Alleged VPD cop beating victim
calls Delta investigation ‘farce,’
‘distortion’ of facts

John Colebourn and Jennifer Saltman, Vancouver Province, Nov. 3, 2010

In the early hours of Jan. 21, Yao Wei Wu, 44,
was woken up, dragged out of his house on Lanark Street
and beaten by two police officers in plain clothes.
Photos: Handouts.


Delta police Chief Jim Cessford’s investigation into the assault of a man by Vancouver police was a “farce,” a lawyer for the victim said Wednesday.

Cameron Ward said his client Yao Wei Wu did nothing wrong and the findings by the Delta chief are shocking.

“This investigation was a farce,” he said. “It provides yet another example why police should not be investigating other police. It took Delta investigators more than nine months to investigate a brief incident in which the identities of those involved were immediately known.”

Ward said investigators refused to believe his client about the series of events on Jan. 21, 2010.

“In the end, the investigators chose to disbelieve Mr. Wu’s account of what happened to him, though he had no reason to lie. The investigators accepted the story of the two VPD members at face value, even though it is patently ridiculous and incredible.

“The police-complaints process in British Columbia does a disservice to law-abiding citizens like Mr. Wu.”

Wu, at a press conference held by a group called “Concerned Citizens,” called the investigation a miscarriage of justice. In a written statement, Wu said he plans to take legal action and would only address certain parts of the investigation.

“My family and I feel extremely disappointed and angry,” he said.

“I was beaten by the police for no reason at the door of my home in the morning of Jan. 21 this year. The matter was investigated for over nine months and the investigation report says that the police had reason to beat me, that I was beaten by the police because I resisted arrest and failed to co-operate, and that I fell and injured my eye.”

“This is absolutely a distortion of the facts. The police version is completely false.”

Delta police will hold a press conference Wednesday afternoon to announce the results of the investigation into the alleged assault.

In the early hours of Jan. 21, Wu was allegedly dragged out of his house on Lanark Street and beaten by two police officers in plain clothes.

Wu suffered fractures to his face and injuries to his legs and back. His eyes were swollen shut.

Vancouver police initially said Wu resisted arrest, but Chief Jim Chu subsequently apologized, saying the officers had been called to a domestic-violence incident but had the wrong address.

Chu asked the Delta police to investigate the matter.

The investigation was due to be completed in July, but the Office of the Police Complaints Commissioner granted the department an extension until Sept. 18 and then another until Oct. 23.

Investigators finished their report into the incident on Oct. 20 and forwarded it to Chief Jim Cessford. Cessford had until Wednesday to decide what, if any, disciplinary action should be taken.

On Feb. 1, Delta police began the investigation into the allegations of brutality at Wu’s home. Police had arrived at the home in response to a 911 domestic violence call.

After review, Cessford concluded the allegations of abuse of authority were “unsubstantiated.”

The investigation determined the call came in from the cellphone of a woman complaining she was being assaulted by her husband who was drunk. During the 911 call the woman said when her husband drinks he hits her.

On arrival, the officers determined the address did not exist. The complainant then corrected the address to which the officers responded.

When they arrived they noticed a light on the second floor. The officers were in plain clothes.

There had been no mention of a separate suite.

According to the report, “Mr. Wu reacted to the officers by aggressively trying to protect his home.

“While the officers believed that they were faced with the domestic violence suspect or, at least an assaultive person, Mr. Wu was taken into custody and handcuffed.

“In all likelihood these factors contributed to a perfect storm of events that led to the unfortunate injury of Mr. Wu.”

Eventually, the report notes, the officers determined Wu was not the suspect. “Once the police officers determined that Mr. Wu was not the suspect in the domestic violence incident, officers acknowledged the mistake, medical attention was requested and the handcuffs were removed.”

In his conclusion Cessford notes: “I have determined that the evidence referenced in the final investigation report does not substantiate the allegations of abuse of authority against the two Vancouver police officers.”

Further, Cessford notes, “The officers were acting in the course of their duties and in good faith.

• They had reasonable grounds to believe that an assault had occurred and may still be occurring.

• They had reasonable grounds to believe that Mr. Wu was the suspect in the assault or at least an assaultive subject and;

• The force used was reasonable under the circumstances to control Mr. Wu.”

Wu plans to file a civil suit. Following the incident he said he had blurred vision and a black eye from the altercation.

He is also suing the Delta Police Department because, he said, investigators breached their duty and conducted a negligent investigation.

The lawsuit states Delta police failed to gather physical evidence for tests, failed to interview material witnesses and failed to prepare a report to Crown counsel in a timely way, or at all, and failed to recommend charges be laid against constables Nicholas Florkow and Bryan London.