Is a VPD officer on duty after punching a woman outside a bar?
A Vancouver police officer was involved somehow in an incident outside a Langley pub where a woman was punched and a man was arrested, CTV News has learned.
But the department is refusing to confirm anything else about the incident – even what the status of the officer is or whether he is responding to calls involving women.
And the Vancouver Police Department has an obligation to say much more in the interests of public safety, said the B.C. Civil Liberties Association.
“We want to know that the police department is going to ensure that the people who are policing the streets are not involved in a credible allegation of assault themselves,” said Micheal Vonn of the BCCLA.
“The point is not that we are prejudging what this person did or didn’t do,” she said.
Chief Constable Adam Palmer did acknowledge the province’s Police Complaints Commissioner has been notified about what happened.
“The incident you’re talking about is under investigation. The Langley RCMP are doing it. The office of the Police Complaints Commissioner is providing the independent civilian oversight. That’s all we can tell you about it at this point,” Palmer said outside a police board meeting on Thursday.
The Langley RCMP tell CTV News their officers arrested a 29-year-old man after the Oak and Thorne Neighbourhood Public House closed at 1:45 a.m. on June 23 and are investigating an assault against a woman.
The RCMP wouldn’t say whether the man arrested is an officer or not, and calls to the civilian oversight bodies of the Police Complaint Commissioner, the Vancouver Police Board, and B.C.’s Ministry of Public Safety didn’t shed any light.
A ministry spokesperson said they didn’t want to comment on the case during an ongoing investigation, and said it was up to the VPD to manage its day-to-day operations.
A Vancouver Rape Relief spokesperson said many women don’t report assaults to the justice system for fear of not being believed – and stories like this have the potential to make it worse.
“Male violence against women has to be taken seriously and if there’s a credible allegation of assault and if a man has access to the public this is a concern,” said Karla Gjini.