a violent attack on a restrained man is certain. Too bad the VPD can’t afford spit-masks, they’re commonly used in corrections.
Global News provides an excellent quote from David Eby, Executive Director of BC Civil Liberties Association,
“I can assure you that the only reason that this has gone to Abbotsford for investigation is because there is tape of the incident. Unfortunately, we are still in a situation where police are still investigating themselves. Even if this goes to Abbotsford, there are lots of close links between VPD and Abbotsford, but eventually we hope the province will be bringing an independent investigation office to do this kind of high-profile investigations.”
One is left to wonder why, with years of clear evidence that police investigating police is unsatisfactory, it still carries on in this province. Former appeal court judge Thomas Braidwood, although speaking after RCMP tasered an 11 year-old child, also described this situation succinctly,
“The most significant and important weapon the arsenal of any police force is public support, and the way to get public support is to have an independent body investigate situations like that,”