Inspector Mario Giardini, the officer in charge of the Vancouver Police Departments' professional standards division, issued the following statement today (January 4):
The role of a police officer carries with it many risks, some inherent some avoidable.
When an officer, during the course of his duty, is accused of actions that in retrospect may be deemed avoidable, it can in some cases lead to charges under the Criminal Code or the Police Act.
In the rare occasion when that happens, it is the clear policy of the Vancouver Police Department to share that information with the public in an immediate and forthright manner.
Consistent with that policy, I am here today to tell you about a VPD Sergeant who has been charged with assault with a weapon stemming from an incident on August 23, 2009.
About 2:15 that morning, officers responded to a 9-1-1 call of a “fight in progress” in the 2200 block of West Broadway. Sergeant Darcy Taylor, a 20-year veteran, was first on-scene and while he was dealing with the incident he called for “Code 3” (emergency) cover and other officers arrived shortly thereafter.
On September 21st, 2009, a complaint was made to the Office of the Police Complaints Commissioner by a man who alleged that Sergeant Taylor struck him in the chest with his baton, knocking him to the ground with no apparent injury.
As a result of the complaint, the VPD Professional Standards Section initiated its own investigation, which led them to believe there were reasonable and probable grounds that the criminal offence of “assault with a weapon” had been committed.
Regional Crown Counsel concurred and approved the charge, which was sworn today just hours ago.
The charge will be dealt with summarily.
The internal Police Act investigation continues and is independent of the criminal process.
As the matter is now before the courts and still being investigated internally, we would refrain from commenting further as we would not want to risk tainting or biasing the process.
Pending the outcome of the court proceedings and the Police Act investigation, Sergeant Taylor has been placed on non-operational duties.