Lawyers for the family of Michael Vann Hubbard are taking steps to bring a civil suit against the City of Vancouver and the Vancouver Police Department.
Vann Hubbard, a 58-year-old homeless person with a history of mental illness, was shot dead by a police officer on Homer Street on March 20, 2009.
Last December, the Abbotsford Police Department, which conducted an investigation into the incident, announced that the two officers who confronted Hubbard acted appropriately. The officers, who were investigating a theft, reported that Hubbard moved toward them with a box cutter in his hand.
Lawyer Doug King of the Pivot Legal Society told the Straight that, by the end of September, his group will be serving the city with the writ of summons Pivot filed before the B.C. Supreme Court last year on behalf of Hubbard’s family. He added that a subsequent notice of civil claim will be submitted to the court.
"It would be asking for a recognition that his charter rights were violated," King said in a phone interview. He noted that his group isn’t pursuing a wrongful-death suit.
The claim will invoke Section 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which protects the right to life, liberty, and security of person. It will also cite Section 15, which states that everyone has the right to equal protection before and benefit of law. King said the police "have an obligation to be able to deal with mentally ill people on the street", like Hubbard.