Dear VPD (this is starting to become a regular thing, isn’t it?),
It’s amazing how writing one day about someone having their face kicked in, and being strangled by that very person the next, can shift your perspective on an issue. In my second open letter to you, I describe what I was told happened to a man last Saturday night in South Vancouver — a man who received comparable treatment to the treatment some of your colleagues were handing my peaceful protesting friends. He alleged that at least one of his assailants is known to him, and that they were not cops.
He and the only cooperative witness at the scene also alleged that your colleagues didn’t respond seriously to what happened to this man, as he was dying in the street and his best friend (the first to tell me what happened) was massaging his back to keep blood flowing into his brain as his face swelled. The two men were very clear by the following day that, not only had he thrown out the file number you gave him while he was at the hospital, but neither of them trust any cop and they think you’re all bad people who won’t take the complaint seriously.
I’ll have you know, I actually asked this man if he was going to press charges — to which he said he doesn’t know. I asked him if he’s going to phone the non-emergency dispatch line and set up an appointment to try and talk to different officers, and he said no. I asked him if he’s going to file a complaint against the officers who showed up to the scene, and he said no. I asked him if he’s going to try to get in contact with a civil liberties advocate or anyone in media, and he simply didn’t answer (which I take to mean “I hadn’t even considered this option, but no.”) I took a picture of his face, approximately 20 hours after the incident. Approximately four days later, after deliberately starting a conflict with me, he spat all over my face, called me an ignorant cunt, grabbed me by the throat and started to strangle me after whipping me around so he doesn’t have to look me in the eye while he does it.
It is now three days after that event took place. He was put in handcuffs and removed from the property to be processed. Charges were immediately recommended against him, and I fully intend to take part in whatever measures are necessary, to make sure those charges are taken seriously by the Crown and stick with him for the rest of his life. The man who was the only cooperative witness at the scene of his near-death experience immediately took his side, accused me of being a meth addict (which I’m sure he told RCMP too), outed me as transgender (for what reason, I don’t know) to the members who were on the scene of this domestic violence incident, and started acting like a prison guard from a few hours after the event. Somewhere between flashbacks over the past three days, I’ve suddenly realized that there is something tremendously suspicious about what I’ve been told about what happened last Saturday night.
Now I’m not a detective, but I know there’s something off the mark about what they told me, and I can’t quite place a finger on it. I still maintain that being drunk doesn’t preclude your Charter Rights, and that what happened is an unacceptable level of violence. However, I can’t shake the suspicion that there’s something those two know that they aren’t telling anyone — why in the world would someone just not press charges after being beaten within an inch of their life? Why would they avoid complaining to the police department that did a poor job of handling such a serious violation of the law?
Why would they not want to talk again to police when everyone’s sober and able to speak for themselves, and why would they also avoid any sort of advocacy for their civil rights? It just doesn’t add up.
So while I am still far from your biggest fan (I mean honestly, you all need to start acting a lot more like RCMP — and they’re a national disgrace, so what the fuck does that say about you?), I’m still not sold on the idea that every one of your members is a royal asshole. I still think you could be doing a lot better job of owning your shit, but I am willing to concede that I might have responded prematurely this time.
From back in East Van,