A poverty pimp who
surpasses even the BCCLA’s
Pivot Legal Society lawyer Doug King lavishes praise
on police complaint commissioner Stan Lowe—who helped
Vancouver cops cover up police brutality on King’s client
Dec. 18, 2014
Pivot Legal Society lawyer Doug King made a mess of the Michael Vann Hubbard case.
King went on to lavish fulsome praise on police complaint commissioner Stan Lowe,
who helped Vancouver police cover up a VPD assault on another Pivot client.
With “activist” lawyers like these, it’s no wonder British Columbia’s police status quo prevails. Those at the B.C. Civil Liberties Association have long proved themselves establishment lapdogs. For a while I thought the problem with Pivot Legal Society lawyers—although very obviously ambitious—was mostly their inastuteness and inexperience. Now it’s clear, at least with Pivot lawyer Doug King, that ambition trumps ethics.
King not only backed down from a vow to call to account B.C.’s Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner. He’s actually sucking up to OPCC boss Stan Lowe. That came through in a Dec. 10, 2014, Georgia Straight story in which King lavishes wholly undeserved and actually dishonest praise for the way Lowe handled the case of Vancouver police constable Taylor Robinson and King’s client, Sandy Davidsen.
In a February e-mail responding to my open letter to Pivot and the BCCLA, King stated he’d be representing Davidsen at the inquiry into Robinson. King declared, “My intention is to examine not only the VPD’s attempts at informal resolution and lack of notification to the OPCC, but how the OPCC handled the file upon being notified.” King did neither at the inquiry. He did the opposite in the Straight interview.
To an extent King’s following the BCCLA’s example, in which ambitious lawyers manipulate police issues to further their careers. The trick is to criticize cops (often justifiably) but without ruffling law establishment feathers. King went even further than the BCCLA by actually sucking up to a legal establishment bigshot—a legal establishment bigshot who tried to screw King’s client.
This isn’t the first time for King. He represented the victim’s family at a coroner’s inquest into Michael Vann Hubbard, a skinny, frail, 58-year-old man who was shot to death while carrying a very small knife and advancing very slowly and unsteadily towards two young Vancouver police officers. Government lawyers steered the coroner’s jury to simply conclude that police need training in first aid and crisis intervention. King went along with it. And the cops got off.
I remember seeing King on TV trying to suppress a self-satisfied smile as he discussed Vann Hubbard’s death. It was evidently a big triumph for an ambitious young lawyer who didn’t seem to care that he had seriously jeopardized any case his clients could have against Vancouver police.
In fact the Vann Hubbard killing started with police recruiting. Constables Estilize Wicks and Celia Tisdall scare very easily. That’s apparent partly from the surveillance video, which shows them immediately jumping backwards and then repeatedly backing off, guns drawn, from a slightly built man who’s advancing very slowly and very awkwardly. He looks like he might keel over.
It later transpired that the weapon that so terrified Wicks and Tisdall was a tiny knife. Their testimony at the inquest confirmed their fear.
No police department should hire people like that. If such recruits do slip through, they should get remedial training. No two such officers should be assigned together. In addition to standard-issue guns, they should carry non-lethal weapons.
(Wicks and Tisdall testified that they didn’t have non-lethal weapons. King left unchallenged the possibility they were lying. But then he left everything the police said unchallenged. And King was supposed to be representing Vann Hubbard’s family.)
Still, I had hoped King was motivated more by a lack of astuteness and experience than by his ambition. Now, following his remarks to the Straight, it’s clear ambition plays a larger role in his motivations.
Is that typical of Pivot lawyers? That lack of astuteness might be. Pivot’s Scott Bernstein seems to have handled the Robinson case originally, and bungled it badly. Bernstein apparently dealt with Davidsen’s formal complaint to the OPCC but he didn’t notify media. If Bernstein didn’t already know, he should have suspected how easily the OPCC and police can sweep incidents under the rug. And the public has a right to know.
How was the Robinson case handled before the media found out? There’s no indication OPCC boss Lowe ordered a Police Act investigation into Davidson’s assailant 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 Lowe’s OPCC found out—but just five days after the publicity began.
And King, representing the victim, has nothing but praise for Lowe.
I’ve previously sent e-mails about the Robinson case to Bernstein, King and the BCCLA. None of them disputed my facts. Bernstein didn’t respond. The BCCLA did respond, but without commitment. King replied by stating his intention to criticize the OPCC, then did the opposite. But as I said, none of them disputed my facts.
And getting back to King’s remarks to the Straight, it might not seem to matter what these grasping lawyers say. But apart from undermining their clients, they’re bolstering a corrupt status quo. B.C.’s media give Pivot and the BCCLA a near-monopoly on critical comment about police accountability. That makes it even easier for Pivot and BCCLA careerists to manipulate police issues for their own ambitions.
That also makes it easier for a corrupt police status quo to prevail.
On another note, the article by Carlito Pablo suggests the Georgia Straight has gone lamestream on the subject of police accountability. Not even mentioned is who brought this info to the Straight, and why. The Straight has ignored regular updates on the Robinson case that I began sending just before the inquiry began. The Straight declined to post this article, which I submitted about a week before posting it myself.
The Straight has also left unchallenged a manifestly false statement by Rollie Woods. I believe Woods’ statement to be a deliberate lie that shows the OPCC’s dishonesty about the VPD cover-up—in which the OPCC almost certainly colluded.
Read more about B.C.’s faux activists at the Pivot Legal Society and the B.C. Civil Liberties Association