Being bi-polar, this hits close to home.
5 years ago Vancouver police shot a bi-polar man dead on the street. He was off his meds and having paranoid delusions.
A tourist from Manitoba video taped the whole thing, unfortunately he was unaware that there was “conflicting evidence” and only recently brought the video to light by turning it over to the CBC.
If you watch the video you are watching what is, in my opinion, a summary execution in the middle of a busy street. I say this for three reasons:
1) The subject had been disarmed,
2) The subject was crawling. He may have been trying to get up, and I’ll talk about that in a moment, and
3) There were a lot of cops on scene.
There is evidence on the video that the victim, Paul Boyd, who had already been shot 7 times, may have been getting to his feet.
In my younger days I’ll admit that I got into a few fights. Here’s the thing about a fight. If the other guy is down, and he tries to get up, its pretty easy to put him back on the ground. That’s one on one. We’re talking at least 6 on 1! And the “1” in this instance had been shot 7 times, and was disarmed of his weapon (a bicycle chain with a lock on it).
Even if he had still been armed there were 6 cops standing there. Easy enough to take down a subject when its 6 to 1 without shooting anyone. Jump on the guy, pin his arm, take his weapon away….ffs did they not teach you that at police school?
I wonder (and this is pure speculation) if there weren’t other cops saying to the guy with the gun saying, “Come on man, calm down…take it easy…..chill.” Actually I just watched it again. The guy who got closest to the victim had his hand on his gun, which was still in its holster. This was a cop who walked right up to him, leaned down and took his chain away.
Of the 5 or 6 cops you see in the area to which Boyd was crawling you see 2 with their guns pointed at him.
The excuse given was that Lee Chipperfield, didn’t know that the victim had been disarmed, and that he “missed” the order to hold his fire.
Let’s talk about that last bit first. If he had been a soldier and he “missed” an order, any order he’d be disciplined. If he “missed an order” and ended up shooting someone dead because of it, he’d be court martialed and jailed (and the first 2 years would be in the military prison in Edmonton…a tough go compared to anything else in Canada).
The first bit “he didn’t know that the victim had been disarmed”. That’s a pretty good argument if Paul Boyd had been on his feet and armed with an assault rifle or one of those gatling gun thingies like on Predator. But, he had been armed with a chain with a lock on it.
He struck and officer with it and knocked him out.
So maybe that’s why he got shot and no one slapped the cuffs on Mr. Chipperfield and charged him.
Whatever the reason, every cop at the scene is, in some manner, through action or inaction responsible for ending Paul Boyd’s life.
Some might say, “You weren’t there! You don’t know what its like!”. But I do…military medic. I’ve been in some pretty tense situations but I kept my cool and relied on my training. Vancouver isn’t some sleepy little town where the police mostly help tourists. Its a big city with big city problems.
In short, the police were in a situation they were trained to deal with.
When I was between jobs I couldn’t afford my medication, and after moving to London I couldn’t find a doctor to refer me to a psychiatrist so that I could even get a prescription. So yeah, I spent about 3 months un-medicated. Yes, I know there are programs…now. Fortunately, when I was off my meds I was friendly, charming and very peaceable. I did some stupid things yeah, but fortunately nothing that merited the attention of the police.
If I do ever go off my meds again, if I happen to have a bike I think I will forego securing it to avoid the risk of being seen with a bicyle chain. After all, I can always buy another bike…