‘The VPD regrets
any inconvenience or trauma
this may have caused.’

After two of their boot boys
beat the shit out of an innocent man,
Vancouver police play down the injuries
and issue a weasel-word apology


Credit goes to the Chinese-language daily Ming Pao and to Katie Mercer of the Vancouver Province for their stories on the Vancouver police beating of Yao Wei Wu. Of the earliest media accounts, those were the only two that reported the severity of the beating and the victim’s account of the events. Other early media reports relied entirely on Vancouver police spin.

The first reports from Canadian Press, CTV and the Vancouver Sun followed the brief VPD account, claiming the incident was simply a mistaken arrest and acknowledging only minor injuries.

But according to the Province (which apparently relied on Wu’s statement to Ming Pao), two plain-clothes cops showed up unexpectedly at Wu’s door at 2 a.m., failed to identify themselves and suddenly beat Wu so badly he received “bruises to his head, waist and knees and fractured bones around his left eye.”

As Wu relates it, the circumstances were far worse than the VPD admits. Here’s another excerpt from the Province:

“The cops didn’t ask clearly — not even ID me or anything — before they started beating me,” Wu told through a translator to the [Ming Pao] newspaper.

“... I was beaten for quite a while before I was handcuffed. My [sic] felt pain to my head and body. When I touched my head and face with my hands ... I felt my hands were all wet ... they were full of blood.”

Well at least the police apologized — sort of: “The VPD regrets any inconvenience or trauma this may have caused...” The weasel words “may have” imply that maybe there wasn’t any inconvenience (!) or trauma.

The VPD promises an investigation by its Professional Standards department. But there’s no reason for confidence in any police internal investigation. Vancouver Police Professional Standards, in particular, has a history of conducting cover-ups. The VPD’s refusal to acknowledge the circumstances behind Wu’s beating and the seriousness of his injuries seem to set the tone for another biased self-investigation.

The VPD self-investigation will then get “oversight” from B.C.’s highly biased Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner. The “oversight” normally consists of a quick review that rubber-stamps the police internal investigation.

The “oversight” might even come from OPCC investigative analyst Rollie Woods. Woods used to head Vancouver Police Professional Standards, where he covered up for misconduct and illegal activities among his fellow officers. It’s possible that Woods is a former colleague, or even a crony, of the Vancouver police who beat up Wu.

Regardless of which OPCC employee handles this case, they’re almost all ex-cops. OPCC staff face no watchdog, no review, no appeal, no checks and balances, nor any other impediment to their biased, dishonest work.

If justice is done in Wu’s case, it will likely be due to news media that report above and beyond Vancouver police spin — that, and a lawsuit.

Jan. 22 update: The following day, probably in response to Ming Pao and the Province, the VPD retracted its claim that Wu resisted police.

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