The Straight sides
with the establishment

Georgia Straight editor Charlie Smith still treats OPCC liar
Rollie Woods as a credible source. Meanwhile, his paper
has barred me from commenting

September 19, 2015

 

It was once one of the very few media that would allow criticism of B.C.’s Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner. But in December 2013 Charlie Smith let deputy police complaint commissioner Rollie Woods scold him, falsely criticize me and—by far most importantly—lie about a point extremely important to the OPCC’s handling of the case of VPD constable Taylor Robinson. A year later, Straight reporter Carlito Pablo wrote a puff piece praising OPCC boss Stan Lowe specifically for the Robinson case. Pablo even quoted Woods, granting the liar further undeserved credibility.

In September 2015 the Straight again treated Woods as a credible source, this time in an article by Smith, who should be well aware of Woods’ whopping big lie. The Straight also refused to post my online comment with the story.

I tried to send the comment twice. The first time the message was rejected with the explanation, “The name you used belongs to a registered user.” Later efforts suggest that’s a euphemism for “You’re banned from our publication.”

On my second effort I submitted the comment using a variation of my name (Gregory Klein instead of Greg Klein) and received a message saying the comment would be reviewed for suitability. But it didn’t get posted.

I e-mailed the comment to Smith and the Straight newsroom, pointing out that it hadn’t been posted. I got no reply from any of them. The comment never did appear.

So here it is, the comment barred by the supposedly anti-establishment Straight:

 

So the Straight still considers Rollie Woods a credible source. A former head of Vancouver Police Professional Standards, Woods made an unbelievable statement to the Straight to defend the OPCC’s handling of Taylor Robinson, the VPD constable who shoved a disabled woman to the sidewalk. (http://www.straight.com/news/544251/letter-police-act-circumscribes-what-police-complaint-commissioner-can-say) Woods claimed that police complaint commissioner Stan Lowe “ordered a public hearing into the matter, in particular to look into why the police did not notify this office of the pushing incident and instead undertook some type of informal resolution process that is outside of the Police Act.”

That statement lacked credibility at the time and has since proven false. Lowe has never ordered an investigation into the VPD’s handling of the case and has refused my requests to do so.

That’s an extremely serious point because evidence strongly suggests not only a VPD Professional Standards cover-up of Robinson’s actions, but the OPCC’s collusion. No Police Act investigation was ordered into Robinson until 48 days after he shoved his victim to the ground, 47 or 48 days after VPD Professional Standards found out and 29 days after the OPCC found out—but just five days after the media found out.

Another point is that the ruling against B.C.’s Information and Privacy Commissioner once again demonstrates that the OPCC operates in near-secrecy. And, I might add, with zero accountability. Lowe and his crew answer to no one—absolutely no one at all.

Charlie Smith refers to Bill Lewinski as “an expert on the use of force.” According to Lewinski’s reputation, he always sides with the police. What kind of expert is that?

Good for CBC reporter Curt Petrovich for pursuing the Paul Boyd case. It’s extremely rare for any journalist to cast a critical eye on the OPCC.

 

Read: Has the Georgia Straight gone lamestream on police accountability?
Read more about the Stan Lowe/Bruce Brown/Rollie Woods/OPCC cover-up
of VPD constable Taylor Robinson’s assault on a disabled woman
Read more about B.C. media coverage on police accountability
Read more about B.C.’s Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner
Read more news and comment about police accountability in B.C.