Second officer suspended over alleged beating
Published Tuesday, January 27, 2009 3:55PM PST
The West Vancouver Police Department has suspended an officer who is accused of involvement in robbing and beating a delivery truck driver last week.
Chief Const. Kash Heed said Tuesday the officer will be suspended with pay for 30 days.
Heed said the decision came after Vancouver police, who are investigating the incident, made a recommendation that the constable from the neighbouring jurisdiction be charged with robbery.
Charges of assault and possession of stolen property have been recommended against another officer from New Westminster. That 38-year-old officer has also been suspended with pay.
A 28-year-old Delta officer has been cleared of any wrongdoing, but he will face a Police Act investigation over his involvement in the incident.
Abbotsford Chief Constable Bob Rich will personally conduct the investigation into the actions of the officer, who is currently assigned to desk duties.
The Crown has not yet made a decision on the charges and the names of the officers have not been released.
Surrey resident Firoz "Phil" Khan, 47, was dropping off newspapers to pay boxes and local hotels in the 600-block of Burrard Street in the early hours of Wednesday, Jan. 21, when he claims he was kicked and beaten by three off-duty police officers. Khan alleges the officers stole his cellphone and $200 from his wallet.
Vancouver police say evidence suggests the Delta officer may have been trying to stop the beating.
Khan told CTV News he believes the attack was racially motivated, and that the officers shouted "we don't like brown people" during the alleged assault.
But Chu said hate-crime charges won't be recommended at this time because the victim can't identify which of the assailants made the statement.
He said six investigators from his department spent the weekend interviewing nine witnesses. They also interviewed Khan at length.
The attack took place in front of a taxi driver who took two of the officers from the Roxy nightclub to the location near the Hyatt Hotel. Two City of Vancouver employees, Meatr Chima and Phil Pilon, also witnessed the assault and stepped in to help. They say the attack on Khan was so brutal they actually feared for his life, not to mention their own.
"Justice probably won't be served, I don't think so," said Chima.
"If it was a guy like me who did that to that guy there would be justice served, but against those police officers I doubt it. I think these police officers should look at themselves in the mirror and think of what they've done. I mean this is ridiculous."
Speaking from his Surrey home on Friday, Khan says one of the only reasons he's alive is because the two city workers stopped to help.
"Thank God there was a lot of city workers that I know that clean the streets in downtown Vancouver," he said.
He said he had suffered serious injuries to his head and internal injuries after the attack. He also lost a filling and chipped a tooth.
With files from The Canadian Press