Cop charged with assault for shoving disabled woman
Published Tuesday, December 7, 2010 3:23PM PST
A Vancouver police officer caught on tape shoving a disabled woman to the ground has been charged with assault.
Const. Taylor Robinson is shown on surveillance video shot in front of the Lux Hotel on East Hastings Street shoving a visibly limping woman to the ground on June 9 as she tried to pass between three officers walking side by side. No one stopped to help her up.
The woman shown in the video, Sandy Davidsen, suffers from both cerebral palsy and multiple sclerosis and lives in Vancouver's impoverished Downtown Eastside. She weighs just 98 pounds.
After a three-month investigation by the New Westminster Police Service, Crown prosecutors have approved one charge of assault against Robinson and he is set to appear in court on Jan. 10. A Police Act investigation into Robinson's actions is still underway.
The Vancouver Police Department says that Robinson has been placed on administrative duties while his case is before the courts. He has been with the VPD since March 2009.
After the video footage of the shove was made public, Robinson wrote an apology to Davidsen, saying that he believed she was reaching for his gun. He also wrote that he regretted the amount of force he used, and that he didn't help Davidsen up.
Last month, Davidsen filed a $25,000 lawsuit and a human rights complaint against Robinson, as well as the Vancouver Police Department and the City of Vancouver.