B.C. Office of the
Police Complaint Commissioner

An obviously corrupt public agency

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of this police accountability project

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Recent posts:

Does B.C. have any place for
Richard Rosenthal’s expertise?

The former IIO director studied here,
farms here, fights fires here but takes his police
accountability work across the border. More…
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That OPCC cliche “unsubstantiated”
once again looks unsupportable

Another cryptic incident shows cops need citizen investigation
and the OPCC needs transparency and accountability. More…
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Finally, a clear statement
from the BCCLA’s Harsha Walia

Except that she quickly claimed it meant something other
than what it meant. She lost her job anyway. More…
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Just how corrupt is B.C.?

It’s so bad that Sam Cooper will have to update
Wilful Blindness by about year-end. More…
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B.C. Police Act reform:
What MLAs don’t want to know

Another legislative committee will likely evade
the problem of OPCC secrecy and immunity. More…


The OPCC’s lack of transparency and
accountability allows police cover-ups

British Columbia’s Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner enjoys a peculiar status that engenders corruption. B.C.’s Police Act exempts the agency from transparency and accountability, allowing OPCC staff to work in near-secrecy and in practice answer to no one. As a result, they get away with covering up police misconduct. Despite a supposedly comprehensive overhaul of B.C.’s Police Act now underway, there’s absolutely no impetus to reform this institution. OPCC cover-ups benefit from B.C.’s morass of ethically corrupt political parties and legal establishment, collaborationist activists and courtier media.

 

Despite the secrecy, these four
OPCC cover-ups have become known

Notwithstanding the agency’s secrecy, four OPCC cover-ups have accidentally come to light. They involve Vancouver police officer Taylor Robinson, District of Saanich officer Brent Wray, former Victoria police chief Frank Elsner and New Westminster officer Sukhwinder “Vinnie” Dosanjh.

 

The OPCC cover-up of Vancouver police officer
Taylor Robinson and VPD Professional Standards cops

B.C.’s Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner colluded with
Vancouver police to cover up VPD constable Taylor Robinson’s
assault on a disabled native woman.

The gratuitous assault by Vancouver police officer Taylor Robinson stands out for implied contempt towards women, the poor, natives and the disabled by both the VPD and OPCC. Only after media found out did police complaint commissioner Stan Lowe order a Police Act investigation into Robinson’s actions. The cop was very belatedly penalized but the VPD Professional Standards officers who helped cover up his actions never faced repercussions. Of course any scrutiny into those cops would also require scrutiny into the OPCC.

VPD assault on Yao Wei Wu got OPCC attention because of media coverage

Soon after media reported two Vancouver cops beat up an innocent man named
Yao Wei Wu
, Stan Lowe and VPD chief Jim Chu staged an event to reassure
Vancouver’s Chinese. But Lowe, Chu, the OPCC and VPD remained silent, very
silent, after the undisclosed Robinson assault on an innocent native woman.

By helping VPD cover up the Robinson assault, Lowe and his deputy Rollie Woods, a former head of VPD Professional Standards, sent police a clear message: The OPCC condones and whenever possible will cover up gratuitous violence against selected targets including women, the poor, natives and the disabled. The agency holds that power due to its secrecy and unaccountability granted by B.C.’s Police Act.

 

The OPCC cover-up of New Westminster
police officer Sukhwinder “Vinnie” Dosanjh

New Westminster police constable Sukhwinder Vinnie Dosanjh benefits from OPCC corruption

Police complaint commissioner Stan Lowe
helped New Westminster police cover up for
constable Sukhwinder “Vinnie” Singh Dosanjh.

Lowe spurned his Police Act responsibility to call a Public Hearing despite numerous highly disturbing charges, including assault and firearms offences, and despite the extraordinary leniency granted to New Westminster police officer Sukhwinder “Vinnie” Singh Dosanjh. At the same time, deputy police complaint commissioner Rollie Woods praised New West cops for their supposed transparency, discipline and accountability.

In August 2017, well after Lowe’s cover-up, media reported that Dosanjh had been suspended again due to another charge of sexual assault. Nothing more has been disclosed about this. Apart from public safety, the silence might also have implications for the OPCC.

 

The OPCC cover-up of District of Saanich
officer Brent Wray and other Saanich cops

Stan Lowe covered up Saanich cop Brent Wray’s vicious assault on Don Lapshinoff

Police complaint commissioner Stan Lowe covered up
a vicious assault by Saanich cop Brent Wray, as well as
his fellow officers’ Police Act transgressions.

Lowe and his crew learned about Saanich officer Brent Wray’s assault on Don Lapshinoff roughly two years after Saanich police covered up the incident. That pre-dated the creation of the Independent Investigations Office; at the time serious injuries inflicted by cops were investigated by other cops, with “oversight” from the OPCC. On learning of the assault, Lowe was obligated to order two Police Act investigations: one into Wray’s actions and another into the Saanich cops who tried to hide the incident.

Lowe refused to do either. Instead he conducted another double cover-up.

 

The OPCC cover-up of Victoria police chief Frank Elsner

Victoria police chief Frank Elsner’s on-the-job sexual impropriety benefited from a Stan Lowe cover-up for four months until the media found out

Victoria police chief Frank Elsner’s on-the-job sexual
misconduct also benefited from an OPCC cover-up.

Yet another Stan Lowe cover-up hid Victoria police chief Frank Elsner’s sexual impropriety from public knowledge and scrutiny for four months. The police complaint commissioner refused to carry out his Police Act responsibilities until after media reported Elsner’s behaviour. Much later, Lowe released a self-serving spin-and-smear “report” to divert attention from this cover-up.

Those are just the four cover-ups that have accidentally become known despite the OPCC’s secrecy. We don’t know how many more have taken place or are currently underway.

 

Some additional concerns about the OPCC

OPCC hired biased source Bill Lewinski to rationalize shooting

The OPCC paid a biased source to rationalize
the VPD’s repeated shooting of this helpless man.

Apart from cover-ups, there’s the OPCC’s heavily biased work, as in the case of Vancouver police constable Lee Chipperfield. He shot Paul Boyd several times while Boyd crawled helplessly on the ground. Stan Lowe and his ex-cops hired a self-proclaimed police psychologist named Bill Lewinski, knowing in advance that he always sides with police. Lowe concluded that Lewinski’s strange theory “reasonably explained” why Chipperfield repeatedly shot the helpless man.

 

Jim Fisher, Vancouver police exploiter of vulnerable girls and women awarded by Suzanne Anton minister of justice and attorney general

Former VPD cop Jim Fisher, now serving a
prison sentence, receives an award from former
justice minister/attorney general Suzanne Anton.

The OPCC’s cover-ups, often involving female victims, might also have benefited former Vancouver police detective Jim Fisher. As new allegations surface that VPD covered up Fisher’s sexual exploitation of vulnerable girls and women, we have to ask whether Lowe, Woods and other OPCC staff were also involved.

 

What kind of characters run the OPCC?

Demonstrating B.C.’s tolerance for corruption, the OPCC has been headed by establishment lawyers and ex-cops who’ve made big money covering up for cops.

Don Morrison conducted cover-ups as BC police complaint commissioner

Don Morrison, B.C.’s first police complaint commissioner,
left the OPCC under a cloud but with a nearly $100,000 payout.

The only time this agency faced scrutiny was back in 2002. A specially appointed legislative committee, the only means of OPCC transparency allowed under B.C.’s Police Act, heard whistleblowers state that police complaint commissioner Don Morrison wouldn’t act on cop misconduct unless pressured by media. Foremost among Morrison’s cover-ups was the case of VPD sergeant and later PrimeCorp general manager Russell Sanderson. The cop ordered an unconscious native named Frank Paul to be dragged out of a police cell and dumped in an alley, where his body was later found. But the committee mostly focused on Morrison’s bullying behaviour towards staff and allowed him to resign with the hundred-grand windfall.

 

Dirk Ryneveld and Bruce M. Brown acted with impunity while covering up for cops

Dirk Ryneveld and Bruce M. Brown enjoyed
their immunity and acted accordingly.

If B.C.’s cop establishment learned anything from the Morrison inquiry, it was to screen OPCC job applicants for potential whistleblowers. Under Morrison’s successor, corrupt lawyer Dirk Ryneveld and his equally corrupt ex-cop deputy Bruce M. Brown, the agency simply rubber-stamped cop-on-cop investigations that consistently found police 100% right and complainants or victims 100% wrong. The agency took on a really smug attitude, carelessly skimming written complaints before writing almost unbelievably sloppy and biased decisions. Brown retired on a cop/OPCC double pension. Ryneveld augmented his pension with lucrative work for police clients.

 

Bias, dishonesty and outright bigotry became even more outrageous under police complaint commissioner Stan Lowe and his ex-cop deputy, Rollie Woods.

Stan Lowe was named police complaint commissioner just one week
after announcing his shameless excuses for the Dziekanski death squad.

As a Crown attorney with B.C.’s Criminal Justice Branch executive management, Stan Lowe took part in the unanimous decision to exonerate the four RCMP officers involved in Robert Dziekanski’s death. Lowe stated emphatically that the five Taser shocks and other brutal treatment inflicted on Dziekanski were “reasonable and necessary.” One week later Lowe was appointed B.C.’s third police complaint commissioner by a legislative committee that included current B.C. solicitor general Mike Farnworth. In 2015, despite overwhelming evidence of Lowe’s ongoing deceit and corruption, Farnworth took part in the decision to reappoint him.

 

Rollie Woods’ corrupt career encouraged hatred of cops

Rollie Woods set up a lucrative retirement sinecure
while conducting cover-ups on behalf of the Vancouver
Police Department’s oddly named Professional Standards unit.

Under Woods’ direction at VPD Professional Standards, VPD investigators decided in advance that police were 100% right and complainants or victims 100% wrong, smeared complainants, interviewed complainants only at the end of investigations, conducted witness-tampering and lied about the Criminal Code. Woods’ cover-ups were then rubber-stamped by the OPCC.

Lowe hired and promoted this repugnant liar, ensuring a dishonest cop culture prevailed at the OPCC. As the OPCC’s media contact,  Woods continued lying on behalf of Lowe.

Rollie Woods lying shows contempt for the poor, natives and disabled

Deputy police complaint commissioner Rollie Woods
torqued his lying desperately with the OPCC’s
Taylor Robinson cover-up.

Woods’ blatant dishonesty to the Georgia Straight and the Victoria Times Colonist showed sociopathic disregard for truth, as well as contempt for the poor, natives and the physically disabled.

Having sent police a message that he, Lowe and others at the OPCC will support similar acts of gratuitous violence against similar victims, Woods then retired on his cop/OPCC double pension. Unfairly to some cops, his career supports the slogan All Cops Are Bastards.  

 

Stanley Thomas Lowe corrupt BC establishment bigshot

Repugnant lying ex-cop Rollie Woods spoke on
behalf of, and therefore lied on behalf of, Stan Lowe.

That made B.C.’s police complaint commissioner, a prominent member of the province’s legal establishment and an independent officer of the legislature, a repugnant liar himself. In recognition of his service, Lowe gets a Crown attorney/OPPC double pension but he might also qualify for another lucrative retirement sinecure in any tax-funded agency that’s not embarrassed by rampant lying, corruption and contempt towards natives.

 

Cop lobby favourite Clayton Pecknold becomes B.C.’s police complaint commissioner

Clayton Pecknold, B.C.’s current police complaint
commissioner, inherits this odious legacy.

Immersed in cop culture all his working life, Clayton Pecknold is formerly an RCMP cop, deputy chief cop of Saanich cops, cop president of the cop-representing B.C. Association of Police Chiefs, director of PRIMECorp, a cop-run database that smears innocent people with false info fabricated by cops, and assistant deputy minister and director of cop services for the solicitor general, a consistently cop-friendly government department. The ex-cop runs a secretive, unaccountable cop-dominated agency that claims to provide “impartial civilian oversight” of cop investigations into cop misconduct.

 

How does an agency like the OPCC
get away with so freaking much?

It takes an ethically corrupt political and legal establishment, along with opportunistic social justice phonies, to prop up something like the OPCC. It also takes an awful lot of lying. A compliant media doesn’t hurt, either.

Both BC Liberals and NDP lie on behalf of Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner corruption

B.C.’s New Democratic Party, Liberals and Greens agree
wholeheartedly on every aspect of police accountability.

B.C. MLAs sink to dishonest, even ridiculous, depths to support the cop status quo. The names of the politicians change over the years, but their support for the cop status quo remains consistent. The long-time unanimity of two otherwise warring political parties, along with a more recently elected third party, suggests the influence of a powerful police lobby.

Political responsibility for cops, including power to order an inquiry into the OPCC or introduce Police Act reform, falls under the solicitor general. That office has presented a cavalcade of unedifying but typical B.C. politicians.

During the 16-year BC Liberal regime up to 2017, the solicitor general’s job changed at least 10 times. Liberal SGs ranged from pathetic incapables like Shirley Bond and Suzanne Anton to farcical ex-cop Kash Heed, along with ex-cop Rich Coleman and Mike de Jong, both stubborn defenders of cartel money laundering. During the Liberals’ shaky governance, the SG’s cop responsibilities were likely handled by the ex-cops who hold the ministry’s most senior bureaucratic jobs. Among them was Clayton Pecknold, currently B.C.’s police complaint commissioner.

 

BC solicitor general Rich Coleman allowed gangsterism to flourish

As solicitor general, ex-cop Rich Coleman furiously rejected
evidence that money laundering at the casinos under his watch
facilitated loan sharking, extortion, kidnapping, beatings, drug trafficking,
sex trafficking and murder
. Consequently, money laundering at the
casinos under his watch continued to facilitate loan sharking, extortion,
kidnapping, beatings, drug trafficking, sex trafficking and murder.

 

BC solicitor general Mike Farnworth blocks police accountability

New Democrat Mike Farnworth, B.C.’s current solicitor general,
has long opposed police accountability while in opposition
and government, and in legislature and committee.

Mike Farnworth has consistently backed Stan Lowe as police complaint commissioner, taking part in decisions to appoint Lowe soon after his offensively dishonest exoneration of the RCMP’s Dziekanski death squad, and then to reappoint Lowe in 2015, after his corruption had become more than obvious.

Farnworth has appointed former RCMP cop Wayne Rideout as his current deputy minister, replacing former RCMP cop Brenda Butterworth-Carr, who faces a criminal investigation into obstruction of justice. Rideout led the biased RCMP in-house investigation that cleared four other Mounties involved in Robert Dziekanski’s Taser-related death, and made dubious statements under oath at Thomas Braidwood’s inquiry into Dziekanski’s death.

Farnworth has an extremely cynical process underway to manipulate the UNDRIP declaration and George Floyd protests while propping up the police status quo. To that end, he’s had a typically compliant legislative committee appointed.

 

BC MLAs salute their constituents

B.C. political uniformity on cop issues shows
strongly with the all-party legislative committees
occasionally appointed on related matters.
Outsiders who offer input get the establishment
middle finger.

Committee MLAs rig the process by restricting whom they’ll listen to and by rejecting or ignoring inconvenient written submissions. The MLAs even invent arbitrary rules to do so. For over a decade, every such committee has refused to hear any criticism of OPCC conduct or even reconsider the agency’s lack of accountability and transparency. A current committee representing all three parties seems poised to make token condescensions to natives and blacks while upholding as much of the cop status quo as possible.

 

Native MLAs Adam Olsen Ellis Ross share the BC legislature’s deference to corruption

MLAs Adam Olsen and Ellis Ross:
No worse than the others, but every bit as bad.

Aiding this cynical process have been B.C.’s two native MLAs, Adam Olsen and Ellis Ross. A Green and a Liberal respectively, they’ve demonstrated willingness to support an NDP cabinet minister, the cop lobby he serves and future OPCC cover-ups like the Taylor Robinson case. Their motivations appear the same as those of other MLAs. Almost no one in B.C. politics could make nearly as much in pay, perks and pension at a regular job, a fact that ensures obedience to party enforcers.

Moreover, reading Hansard transcripts of committee proceedings raises the question of whether MLAs actually write the committee reports released under their names. Quite likely the reports are ghostwritten by a political hack in consultation with the ex-cops in the solicitor general’s bureaucracy, with little input from the MLAs themselves.

 

Law Society of British Columbia Beverly Gallagher and Katherine Crosby lie on behalf of corrupt lawyer Stanley Thomas Lowe

 
A Karenesque tantrum-in-writing revealed
the Law Society of British Columbia’s support
for Stan Lowe’s Robinson cover-up.

B.C.’s legal establishment made its support for corruption more than clear through Law Society of British Columbia staff lawyer Beverly Gallagher. She resorted to angry, irrational lying to defend Stan Lowe’s cover-up of VPD constable Taylor Robinson. Her supervisor, Katherine Crosby, unconditionally supported Gallagher’s raving dishonesty.

 

BCCLA establishment lapdogs Jason Gratl and Robert Holmes

Jason Gratl and Robert Holmes demonstrated
typical BCCLA mettle by sucking up to power.

Although hiding behind fashionable rhetoric and American slogans, B.C.’s “official” activists at the B.C. Civil Liberties Association and Pivot Legal Society further their establishment ambitions by sucking up to power. They won’t criticize B.C.’s system of police accountability, let alone the corruption it engenders. On separate occasions but using similar language, BCCLA spokespersons Jason Gratl and Robert Holmes praised provincial legislation creating an inadequate Independent Investigations Office and — liars like so many others in B.C.’s social justice con game — dishonestly claimed the IIO marks the end of police self-investigation. That lie continues to befuddle B.C.’s media, who know little or nothing about police accountability.

 

BC Civil Liberties Association executive director Josh Paterson refuses to speak out about the VPD/OPCC Taylor Robinson cover-up

Josh Paterson continued the BCCLA’s service
to corrupt legal and political authority.

Former BCCLA executive director Josh Paterson knew about the Taylor Robinson cover-up. He apparently also knew that you don’t get a social justice paycheque for taking a stand on this issue.

 

Harsha Walia another BCCLA fraud

Harsha Walia learned the wrong lessons from Orwell
but, until her uncharacteristic career blunder, the
right approach for establishment advancement.

The BCCLA’s next executive director, Harsha Walia applied an Orwellian tactic to UNDRIP jargon and woke rhetoric, using fashionable but vague, platitudinous language that obscures meaning. To the benefit of B.C.’s political and legal establishment, not to mention cops, she said nothing precise about police accountability. When she finally made one clear, if offensive, statement on another topic, she quickly tried to back away. But her establishment paymasters forced her resignation.

 

Scott Bernstein and Doug King bring American poverty pimp imperialism to BC

Scott Bernstein and Doug King chose not to try
their Pivot Legal Society-style machinations in the
black and Hispanic inner-cities of their own country.

Scott Bernstein and Doug King of the Pivot Legal Society collaborated in the VPD/OPCC cover-up of Taylor Robinson. Supposedly representing the victim, Bernstein stayed silent during the cover-up. King, later representing the victim and fully aware of the cover-up, praised Stan Lowe’s handling of the case. While representing Michael Vann Hubbard’s family, King excused Vancouver police constable Estilize Wicks for her cowardly shooting of the frail, older man. Both of these American opportunists have since moved on to other B.C. poverty pimp organizations, demonstrating the industry’s endemic corruption.

 

BC attorney general David Eby pursued his ambitions through the poverty pimp Pivot Legal Society and BC Civil Liberties Association

David Eby provides a model of ambition for the Canadian,
American and British poverty pimps who flock to Vancouver.

Now B.C.’s attorney general, David Eby spurned Ontario’s social problems for greater career opportunities on the coast. Starting with the poverty pimp Pivot Legal Society, he became an official media source for comment about police misconduct but wouldn’t criticize the OPCC. While with the BCCLA, and as his predictable entry into politics came closer, he wouldn’t even criticize cops. Instead, he responded to media questions about police misconduct by changing the subject to mental illness.

 

BC’s courtier media report what they’re told to report

Not a smidgen of journalistic inquiry goes into coverage like this.

B.C.’s media rarely publish anything but favourable coverage about the OPCC, most of it driven by the OPCC itself or its supporters. Just one example was the consistently superficial coverage of an obvious whitewash by the auditor general. That contrasts starkly with negative coverage of B.C.’s Independent Investigations Office, most of it driven by police interests.

 

Vaughn Palmer unquestioningly supports establishment bigshots

Vaughn Palmer’s sneering arrogance
belies his courtier tendencies.

Supposedly one of B.C.’s top journalists, Vancouver Sun legislative columnist Vaughn Palmer can’t for the life of him substantiate his claim that Stan Lowe “has done a good job.” Moreover Palmer brushes off verifiable evidence of Lowe’s corruption without the slightest bit of journalistic curiosity, let alone concern.

 

Victoria Times Colonist sucks up to corrupt police complaint commissioner Stan Lowe

The Victoria Times Colonist sucks up to the OPCC yet again.

Despite Stan Lowe’s Frank Elsner cover-up and following closely on news of his Brent Wray cover-up, the Victoria Times Colonist published a phantasmagorical portrayal of this guy’s manifestly corrupt career. Similar sycophancy from Times Colonist reporters Louise Dickson and Katie DeRosa has been an ongoing problem for years.  

 

Additionally, B.C.’s media treat lying OPCC ex-cop Rollie Woods as a credible news source,
even when he treats journalists like compliant stooges. Below are two examples.

Rollie Woods lies to the Victoria Times Colonist

The first highlighted paragraph in the above letter from Woods to the Times Colonist is highly misleading. Chief Justice Christopher Hinkson rejected Stan Lowe’s excuses for his four-month delay in ordering an investigation into Victoria police chief Frank Elsner. The second is an outright lie. The public hearing into VPD constable Taylor Robinson’s assault on Sandy Davidsen didn’t even address how Vancouver police handled the matter.

 

Rollie Woods lies to the Georgia Straight

Woods also lied — again, very blatantly — in the above letter to the Georgia Straight. Apart from Woods’ usual obfuscation and misleading remarks, there’s absolutely no truth to his claim that Stan Lowe ordered an inquiry into the way Vancouver police handled Taylor Robinson’s assault on Sandy Davidsen. Of course this repugnant liar of an ex-cop spoke for — and therefore lied for — B.C. bigshot Stan Lowe. That demonstrates Lowe’s character as a repugnant liar himself.

Even after Woods’ retirement, B.C. media continue to treat the liar as a credible source on — get this! — police corruption.

 

In conclusion

Ambition might trump ethics just about everywhere but on OPCC-related issues B.C.’s political, legal, media and “activist” establishment makes its priorities all too obvious. The people who could speak out either overtly support or will not criticize OPCC corruption. They won’t even question the secrecy and immunity that make OPCC cover-ups possible. As the province moves towards a supposedly comprehensive overhaul of B.C.’s Police Act, this aspect of the cop status quo will most likely remain. That entrenches the possibility of further cover-ups like the four outlined above.

And if this institution is irredeemably corrupt,
just wonder about the rest of B.C.’s establishment.
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