New video shows Paul Boyd crawling before being shot dead by Vancouver police

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      The B.C. Civil Liberties Association has demanded to know why the Vancouver Police Department did not obtain shocking video footage of a man crawling on Granville Street before he was shot by police in August 2007.

      Last night, CBC TV News broadcast footage of Paul Boyd, a mentally ill animator, shortly before police fired final bullet near Granville and West 16th Avenue. Boyd was behind a vehicle and not visible when he was killed.

      “How is it that the VPD investigators did not canvass these witnesses for what they saw?” BCCLA president Robert Holmes said in a statement. “The video shows the photographer was in close proximity to the shooting. The failure of the VPD to control the scene and canvass witnesses for evidence is very troubling. The Independent Investigation Office will be relying on police departments to contain scenes and canvass for witnesses until the independent investigation can begin. If they can’t perform even that limited role, we’re in real trouble.”

      The video was taken from a distance by a Winnipeg man, Andreas Bergen, who was visiting Vancouver at the time. He turned the images over to CBC.


      Paul Boyd crawls on the street before the final VPD bullet is fired.

      The BCCLA wants the Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner to reopen its review. This comes more than two months after the association condemned the earlier review by Police Complaint Commissioner Stan Lowe, who upheld Chief Jim Chu's ruling that the use of force was "appropriate". (Chu became chief the same month that Boyd was shot.)

      Crown counsel did not lay any charges in connection with the incident.

      In a statement issued on November 9, 2009, the criminal justice branch declared that an "exhaustive review, involving senior prosecutors...has resulted in the conclusion that there is insufficient evidence to establish that the officer's use of force was excessive in the circumstances".

      Moments before his death, Boyd is seen in the video crawling across Granville Street with several officers in the vicinity.

      According to the criminal justice branch, Boyd suffered from bipolar disorder that caused paranoia and delusions. When free of his symptoms, he was "a stable, intelligent and thoughtful person".

      "While on the ground, Mr. Boyd appeared cooperative and non-combative," the criminal justice stated in 2009. "The first plainclothes officer removed his handcuffs from his pouch and approached him. Mr. Boyd suddenly jumped up into a standing position and charged at him while swinging a bicycle chain."

      He apparently struck the officer's head, causing him to fall backward into the street. The video shows an officer removing the chain while Boyd is on his hands and knees.

      The criminal justice branch also stated in 2009 that Boyd was "struck and knocked down or partly knocked down by seven shots", but "continued to get up and advance or attempt to get up and advance on the officer after each shot".

      "According to the officer Mr. Boyd was on his feet and practically vertical when the last shot was fired," the statement declared.

      There were 55 witnesses in the area at the time who observed the interactions between Boyd and police, according to the criminal justice branch.

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      May 29, 2012 at 9:25am

      Hey police , YOU NEED TO STOP ABUSING PEOPLE and KILLING THEM !! I know it's easier to shoot people with all your new gadgets and shit , but it is wrong . I feel your training causes you problems , maybe it;s because your so paranoid or scared , it's a tough job we know this . There are many many ways martially and verbally to deal with people in stress PLEASE learn them , your training seems to be lacking and your leadership is very ignorant and self serving you should be ashamed .


      May 29, 2012 at 10:48am

      If the cop in the video was able to walk behind Boyd, grab the chain, and walk away, what was stopping the cops from just pushing Boyd down and cuffing him? The cop grabbing the chain hardly looked frightened for his life or "inattentionally blind."

      And this whole scared/inattentionally blind thing sounds like a cop not cut out for the work. It sounds like a cop who isn't very good at his job. It's like saying, "Sorry, when the shit hits the fan I just totally shut down - I don't know what I'm doing so I just start shooting." Aren't they trained to be a little bit tougher and on top of things than that?

      Will Jackson

      May 29, 2012 at 11:12am

      It seems like far too many cops are underachieving white guys who want a job where they can throw their weight around and end up attacking the mentally ill, visible minorities, and women. Standards have to be raised and cops need to be jailed, fired, and otherwise punished for their various abuses of power.

      This case, however, proves that we have the power to police the police. With smart phones every time a cop is brandishing his weapon or ganging up on someone I hope a dozen iphones are aimed squarely at them.

      out at night

      May 29, 2012 at 11:33am

      You have the right
      NOT to be killed!
      Murder is a crime!
      unless it was done
      By a policeman (crack! crack! crack!)
      Or an aristocrat,
      Know your rights!

      The Clash, 1982

      Nothing has changed.
      On the other hand, The Future is Unwritten!


      May 29, 2012 at 1:15pm

      "inattentionally blind"

      i guess thats a fancy way of saying blinded by blood lust.

      Jason Wettstein

      May 29, 2012 at 5:06pm

      This is just one case of many where RCMP and Police have been suspected of crimes and murder.

      These are men with powers awarded to protect us and when this power is abused not only should the investigations be strict they should be doubly so with the punishment.

      This is certainly not the first time Canadian Police have gotten away with murder and its certainly not going to be the last.

      Shame on Canadian Government for allowing this abuse to continue.

      Shame on Canada for allowing the Government to ignore the ongoing crimes by its police.

      D S

      May 30, 2012 at 12:20am

      Having watched the video I have come to the conclusion it was a righteous kill by the constable. Mr. Boyd belonged in Riverview hospital and not on the street. I blame the bleeding heart liberals for this tragic but justifiable death.

      out at night

      May 30, 2012 at 5:51am

      @ DS
      Oh you ignorant SOB! It is certainly NOT the "bleeding heart liberals" who reduce funding for mentally ill patients in hospitals. It is the stone-hearted conservatives who shut down facilities, reduce numbers of available beds and remove public safety-net support for the mentally ill and other marginalized citizens. You have it backwards you idiotic piece of shit.


      May 30, 2012 at 5:56am

      Gee, it almost seems like giving a small group of men all the weapons in the world and a monopoly on initiating "moral" violence is a bad idea. Almost.

      Pat Crowe

      May 30, 2012 at 1:47pm

      Wasn't it the N.D.P. who shut down Riverview?
      Whoever it was it was a social disaster of epic proportions. We pay one way or another for drug addicted mentally ill on the streets.
      I prefer the taxpayer funded Riverview option to where we are at now.
      The bleeding hearts love re-inventing the wheel. What say you now large brained re-integrate to society free thinkers?!