Two Vancouver police officers won’t face charges for civilian death

No charges for officers in civilian death

VICTORIA — Two Vancouver police officers will not be facing charges related to the shooting death of a man who had a history of mental illness, British Columbia’s Criminal Justice Branch said Thursday.

It’s a decision that disappoints the legal advocacy group Pivot Legal Society, which said officers acted too quickly when they shot Tony Du three times.

The officers had responded to reports of a distraught 51-year-old man swinging a two-by-four at an intersection in the city’s east end on Nov. 22, 2014.

A report from the justice branch said the man pointed the two-by-four at the officers in a threatening manner and did not comply with their orders to drop it, leading one officer to discharge a beanbag weapon.

When the less lethal option failed to stop the suspect, the branch said the second officer shot the man, who was taken to hospital but died during in surgery.

The entire altercation, from when police first arrived at the scene to when an ambulance was requested, happened within a minute and 14 seconds.

The branch said the man had been diagnosed with schizophrenia and had previously suffered from hallucinations, but did not have a history of being violent.

A branch statement said evidence collected by the Independent Investigation Office showed that officers acted reasonably and charges related to murder, manslaughter or use of force would not likely result in a conviction.

Douglas King, a lawyer with Pivot Legal Society, announced plans for a civil lawsuit on behalf of the family, saying the investigation leaves them with many questions about why officers used deadly force so quickly.

“In our opinion there is so much more that could have been done before using lethal force against Mr. Du,” King said at a news conference.

The legal group has identified what it sees as a number of flaws in the investigation, saying reports do not include a photo or detailed description of the wooden board Du was carrying or an explanation on to what degree it could be considered a weapon.

The group said an explanation on what type of de-escalation training the officers received and whether that was followed is also missing from the report.

King also raised concerns about the investigation’s use of a retired Vancouver police sergeant as an expert on police use of force, saying such experts tend to side with police.

He suggested it also undermines the independence of the investigation.

King said investigators and the Crown have left the man’s family feeling “absolutely distraught” and “intensely disappointed.”

“They leave it to the family to seek justice themselves,” he said.

 

Linda Givetash, The Canadian Press

Just Posted

Award winning dinner series returns to Kelowna

Arman Dosanj is launching a new series of collaborative pop-up dinners

Rockets raise funds for Canucks Autism Network

Along with Craft Beer Market the Rockets Alumni Association will raise money for the network

Vandalism of fish incubators blow to well-known Lake Country family

Gary Kozub pioneered the kokanee incubator project and his family has been stewards of the salmon

Powder report: Rain in valley, snow on the ski hills

Get your ski gear ready as area mountains are ready for you to enjoy all the Interior winter has to offer this season.

Ryan Reynolds to narrate movie about B.C.’s Great Bear Rainforest

Vancouver-born actor known for Deadpool movies will voice film to be released Feb. 15, 2019

10-lane George Massey bridge too big, B.C. study says

Consultants say replacement tunnel cost similar to new bridge

Canada’s robust credit rating should calm unease about federal deficits: Trudeau

Trudeau says Canada’s long-running triple-A rating means experts have confidence in his government’s approach to the economy

CIBC shrinks event after Whistler mayor irks oil producers

After Whistler sent a letter to a Calgary-based oilsands giant, several energy firms said they would back out of the CIBC event.

Couple caught up in B.C. Legislature bomb plot to learn their fate

John Nuttall and Amanda Korody were arrested as part of an undercover RCMP sting on Canada Day 2013

Trial rights of accused spy for China at risk, lawyer tells Supreme Court

The lawyer for a man accused of trying to spy for China says federal foot-dragging over secrecy is endangering his client’s right to timely justice.

‘Recall fatigue’: Canadians may avoid certain foods over holidays

In the winter, Canada’s supply of fresh fruit and vegetables tends to come from very specific areas.

Shuswap business to provide fresh greens year round

Salmon Arm growers offer hydroponic test market to help develop signature salad mix

Interior Health offers new info tool for pregnant women

Moms-to-be with uncomplicated pregnancies can access tips by text or online

Most Read