Police officer cleared in 2007 shooting death
Published Monday, October 19, 2009 4:58PM PDT
A Vancouver police officer has been cleared of any wrongdoing in the shooting death of a 21-year-old Burnaby resident two years ago.
The unidentified veteran officer shot and killed Reuben Coleman, a suspected drunk driver, at 41st and Knight Street in December 2007.
Vancouver Police Chief Jim Chu said the officer saw Coleman at a gas station and determined he was too drunk to drive.
Chu says the officer called a tow truck and told the victim he would be released as long as he was not wanted on any outstanding warrants.
Coleman reportedly became agitated during a frisk search.
"Mr. Coleman stiffened and began to turn away just as the officer's search revealed a hard object in the right side of his waistband," Chu said.
Chu said the officer tried to prevent Coleman from retrieving a pistol from his pants, but that he turned the weapon on the officer.
"In this case it was a clear-cut situation that the officer was justified in using deadly force," Chu told a press conference Monday.
"The officer had no choice in the matter and no less violent means were available."
A two-part review by the Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner (OPCC) agreed with the VPD's findings.
The investigations used video of the incident, as well as witness accounts.
The officer, who is described as an acting sergeant, is back on the job.
Chu offered his condolences to Coleman's family and friends.