Handcuffing of retired judge by Vancouver police getting worldwide attention
VANCOUVER -- The erroneous arrest of B.C.’s first Black Supreme Court justice last Friday morning drew headlines around the world.
The New York Post, The Sunday Times, The Daily Mail and La Nouvelle Tribune based in Morocco, to name a few, featured prominent articles on retired judge Selwyn Romilly’s handcuffing by the Vancouver Police Department.
“I want to publicly apologize to Mr. Romilly for his detention,” said Chief Const. Adam Palmer during a news conference Monday. “I know this would have been an unsettling and even traumatic experience for anybody to go through.”
Police explained they received several calls about a man acting violently along the seawall near English Bay on the morning of the arrest. The suspect would act normally and then lash out by kicking, punching and spitting, witnesses said. Authorities said the officers deployed to the scene believed Romilly matched the suspect description.
“Police officers are human beings, we make mistakes we don’t always get it right,” added Palmer. “I have spoken to the officer involved, and that officer also apologized for the circumstances on that day.”
Romilly was detained and put in handcuffs, but was soon released when they realized they made a mistake.
Vancouver’s mayor confirmed Monday he will be bringing the issue up with the Vancouver Police Board.
“We are working on a meeting time right now where we can discuss both this individual incident, and really, systemic racism in our institutions,” said Mayor Kennedy Stewart.
Selwyn Romilly is a UBC graduate who served as a provincial court judge for 21 years, and a Supreme Court judge for 19 years.