Police Complaint Commissioner rejects one-day suspension for Vancouver officer
British Columbia’s Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner (OPCC) has rejected the proposed one-day suspension of a Vancouver police officer who was captured on video pushing a disabled woman to the ground in June 2010.
During an informal prehearing conference on August 10, Cst. Taylor Robinson and the Vancouver Police Department agreed to the proposed discipline of a one-day suspension and training in available force options.
Commissioner Stan Lowe stated in a letter to Robinson and Sandy Davidsen, who filed the complaint against the officer, that the proposed discipline “does not reflect or adequately address the seriousness of Constable Robinson’s misconduct.”
A surveillance video of the June 2010 incident showed Davidsen being pushed by Robinson as she walked by him and two other police officers on a busy Downtown Eastside sidewalk. Davidsen suffers from cerebral palsy and multiple sclerosis.
Davidsen’s lawyer, Scott Bernstein, called the decision "a good step."
"Definitely Sandy isn’t happy with the kind of slap on the wrist discipline that was metted out in the first half, so we’re really happy that they’re taking another look at it," he told the Straight by phone.
Robinson will now face a formal disciplinary hearing on October 5.
Bernstein has requested that a retired judge, rather than a police officer, be appointed to review the case and make recommendations.
“One of our main complaints with the police over the years at Pivot has been this idea that police are well-positioned to discipline their own members, so this is something that we’ve fought against, and our bottom-line position is that there’s inherently a conflict of interest between the police doing this,” he said.