Thursday, May 31, 2012

Paul Boyd’s tragic death



This is another sad story. In more ways than one. Everyone is talking about this new video released a tourist took of the VPD shooting a suspect named Paul Boyd. I watched the raw footage a few times and just couldn't see anything. The enhanced footage is clear. The suspect was on his hands a knees crawling towards the police as they shot him several times, once fatally in the head.

Tragedy doesn’t begin to describe the heart wrenching sorrow this video has uncovered. Paul's sister was quoted in the Vancouver Sun as saying: “All everyone has heard is that the police responded to a call of a man swinging a bike chain, this is TOTALLY untrue. That is not what they were initially responding to.”

Then it finally dawned on me. This is the case everyone is talking about? This is the bike chain shooting? Even if that story was true I personally found it bizarre. A guy went into the street swinging a bike chain and the police shot him dead. That was not the use of reasonable force. What’s worse is that story is not true. He was on his hands a knees crawling towards the police.

Two inherit tragedies surface. First, he should not have been killed. Second. The police lied. We’ve talked about in the initial scenario why can’t the police shoot a suspect in the leg? Why do they always have to put one in their chest? That’s the way they are trained. Well maybe it’s time to change the training. Shooting an unarmed suspect in the head or chest is not acceptable. As many have suggested it is murder.

The lying to cover it up is also a huge concern. It’s happened before. The Vancouver Province ran an editorial about the problematic nature of police lying. It is reminiscent of the lie that the British police told when they shot a suspect dead in London which triggered riots. The police claimed the suspect was armed and fired at the police. They even went so far as to claim the suspect hit one of the officers in the chest. They claimed the bullet hit the officer’s police radio which saved his life. That’s when they shot the suspect dead.

Only after the ballistics report came in that was simply untrue. The suspects gun, if it really was his, hadn’t been fired and the police radio was hit by a police issued firearm. They lied. The suspect hadn’t fired upon them. They lied and manufactured a bizarre story which was proven to be untrue. None of those officers were ever charged with murder or for perjury and being an accessory to murder.

Here we have a similar situation where the police are caught lying. As the editorial points out, it’s not the first time. So yes, lying to cover up the use of deadly force is a serious issue. Yet the use of deadly force in the wrong instances is the primary concern. If they didn’t make that error in the first place, they wouldn’t have to lie to cover it up. Jim Chu has promised a swift response. Let’s hope. Let's also hope that the police training retrains the police to get over this bizarre ego of over reacting when a suspect doesn’t obey their command at the snap of their finger. This isn’t the army. Civilians are civilians. Police are paid by tax dollars to serve and protect them.

9 comments:

  1. Well, that sure would explain how they got a head shot on the guy. Shooter is standing, aiming at a man on his hands and knees, the head is going to be a large part of the visible target area. Head shots on a suspect are extremely uncommon in law enforcement shootings due to that fact that the target is most always in a standing posture and cops are trained to shoot center of mass. Which is completely understandable, given that whole "on hands and knee's = not a threat" thing...:rolleyes:

    If this doesn't make people wake up and realize that VPD is a rogue department, nothing will. Given the sense of apathy Canadians in general seem to have with such things, I'm not hopeful. Things will likely continue on just as they have, and regardless of whatever else you can say about them, Vancouver Police Officers will be telling the truth when they say, "We're the police, we can do whatever we want".

    (This is a reference to VPD's unofficial motto, which I personally heard one VPD officer say to another on not one, but two separate occasions during the years I lived there)

    By contrast, in the States a police officer who killed a woman during a traffic stop a couple months ago has just been indicted for murder, shooting into a vehicle, and maliciously shooting into a vehicle during the commission of a felony, after he was initially cleared of wrongdoing by a Virginia State Police investigation.

    This should tell you the value of having cops investigate potential wrongdoing by other cops. This shit in BC where they get cops from a 'different' dept. to do investigations is a joke, always has been. 'Internal Affairs' is likewise a joke, and nothing more than a way for VPD to get statements from complainants so they know exactly what they are being accused of and what evidence there is against them.

    What saved this situation in Virginia can be summed up in two words, "civilian oversight".

    Wake up people. COPS LIE. They do it ALL THE TIME. Yes, under oath too. ALL THE TIME. Whenever they can get away with it. Which just co-incidentally seems to be ALL THE TIME.

    It is completely obvious to anyone (no need to be a trained investigator here) that Paul Boyd was executed in the street by VPD, joining a number of other sheep who have died or suffered severe injury at the hands of those charged to protect them. Shot dead while on his hands and knees. Unbelievable. Every single officer who fired at that man needs to be in prison for the rest of his life.

    VPD is indeed lucky to have a largely unarmed, untrained, apathetic population whose propensity/talent/inclination for real violence is limited to rioting after hockey games. Ever think that fact may be why they feel free to act as they do?

    If Mr. Boyd's relatives decide to hunt anything in a VPD uniform like it was deer season, I wish them well. Thomas Jefferson once observed that the tree of liberty needs to be watered occasionally with the blood of tyrants and patriots. Scumbag murdering cop blood will do just as well I think, maybe even better, "pour décourager les autres"......

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  2. I think the tragic thing is that he was on his hands and knees moving towards them. I don't know if it was a male or female officer that shot him or if that would have made a difference but I think the fact that the guy was walking towards them on his hands and knees creeped them out. Not obeying their direct command to stop appears to have created the problem. If someone is walking towards a police officer who has their gun drawn and they are told to stop and they don't they just keep walking towards the officer that creates a problem. What's he going to do try and take the gun away from them? Does the officer give the suspect the benefit of the doubt and wait until it becomes a physical struggle for the gun? I agree what they did was totally wrong. I just think the problematic nature of the event appears to be the fact that he kept moving towards the police officers when told to stop. In that case using a night stick would be a whole lot better than using a gun and shooting him in the head. They could have also circled around to the side and put one in his leg. I still think that should be an option. It's like hitting a suspect in the knee with a night stick. It is a disabling move. They don't have to hit the suspect in the head first. In fact I don't think they are even allowed to hit a suspect in the head with a nightstick which is kind of bizarre in some situations. Yet I hardly think Thomas Jefferson had murdering police officers in mind when he was referring to watering the tree of liberty.

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  3. Tyrants or their minions, K.

    Jefferson had no problem with the killing of Redcoats. We fought a war where we did exactly that.

    "Creeped out"? Really? If a person is that easily creeped out they are in the wrong profession. "Not obeying verbal commands"? Yeah, that never happens on the street. :rolleyes: There was not any one officer here, there were multiples.

    You do not "walk" towards someone on your hands and knees. You crawl. It is exceedingly awkward to crawl with something clutched in your hand, even if he did so there is a serious advantage in time and tactics available to the officers. It takes him time to get up (IF he does)and he is easily surrounded by the multiple officer who were there. While on his hands and knees his ability to use any impact/edged weapon he MAY have in his hands is severely limited. There is no fucking way this guy needed to be shot, and I say as someone who has spent a large part of his adult life doing of "use of force" training, with a couple o decades of experience at it. I am still doing it. The knowledge of and willingness/ability to do so is my stock in trade, and I am telling you that these guys/girls that day killed someone who they were not justified in using deadly force against.

    This incident and others (the robbery of the newspaper guy, the severe beating laid on that Chinese guy on his own doorstep at zero-dark 30 in the AM, the fact that Canadian cops have a de facto fallback technique of kicking people in the head when they're down, etc. etc.) leads me to believe that you have some very serious problems in law enforcement culture up there, some of which I observed first hand in the 10 years I lived there. You have a combination of thugs in uniform and people who have not the required disposition filling out your departments. How they react in fight situations makes it very apparent to anyone with an extensive background in combatives that they are inordinately affected by FEAR while in such circumstances. Any training they may have had in restraint techniques or in how to accomplish the job by using the least amount of force necessary goes right out the window right away, and this means they never really developed any ability in this regard to begin with. No sense of or talent for dealing with such situations, and therefore no level of real self-confidence either, this equates to FEAR. We all know about dogs that are "fear-biters". I put it to you that this is a big part of what we are dealing with here, a failure in the training of and a failure in the selection of those chosen for employment as police officers in Canada. Not just in the VPD.

    In this case the vic was surrounded by a bunch of cowards who would rather shoot a guy than close with and control him, who would rather kill a man than risk their own physical safety.

    You're in the wrong fucking job boys and girls. And your failure to know yourselves and your limitations led you to kill a man who didn't need killing. I say again, if you have a problem with that component of the job, you are in the wrong profession. If your safety is more important to you than that of the people you supposedly serve and protect, you are in the wrong job and are committing fraud every time you cash a paycheck.

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  4. Yes but the red coats were a forgein enemy. Surely tyrants exist within the country and within high places of politics and law enforcement. Yet we can't just say let's do away with police and government. You're absolutely right Paul Boyd was crawling towards them not walking. I totally agree there is no way they should have shot him. If they wanted to arrest him there is no reason they couldn't have circled him and cuffed him. The use of deadly force in that case was shocking and tragic.

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  5. Actually, they were not 'foreign', the colonies belonged to England and were under the rule of King George III. Many colonists considered themselves English, even in rebellion, some decided to stay that way and moved north to what is now Canada.

    We definitely agree (as any reasonable person would when presented with the video evidence) that his death was not necessary, and that the use of deadly force was not justified. We also probably can agree that nothing meaningful will happen to those who killed him. If it hasn't happened in 5 years, it's not going to happen now. If everyone who fired their gun that night was charged with second degree murder, that would be the system doing it's job. Instead, they will not even be charged with involuntary manslaughter, or negligent homicide. They will be charged with NOTHING.

    If this was the states his family would be suing for, and easily winning a multi-million dollar settlement against the city of Vancouver for wrongful death. The cops who shot him would be actually charged with a criminal offenses and would for sure never work in law enforcement again. Next time anyone up there is inclined to look down their nose at how we do business, I'd urge them to remember this, and what it says about THEM.

    Four cops, including a use of force trainer, drunkenly rob a newspaper delivery guy, beating him up. One of them is convicted of a minor offense and IMMEDIATELY given an absolute discharge and goes back to work as a cop. ROFLMMFAO. You guys need to wake up and realize that you have criminals in uniform operating without fear of the law they enforce on everyone else. Then you need to grow the fucking balls to do something about it rather than apathetically wringing your hands.

    You can't spell 'apathetic' without 'pathetic'.

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  6. Foreign in the sense of being from England and represented the taxation without representation concern. The use of force trainer from New West getting drunk and assaulting the newspaper man was another ridiculous embarrassment. He should not be the use of force trainer any more. You mention a good point about legal action. Paul Boyd's family could very well sue the individual and the force for this kind of wilful negligence. I don't think anything will change until people start pursuing that route.

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  7. Correct me if I'm wrong but I don't think that's as easy to do as it is down south. The system in Canada has a way of just putting stuff off and delaying delaying delaying until people give up and go on with their lives. I'm not sure that there is a right to have your lawsuit heard by a jury in Canada, and lets not even get into the judges and their part in things. These are people who will hear evidence of how the police violated peoples rights, didn't get a warrant etc., and then still allow illegally obtained evidence to be admitted in court. They seem to have a little problem with doing the right thing we might say....

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  8. The process for civil lawsuits might be simpler in the States, I don't know. I don't think we have civil law suits heard by a jury in Canada. The judges here have been pretty hard on the police in not admitting evidence even when they did get a search warrant. That's been part of the problem in getting convictions against gang members. I'm not sure how they'd rule on a wrongful death suit against the police.

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  9. You're right, the evidence thing goes both ways. I spoke to what I know personally but yeah, there's the whole "Skeletor" drug case as well as other examples when judges basically ignore reasonable indications of criminal activity, saying basically "that means nothing" (or words to that effect) when in fact any reasonable person would say it means exactly what it implies, with no other possible explanation.

    At the same time, the system is lazy and stupid as the day is long. Everyone's favorite reptile says that someone made him $20K, or $30K, whatever it was.....man if you work for Revenue Canada, how hard is it to pull hiss tax return and see if he declared that? If not, then off to prison he goes. But of course that would be logical and make sense, so it won't happen.

    Yes I know how to spell "his".......It's a pun.....

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