No charges for cop who killed bi-polar man
Darcy Wintonyk, ctvbc.ca
Published Monday, November 9, 2009 2:43PM PST
The Vancouver Police officer who shot and killed a bi-polar man during a dispute two years ago will not face charges, B.C.'s criminal justice branch announced Monday.
Paul Boyd, who was off his medication at the time, was killed in August 2007 after police responded to a report of a bus stop assault near Granville Street.
When officers arrived, Boyd -- who was carrying a hammer and yelling to himself -- started fighting with the officers and swinging a bicycle chain. One officer shot the 39-year-old eight times.
A statement released by the Criminal Justice Branch Monday said its review found the officer acted reasonably in accordance with his training.
"There is insufficient evidence to establish that the officer's use of force was excessive in the circumstances."
Boyd's family issued a statement to media days after his death describing him as a gentle soul who suffered from a mental disorder that could send him into spirals of delusional paranoia.
"Most of the time he was well and few would have guessed that he suffered from any kind of mental disorder,'' said the statement, which did not identify the speaker.
"But periodically, he would suffer periods of mania and depression which could produce vivid paranoid delusions that made him fear imagined threats.''
Boyd, who was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in his mid 20's, was in the midst of a paranoid episode when police shot him dead. Four days before his death Boyd told his doctors he had stopped taking one of his medications.
"His death means that he will never again have to face the struggle of regaining normality and getting on with his life,'' the family statement said.
Boyd's family said his large stature could be intimidating.
"But in fact, he was gentle and kind. His actions during his last tragic moments on earth were not part of his personality but were a result of the irrational fear produced by his illness.''
Boyd worked as an animator in various Vancouver studios for 15 years.