Victim of alleged cop beating claims racial abuse
Published Saturday, January 24, 2009 12:29PM PST
The man who says he was beaten by three off-duty police officers in downtown Vancouver earlier this week is telling his horrific story for the first time.
Speaking from his Surrey, B.C. home, Phil Khan says he has not been able to sleep since the alleged assault early Wednesday.
"I am traumatized, very afraid...now I feel very different," he told CTV News, flanked by his wife and young daughters.
Khan had parked his truck outside the Hyatt hotel in the 600-block of Burrard St. just past 2 a.m. Wednesday and was preparing to bring his newspaper delivery inside when he was approached by a man yelling at him.
"(He said) come here you idiot," Khan said. "You come here f**king now, (and he) pulled my kangaroo jacket over my head."
Khan says by that time two other men arrived on scene.
A cab driver Yash - he did not want to give his full name - said he picked up the officers from the Roxy nightclub on Granville Street and drove them to the location. He told CTV he witnessed the entire beating.
"He was crying for help so loudly. He was saying 'they're going to kill me! Can anybody help me! Please help me!' Then I tried to stop the fight. I ask the guy 'don't do this.' Then the one guy, he come over here, he start swearing to me and yelling."
Yash said he was frightened for his own safety.
"They were beating very badly that guy... They're kicking, punching. He had blood coming out from the lips. I saw it."
Yash said when the Vancouver police department officers arrived they initially arrested the victim of the attack.
"They were still beating when the police show up. Police that came and then they break the fight," he said.
Khan, who has bandages on his hands, says he is traumatized, and has serious injuries to his head - as well as internal injuries. He has lost a filling and chipped a tooth.
Khan believes the attack could be racially motivated.
"He was telling me 'I don't like brown people' he kept saying it. They said 'we are the police,' I tell him 'people they don't beat people like this' and they kept saying 'you're going to get it, you're going to get it.'"
In a statement issued Thursday, Vancouver Police Chief Jim Chu says he wants to reassure the public that police are investigating the matter fully and aggressively, and he's urging anyone who may have witnessed or video taped the incident to contact police.
The three officers are from the New Westminster, Delta and West Vancouver police departments.
The 38-year-old constable from New Westminster has been suspended, while desk duties have been handed to the other two constables.
No charges have been laid.
The trio were arrested around 2:30 a.m. on Wednesday and released last night around 9 p.m.
The officers are relatively new to their jobs, with the most senior of the men having just four years experience.
Statistics released by the Office of the Police Complaints Commissioner in November showed that 106 municipal police officers were guilty of misconduct between Oct. 1, 2006, and Oct. 1, 2008.
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