Vancouver police officers cleared
of wrongdoing in beating case

Chad Skelton, Vancouver Sun, Nov. 3, 2010


Yao Wei Wu, 44, who lives in Southeast Vancouver was confronted at 2:20 a.m.
by two plainclothes police officers called to the residence where a woman
was being attacked by her husband.


VANCOUVER — A Vancouver man allegedly beaten outside his own home by two police officers who had the wrong address says he’s “disappointed and angry” the two officers have been cleared of wrongdoing.

“I was beaten by police for no reason at the door of my home,” Yao Wei Wu, 44, said at a news conference Wednesday morning. “My family and I feel extremely disappointed and angry.”

Wu suffered serious injuries when he was beaten outside his home on Jan. 21 by two Vancouver officers.

Vancouver police initially said Wu resisted arrest, but Vancouver Police Chief Jim Chu later apologized to Wu after it was determined the call to police had originated from the home’s basement suite and police had knocked at the wrong door.

Shortly after the incident, Chu handed the investigation over to Delta police, who completed their investigation on Oct. 20.

Cessford’s written decision, released by Wu at a news conference Wednesday morning, concludes the two officers acted “in good faith”, had reasonable grounds to believe Wu was the suspect they were looking for and “used reasonable force” to arrest Wu.

Cessford’s summary of the incident, also released Wednesday, notes Wu claimed the officers assault on him was unprovoked — that they pulled him out of his house as he peered through the door and beat him.

However the officers, Nicholas Florkow and Bryan London, told Delta investigators Wu refused to open the door and that Wu shoved Florkow with both hands and grabbed him by the shoulders in an attempt to take him down.

It was only then, the officers claimed, that London grabbed Wu and forced him to the ground — injuring Wu as his face hit the concrete sidewalk.

The officers claimed Wu then continued to resist arrest, requiring Florkow to strike Wu several times on the back.

Cessford notes Wu’s response was understandable — “he was protecting his family, home and property” — but that he nonetheless was resisting arrest and the officers’ response was appropriate.

“(The officers say) I resisted arrest and failed to co-operate,” Wu said Wednesday. “This is absolutely a distortion of the facts. The police version is completely false. Please tell me: Where is justice?”

Wu read from a prepared statement in Chinese at the news conference. A written English translation was provided later to reporters.

Gabriel Yiu, spokesman for a Chinese community group supporting Wu, said some of Wu’s injuries, like a fractured nose, aren’t consistent with hitting a sidewalk and noted Chu apologized to Wu and said publicly he didn’t resist arrest.

“What the police said simply doesn’t make sense,” said Yiu. “We have completely lost faith in the police-investigating-police system.”

Wu’s lawyer Cameron Ward said “the decision was ridiculous and the whole investigative process, lasting more than nine months, was a farce... It indicates clearly why police should not be investigating other police officers.”

Ward said the investigation report shows that while his client was interviewed by police for more than an hour and a half the day after the beating and for another hour and a half at a later date, Delta police didn’t get around to interviewing the two officers involved until May 12, nearly four months later.

According to Ward, the interviews with Florkow and London, held in the presence of Vancouver Police Union president Tom Stamatakis, lasted just 51 and 37 minutes respectively.

Wu’s encounter with police left him bloodied and with an eye swollen shut.

A lawsuit Wu filed against Florkow and London alleges he has been unable to resume work at his flooring job due to blurry vision and an aching body, and that a doctor has advised his wife, Nan Man Chi, she should stay home from her restaurant job because of emotional distress.

Wu’s allegations have not been proven in court.

Delta’s investigation into the incident was originally due in early July.

The Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner granted the department a two-month extension until Sept. 18 and then another extension to Oct. 23.

Ward has previously criticized the delays in the case, calling them “ridiculous and unacceptable”.

Wu can ask the Commissioner to review Delta’s decision.

On Wednesday, his supporters said he hasn’t yet decided how to proceed.

Vancouver police spokeswoman Const. Jana McGuinness said the department would not be commenting on the case until after Delta officially releases their decision this afternoon.

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