Victim of his disease or victim of Jim Chu?

Years passed before video surfaced showing police officer Lee Chipperfield applying a fatal head shot to unarmed Paul Boyd as the already wounded man crawled across a Vancouver roadway. We might wonder about the delay but events suggest that any citizen is correct to worry when they have evidence that offends authorities.

NBC offers “First Amendment rights can be terminated’: When cops, cameras don’t mix” showing Chicago police taking members of the media into custody because police did not want a particular story revealed.

” ‘Your First Amendment rights can be terminated,’ yells the Chicago police officer, caught on video right before arresting two journalists outside a Chicago hospital. One, an NBC News photographer, was led away in handcuffs essentially for taking pictures in a public place…

“Tales of reporters, protestors and citizen journalists being threatened or arrested for filming law enforcement officials during disputes are on the rise…

“There’s always been a tense relationship between cops and cameras, but that relationship is being pushed to the brink now that half of U.S. adults carry smartphones, nearly all of them capable of filming and sharing visuals instantly with the whole world via the Internet…

” ‘We do hear about these more frequently now because everyone walks around with cell phone cameras,’ she said. “Law enforcement officers sometimes react badly to this, and view it as a threatening act.”

The unpunished homicide of Robert Dziekanski was the main cause that led to my blogging commitment three plus years ago. The death of one man was an unfortunate thing; the considered cover-up through which police executives and their hired guns excused his killers was indefensible. That involved RCMP management at the highest level and many lawyers paid by the government of Canada and commercial enterprises.

Lawyers like:

  • David Butcher
  • Richard Peck
  • Reg Harris
  • Alex Pringle
  • Ravi Hira
  • Helen Roberts
  • David Crossin
  • Chris Buchanan
  • David Neave
  • Dwight Stewart
  • Mitch Taylor
  • Ted Beaubier
  • Alex Pringle
  • Joe Doyle

Ever wonder why matters of justice are not obvious or easily resolved. Take those names, add others and multiply by tens of thousands of dollars that each receives. It’s quickly apparent.

Since the shooting of Paul Boyd, I’ve been uncomfortable with unreserved media claims that excused the homicide. By example, it was said the dead man threatened, attacked and injured police officers with a “bike chain.” Bike chain? What does that mean when the two words have interpretations that range from A to Z.

The Province newspaper’s photo caption in August 2007:

“Animator Paul Boyd was shot dead by police after wounding two officers.”

According to these false reports, he was a maniacal man intent on continuing attacks on police officers, even while wounded and outnumbered.

VPD Chief Jim Chu pretended this week that new information had surfaced about Boyd’s death. Bull shit.

Chu and his fellow VPD managers knew exactly what happened but hoped the police force could avoid accountability. After Boyd died, VPD resources were immediately involved with damage control, spinning a story that claimed the victim’s fate was inevitable. The Province newspaper published this August, 2007:

“There is no “bad guy” in this unfortunate, sad incident. Paul was a victim of his disease.”

Oh really?  Victim of his disease? No, he was victim of a dangerous man who continues employment with Vancouver PD and continues to be armed. This incident, by itself, is reason to remove Jim Chu from management of the Vancouver police force.

If we ignore that outcome, we fail Paul Boyd once more and other victims will fall.

Categories: Justice, Vancouver PD

15 replies »

  1. Thanks for keeping this incident in the public eye Norm. I for one , cannot believe how policing has changed over the years. When I was a kid ( eons ago ) and you heard of someone getting shot by a police officer, you knew that the police had tried everything they could to defuse a situation before they pulled their gun ( or am I just naive ). Even defending themselves in a shootout seemed to be a rare happening. Now it seems like guns ( and tasers ) are used first and then justified later, until the videos surface. Gawd, even an 80 year old man in RIH Kamloops was tasered ( I guess the set of shelves he was using to hide behind were just too much of a threat ) because the cops were too scared to just grab him and subdue him. What are they training in the RCMP school now, a bunch of wussy cowards ?


  2. Another good piece Norm !

    I tried to send an earlier article you wrote on Paul Boyd to mayor Gregor Robinson – only to have it return undelivered.

    It seems that Robinson just “don't like” people disagreeing with his performance – or that of his council. I had sent another article to him possibly eight months ago and it got delivered –
    I guess that Robinson just doesn't like democracy these days eh ! He just doesn't like and cannot take fair criticism either !

    What a bunch of dangerous retards/idiots we have running our cities and province these days.



  3. Norm thank you for writing this story about Paul Boyd. I wish other media would have the balls to write the truth.

    I remember this story when it happened, a guy sitting on a bench, police arrive, the guy ends up dead. My first thought is how are the police going to spin this story.

    Now we have a dangerous man Angus Mitchell who killed 2 people last week, the man was formerly a security guard, Victoria BC police had taken his gun away under the Mental Health Act but they don't say why. Apparentely police notified certain people about Mitchell, but why not the public?

    Guess what, the police gave Mitchell's gun back to him, now two people are dead and one injured. Vic-PD are not revealing if he was assessed under the BC MHA, only saying his gun was taken away. My only guess is that the highly paid spin doctors are still trying to spin.

    It's only because of un-ethical cops that we the people need to Watch the Watchers.


  4. You would have hoped there was a huge lesson learned from the Rodney King beatings in 1994. Apparently the lesson the cops took away from it was hope that it wasn't on video tape, and if it is, arrest them and confiscate the evidence.

    The officer who murdered Paul Boyd in cold blood should resign immediately and stand trial, where hopefully he gets locked up for a number of years.

    The VPD under Jim Chu is an absolute disgrace…he should resign immediately too.


  5. Our entire country, is becoming a police state. Harper has no morals or ethics, what-so-ever. We can see, the police have no morals nor ethics either. They commit worse crimes, that the people they arrest. Their punishment is, a years paid leave of absence and/or a transfer to another detachment. BC accepts the degenerate police. This last one sent to BC, couldn't be more disgusting. Police were caught watching porn, on the computers at work. Canadian citizens don't even want the RCMP, as an icon for Canada. Having Harper as P.M. for our Nation, is even worse.

    Harper is every bit as hateful as, Stalin, Hitler and Mussolini. We are ashamed of Harper, before the eyes of the world, for all to see. Even the U.N. refused Harper a seat. The New Trans Pacific Trade Group, don't want Harper either. At every meeting of the Nations, Harper is the trouble maker every time. Harper even tries to dictate to other country's. Harper is called, a petty gasbag by the U.S. He is considered arrogant, stubborn, impossible to work with, and co-operates with no-one. They hate Harper's bullying and his hissy fits, when he doesn't get his own way. Harper started out with, a $13 billion dollar surplus. He takes the credit for his “disgusting” management of Canada, where credit isn't due.

    However, those type of police with their crimes, with no morals nor ethics, are exactly the type Harper wants.


  6. While I will forever mourn the loss of life that has occurred and in no way wish to trivialize it, I think that grievous human errors do happen. This is sad enough. It is when there is no learning, no accountability, no swift and sure sense of justice, that things go from ugly to horrifying. For truth and justice to rest in the covert video (that would have been suppressed or destroyed by investigators) is sad indeed. Who can a citizen in need trust? I've heard of Latin American countries where people are too scared to call the police or be pulled over for a supposed traffic infraction that results in a beating or looting. Is this the road we are traveling?


  7. In light of the new video and Chu's response, I would suggest that the term “bullshit” is not accurate.

    I think “horseshit” might be the more accurate descriptor.


  8. Not that it changes anything, but I always thought it sounded strange that anyone would have a bicycle chain with a lock attached to it. A bike lock chain, with a lock — yes, that would be very likely. But even Paul's dad (on CBC radio this week) described it as a bicycle drive chain. Does anyone have clarity on this?


  9. Anon 12:03 PM We are already there. I am too afraid of police, a 60 year old middle-class, law-abiding citizen. I have personally witnessed police tell lies, act in ways that leaves everyone nervous. We really don't have any rule of law anymore. Yet I still occasionally encounter a few decent police officers. But they are too few, and too cowed by the “force” to really trust. More and more, I hear people seriously discussing whether they should leave Canada, the country they were born in. We're a country run by out of control paramilitary, whether they be psychopaths with a badge, or mall security goons. We are Latin America now, from the 70s, we just haven't realized it yet.


  10. Paul Boyd's death was noticed slightly more because his surviving family was articulate and apparently middle class. That leads the rest of us to worry, assuming that we could also be the victims of killers wearing uniforms. I'm left wondering though about how many innocents will die without public concern because they are poor people with no one able to speak out on their behalf.

    People with mental illness are often the victims of state sanctioned killings. Boyd won't be the last.

    One of your children might be next. Will that murder be tolerated by officials as was Boyd's?


  11. Paul boyd was murdered. The VPD tried to cover it up. When the Hells Angels do it, its considered a crime. When the VPD does it, it was a police officer trying to defend himself against a dangerous person.

    it would have been better if the VPD had simply stated the police officer shot Mr. Boyd in a panic & kept shooting because he couldn't stop himself. It would have been more truthful. We don't know why the officer kept shooting. That needs to be addressed. We need to know why police officers are killing citizens at such a rate.

    At one time you didn't hear of police officers shooting people so often & when they did, it was usually in an actual “shoot out”. This business of shooting mentally ill people appears to be a new phenomen, something since the 80s, well at least in Canada.

    I believe it is a lack of training of new officers & the lack of mentoring by long serving officers. Being teamed with a member with 10, 20 yrs. of service might help new officers deal with the stress & difficult situations.

    I think todays police officers are afraid & shoot first. They don't know how to conduct themselves in a fight or a situation which might lead to a fight. They simply draw their guns & fire & know they will be covered by the “brass”.

    In the case of the man tasered to death at VIA, that was just a case of those cops were unhappy & the man didn't stand a chance. You can tell by the way they walked there was trouble coming & not from the man who was murdered.

    We as a society need to address the murdering of citizens by police officers. If we do not, you or one of your children could be next. Do we one day want to be like the mothers in Argentinia standing in a public square looking for their “disappeared children”.


  12. The videos of the Paul Boyd case and that of Robert Dziekanski are important in that they show how police will attempt cover their asses even when clear evidence contradicts their version of events.

    Justice Braidwood did a magnificent job conducting the inquiry into Dziekanski's death, yet the officers involved got charged with mere perjury!?

    Perhaps the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team's investigation into Paul Boyd's death will shine a spotlight on one VPD officer's wrongdoing. Will he also be charged with perjury?

    I'm at a complete loss to understand why BC's Criminal Justice Branch refuses to lay the appropriate charges in both cases. They of course trot out the tired line about no likelihood of conviction on more serious charges.

    (As an aside, I decided to visit the government's web site to learn more about the Ministry of the Attorney General and this is what I got Like

  13. Ole, I don't expect the Alberta team to provide anything worthwhile. The facts are already clear but there is no desire to act upon the this knowledge, nor has there ever been.

    We don't need anyone from 500 miles away to tell us the obvious.


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