June 25, 2020
Rights Groups Release OPCC Letter Calling into Question Street Checks Review
((Xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and səl̓ilwətaʔɬ/sel̓ílwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh)/Vancouver, B.C. – June 25, 2020) BC Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA), Union of BC Indian Chiefs (UBCIC), and Hogan’s Alley Society (HAS) are releasing a letter from the BC Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner in response to UBCIC and BCCLA’s complaint regarding “street checks”.
In the letter, dated June 5, 2020, Police Complaint Commissioner Clayton Pecknold reveals a Vancouver Police Professional Standards investigation was ordered on December 19, 2019 into disturbing and inappropriate comments and conduct from two Vancouver Police Officers who were witnessed by Pyxis contractors while conducting research for the Vancouver Police Board Street Check Review. Pyxis had been contracted to author the Vancouver Police Board Street Checks Review that the Vancouver Police Board subsequently accepted, though the published version of the review does not refer to the relevant conduct of the officers now under investigation. This discrepancy in versions of the report raise another serious set of concerns about the objectivity, methodology, and findings of the Pyxis-authored Vancouver Police Board Street Check Review.
Representatives from BCCLA, HAS, and UBCIC will comment on the implications of the letter with respect to systemic racism in the Vancouver Police Department and the ongoing discriminatory practice of street checks during a press conference today at 9am.
BCCLA and UBCIC have also released their response, a letter to the Vancouver Police Board calling into question the objectivity, methodology, and findings of the Pyxis-authored Vancouver Police Board Street Check Review, and requesting the disclosure of any and all draft reviews, field notes, or ancillary materials from Pyxis.
Harsha Walia, Executive Director, BCCLA: 778-885-0040
Chief Don Tom, Vice President, Union of BC Indian Chiefs: 604-290-6083
Lama Mugabo, Director, Hogan’s Alley Society: 604-715-9565