When Jamie Graham talks about “tough love” for the Downtown Eastside today (October 16), the former Vancouver police chief won’t be bothered by claims that he stonewalled an RCMP probe into police brutality in the neighbourhood.
The Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner has cleared Graham of allegations that he did not cooperate in the 2003 RCMP investigation.
“Our office reviewed the report and the file, and basically all we can say is that there is insufficient evidence that warranted the calling of a public hearing into the matter,” OPCC deputy commissioner Bruce Brown told the Straight.
Brown also said that the OPCC has informed Vancouver mayor Sam Sullivan and Pivot Legal Society, the group that initiated the complaint, about its decision.
In May 2007, Sullivan, acting in his capacity as chair of the Vancouver police board, summarily dismissed the Pivot complaint relating to Graham, stating, among other reasons, that the police chief was set to retire. The OPCC disagreed and directed Delta police chief Jim Cessford to look into
Following Graham’s retirement, Pivot withdrew the portion of its noncooperation complaint that concerned Vancouver police officers below the rank of police chief. This was done after the police department on November 5, 2007, under then–newly installed police chief Jim Chu, apologized to Downtown Eastside residents who alleged that they were abused.
Graham, who ended his tumultuous career as Vancouver’s top cop in August 2007, will be speaking in a forum dubbed Tough Love: The Right Treatment for the Downtown Eastside?. Hosted by the Fraser Institute, it will be held at the Metro Restaurant at 200 Burrard Street.
Pivot lawyer David Eby said he thinks that the idea of Graham talking about the problems facing the neighbourhood is “laughable”.
“The guy who resisted most of the things that have made a difference, however small, in this neighbourhood, like the safe-injection site, is now presuming to tell Vancouver how to solve the problems of the Downtown Eastside,” Eby told the Straight.