What’s the Pivot Legal Society saying
about the Taylor Robinson case?

Evidence indicates a cover-up by the Office of the Police
Complaint Commissioner. But if not, additional questions arise

Oct. 5, 2014. Revised Oct. 21 and Dec. 14, 2014


Concerning the case of Vancouver police constable Taylor Robinson, at least one October 3 statement by the Pivot Legal Society is at odds with the evidence. Pivot claimed that B.C.’s Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner ordered an investigation into Robinson on June 29, 2010. I know of no evidence to support that claim. But there is evidence showing the OPCC knew about the incident but failed to act until media found out.

If Pivot’s statement is correct, then some additional questions arise.

Who conducted the investigation? If it was VPD Professional Standards, why did the OPCC allow that, considering the department’s cover-up? Why didn’t Pivot object?

Why was Robinson still walking a beat in the same neighbourhood where he shoved his victim?

Why didn’t police complaint commissioner Stan Lowe mention a pre-publicity Police Act investigation in his Notice of Public Hearing? He provides a fair amount of detail about the post-publicity investigation.

As for the evidence that the OPCC didn’t order an investigation until after the publicity, more details are provided here, but this is a brief summary of events:

On June 9, 2010, Robinson shoved a disabled woman to the sidewalk.

By June 11, 2010, VPD Professional Standards officers learned of the incident and interviewed the victim. But they did not order a Criminal Code investigation, order a Police Act investigation, or inform B.C.’s Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner, as they were required to do by law. Instead they covered up the incident.

On June 28, 2010, the OPCC learned about Robinson’s actions, but from the victim, not the VPD. At that point Lowe and his staff were legally required to order a Police Act investigation into Robinson’s actions and another Police Act investigation into the VPD Professional Standards officers who covered up Robinson’s actions. Instead, the OPCC colluded in the cover-up.

Oddly, Pivot, which submitted the victim’s complaint to the OPCC, didn’t publicize Robinson’s actions or the OPCC’s inaction.

On July 22, 2010, media learned about Robinson’s actions from surveillance video, resulting in considerable publicity. Only then did the OPCC order an investigation into Robinson. The OPCC did not, and still refuses to, order an investigation into the VPD Professional Standards cover-up.

Pivot’s timeline claims the OPCC ordered an investigation into Robinson on June 29. There’s no evidence to support that statement. Moreover, when Lowe issued a Notice of Public Hearing into the Robinson case he provided his own timeline of the “complaint process and investigation.” Lowe states that the OPCC received the victim’s complaint on June 28. But Lowe does not state that he ordered an investigation then. Lowe simply states (on page 2 of his Notice) that “Ms. Davidsen’s complaint was deemed admissible by our office.” Lowe’s very next sentence states that an investigation was ordered on July 27. That was 48 days after the incident happened and 29 days after the OPCC found out, but just five days after the publicity began.

Lowe provides considerable detail about names and events involving the post-publicity investigation. He provides none about a pre-publicity investigation. Evidence indicates there wasn’t one. Lowe and his office were colluding in a VPD cover-up.

These events show the danger of allowing a cop-friendly agency to work in near secrecy and answer to no one—absolutely no one at all. It’s time to replace our system of police accountability and the people who run it.


Update: Pivot lawyer Doug King now wholeheartedly supports
the OPCC’s handling of the Taylor Robinson case

According to a Georgia Straight story posted Dec. 10, 2014, King has nothing but praise for police complaint commissioner Stan Lowe. King’s remarks seriously undermine the credibility of Pivot’s claim that the OPCC ordered an investigation into Robinson prior to the media publicity.

That claim was unsubstantiated as well as vague (Pivot didn’t state whether an investigation had actually been carried out). Now, given King’s most recent statements, Pivot has even less credibility.

It’s also noteworthy that King has backed down from a vow to call the OPCC to account. In a February e-mail responding to an open letter to Pivot and the B.C. Civil Liberties Association, King informed me he would be representing the victim at the Robinson inquiry. He stated, “My intention is to examine not only the VPD’s attempts at informal resolution and lack of notification to the OPCC, but how the OPCC handled the file upon being notified.” He did neither. King not only went back on his word but sucked up to a corrupt establishment lawyer.

Also noteworthy is that King didn’t dispute any of my facts. Neither did the BCCLA, which also responded to me by e-mail although without committing itself to anything.

Part of the problem with police accountability in B.C. is these ambitious lawyers who manipulate issues to further their careers.


Read more about the Stan Lowe/Bruce Brown/Rollie Woods/OPCC cover-up
of VPD constable Taylor Robinson’s assault on a disabled woman
Read more about B.C.’s Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner
Read more news and comment about police accountability in B.C.