Cops covering up for cops,
with OPCC collusion

That was standard procedure under the Stan Lowe-Rollie Woods regime. Here’s new police complaint commissioner
Clayton Pecknold’s initial response to three cases

July 14, 2019


This is a Police Act offence that’s ignored by B.C.’s media, winked at by B.C.’s social justice opportunists and, at least in the past, supported by B.C.’s Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner: the practice of cops withholding info from the OPCC about cop misconduct.

In April and May 2019, with Stan Lowe and Rollie Woods no longer around to cover up for themselves, let alone cops, I brought two examples and an additional possibility to the attention of the OPCC’s new boss. I asked commissioner Clayton Pecknold to deal with three formal complaints personally due to the possibility of some of his staff being tainted by the Lowe-Woods ethical deficit. The cases involve Vancouver police handling of actions by their fellow officer Taylor Robinson, District of Saanich police handling of actions by their fellow officer Brent Wray, and VPD handling of allegations against their then-fellow officer Jim Fisher.

My complaints stated that the time limit should be waived because relevant info about Wray and Fisher transpired recently, and because the Lowe-Woods regime wrongly refused my previous request to order an investigation into how VPD handled the Robinson case. My complaints also noted that cops who leave police work remain accountable for their previous actions as cops.


Vancouver police cover up for Taylor Robinson

Click the image to watch an incident that was covered up by the VPD and OPCC.


Robinson was caught on surveillance video inexplicably shoving a disabled native woman to the sidewalk. Vancouver Police Professional Standards, formerly led by Woods, learned about the incident promptly but never informed the OPCC, contrary to the Police Act. The OPCC only learned about the incident 18 days after it happened, and from the victim, not the police. That constitutes a VPD cover-up, in which I asked Pecknold to order an investigation.

But enormously awkward for the OPCC, at least to the Lowe-Woods regime, it’s a cover-up with OPCC collusion. Lowe didn’t order an investigation until more than four weeks after his office learned about Robinson’s actions, but just days after the media found out. Woods has lied to the media about the matter at least twice.

Robinson was eventually and very belatedly dealt with under the Police Act. His cover-up colleagues weren’t.

Responding to my complaint on May 13, OPCC admissibility analyst Tayja Lum wrote to say she was assisting Pecknold in reviewing its admissibility: “Given the complexity of this matter, our review and analysis of your concerns may take some time. We appreciate your patience.”

My response to their response? So far so good. It’s certainly better that the Lowe-Woods regime’s obfuscatory and dishonest reply with its middle-finger implication.


District of Saanich police cover up for Brent Wray

Stan Lowe covered up Saanich cop Brent Wray’s vicious assault on Don Lapshinoff


Wray inflicted very serious injuries on Don Lapshinoff during a traffic stop. At that time, prior to the creation of B.C.’s Independent Investigations Office, cops investigated such incidents themselves, with oversight from the OPCC. Yet Saanich police didn’t notify the OPCC of the incident until approximately two years later, only after receiving Lapshinoff’s notice of a lawsuit. The delay has to be considered another cop cover-up and, since the OPCC failed to act on either Wray’s actions or the withholding of info by his fellow officers, another cop cover-up with OPCC collusion.

The OPCC no longer has jurisdiction over cases involving serious injuries but still holds Police Act authority to order investigations into cops withholding information.

On June 24 new deputy commissioner Andrea Spindler informed me that Pecknold decided to order an investigation about the Saanich officers’ approximately two-year delay before notifying the OPCC.

Interestingly, Pecknold implicitly contradicts the OPCC’s previous excuse for not acting on the matter. As reported in January by Black Press reporter Keri Coles:

“When asked why an investigation wasn’t launched in 2012 when they became aware of the case, the OPCC said it was because it did not receive a complaint from Lapshinoff.”

(“The OPCC” might refer to Woods, who’s mentioned earlier in Coles’ story.)

But Spindler’s letter attributes Pecknold’s decision to this legislation:

Section 93(1) of the Police Act states: “Regardless of whether a complaint is made or registered pursuant to section 78, if at any time information comes to the attention of the police complaint commissioner concerning the conduct of a person who, at the time of the conduct, was a member of a municipal police department and that conduct would, if substantiated, constitute misconduct, the police complaint commissioner may order an investigation into the conduct of the member or former member.”

However Spindler added that the OPCC won’t provide me with any info about the investigation because I wasn’t directly affected.

That looks like another top-secret investigation and decision, thanks to the secrecy granted the OPCC under B.C.’s Police Act. A current legislative committee supposedly looking into police accountability will likely ignore that key problem.


A possible Vancouver police cover-up of Jim Fisher

Attorney general-minister of justice Suzanne Anton celebrates Vancouver police creep Jim Fisher


Fisher is the former VPD detective now serving prison time for sexual misconduct against women who had already been victimized by pimp Reza Moazami. Last May Moazami’s new lawyer, Tom Arbogast, alleged that Fisher had abused other vulnerable women and girls, with VPD knowledge.

Arbogast’s allegations must surely bring further inquiry into Fisher. But the practice of cops withholding info about cop misconduct consistently gets ignored, as shown in the cases of Robinson and Wray. So on May 17 I requested that Pecknold order an investigation into a possible VPD cover-up of Fisher’s actions.

I e-mailed the formal complaint at 10:04 a.m. Sometime that same day the OPCC issued a press release about the matter (ironically, one of Woods’ final tasks before retiring). I don’t know if the timing was coincidental.

The press release says a Police Act investigation into Fisher was suspended during the criminal investigation and prosecution, and remains suspended. In a June 21 response to my request, Pecknold said the investigation will resume “at an appropriate time.” Not terribly precise, that.

Pecknold also stated that the investigation “is not restricted from examining the conduct of other officers should the evidence reveal other allegations of misconduct.”

Still, the question remains whether cops investigating cops would turn their attention to a cop cover-up unless they were specifically ordered to. And, if Arbogast’s allegations hold up, it’s possible the OPCC had also heard concerns about Fisher but failed to act. Consistent with the Robinson and Wray cover-ups, that would constitute yet another case of Lowe-Woods collusion in cop cover-ups.

But despite their shortcomings, these three OPCC responses rise above the arrogant deceit that characterized the Lowe-Woods regime, the Dirk Ryneveld-Bruce Brown regime that preceded it and the Don Morrison regime that kicked off the OPCC’s 21-year history of ethical corruption. Could it be that Pecknold, despite having no background other than being a cop or working on behalf of cops, might be the one to bring some credibility to the OPCC?

We’ll see.

Read more about B.C.’s Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner
Go to News and Comment page