Concerns raised about political interference in police investigation

Is the Chair of Vancouver’s Police Board challenging his Chief of Police to fast track an internal investigation of an alleged assault of a delivery driver by three off-duty police officers? That’s what some are wondering after Mayor Robertson spoke to a television reporter on Sunday.

Mayor Gregor Robertson, who heads the Police board, said on Global TV news this weekend:

“I think it should be happening more quickly. I’m concerned that [the investigation] is happening between several police departments here. I’d like to see progress on this, and I think the public would like to see that.”

He said he had been in touch with Chief Jim Chu after the incident, but expressed publicly that the VPD might be dragging their heels on investigating one of their own. Robertson continues:

“You’re absolutely right if it was someone who was not a police officer we would have seen more quick action on it…the days starting to move by without any significant action and that’s a concern.”

The Mayor’s involvement in what appears to be an active police investigation does raise questions about possible political interference into the day-to-day operations of the department. Given this is an active investigation, the Chair of the Police Board would be well-advised to be more discrete in his comments relating to this case.

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  • Not Your Wife

    Quid pro quo here, guys. The mayor promises police union head Stamatakis that he will scotch the Ambassadors program. The union and the mayor lean on Chu (who may not be that adverse to being leaned on).
    That being said, since these guys should be held to a higher standard (or at least a more civil standard) than the scumbags they protect us from, I see no problem in investigating them, poste-haste. That they may have jumped the queue of ‘the usual suspects’ investigations–those drug/theft crimes that in themselves frustrate the cops who have to execute the arrests and them watch as the judiciary sets those guys free on bail, or postponed hearings, etc—is just fine.
    The police profession needs to deal and to be seen to deal with their own as quickly as due process allows. It’s good for the cops who are good, for the cops who will act like a**holes and good for the citizens to see that the cops take this stuff seriously.
    Their day will come in court.