From: Greg Klein
December 9, 2013
To: The Law Society of British Columbia
I would like to provide additional information about this file. The B.C. Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner has responded to an online Georgia Straight story about this Law Society complaint. The OPCC response, by deputy police complaint commissioner Rollie Woods, wrongly states that Stan T. Lowe has called a public hearing into the way Vancouver Police handled the incident in which VPD constable Taylor Robinson pushed a disabled woman to the sidewalk. Additionally, I suggest that there’s something revealing in Woods’ failure to explain or even acknowledge Lowe’s inaction on the case until after the media found out and publicized Robinson’s actions.
That’s a glaring—and I suggest significant—omission. I believe that letter should be considered an official OPCC response that speaks for Lowe, who heads the OPCC. Yet the letter fails to address the most important aspect of my Law Society complaint as it regards the Robinson case.
On December 6, 2013, I contributed the response copied below. The same day the Georgia Straight posted it as an online comment on the same web page as Woods’ letter. I request that you consider this information:
There are several problems with deputy police complaint commissioner Rollie Woods’ letter, but I’ll focus on two. Woods ignores the most serious part of my complaint to the B.C. Law Society about his boss, Stan T. Lowe. And Woods wrongly states that Lowe ordered a public hearing into the actions of Vancouver Police Professional Standards officers who failed to inform the Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner about Vancouver police constable Taylor Robinson, who pushed a disabled woman to the ground.
Robinson’s actions took place June 9, 2010. VPD Professional Standards officers learned of this by June 11, 2010. They did not, as required by the Police Act, inform the OPCC or launch a Police Act or criminal investigation.
Lowe’s OPCC learned of the incident on June 28, but from the victim, not from the VPD.
Lowe did not order a Police Act investigation into Robinson.
Lowe did not order a Police Act investigation into the VPD Professional Standards officers who failed to inform the OPCC.
An investigation into Robinson wasn’t ordered until July 27 or later, more than four weeks after Lowe’s OPCC learned about the incident. The investigation followed days of publicity that began when the media found out on July 22, no thanks to the VPD or Lowe.
The Police Act also requires Lowe’s OPCC to monitor police misconduct investigations while they’re taking place and provide direction if the OPCC considers the investigation inadequate. That requirement makes it all the more clear that Lowe knew that no investigation took place until after the media found out.
Lowe’s Notice of Public Hearing does mention several reasons for delays once the Police Act investigation and proceedings were underway. But Lowe offers zero explanation for his failure to order and monitor a Police Act investigation until after the media found out.
Woods is wrong when he states that Lowe ordered a public hearing “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.” Lowe called a public hearing into Robinson’s actions -- period.
Those Professional Standards officers who failed to inform the OPCC aren’t even identified in Lowe’s Notice of Public Hearing. Lowe does name some VPD officers who got involved after the publicity, but it’s not clear whether they were with Professional Standards or involved in the case prior to the media publicity.
I could dissect Woods’ letter further, but those are the most important points. Woods, by the way, is a former head of VPD Professional Standards.
Read more about the Stan Lowe/Rollie Woods/OPCC cover-up
of VPD constable Taylor Robinson’s assault on a disabled woman