Special prosecutor rules no charges to be laid in police shooting of Paul Boyd

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      No criminal charges will be laid against the constable responsible for one of the most shocking police shootings in Vancouver’s history, the provincial Criminal Justice Branch announced today.

      The shooting of Paul Boyd by Const. Lee Chipperfield took place near Granville Street and West 16th Avenue more than six years ago, on the evening of August 13, 2007.

      In a news release issued today (October 28), the Criminal Justice Branch said that special prosecutor Mark R. Jetté’s decision came after his appointment on June 24 of this year by assistant deputy attorney general Joyce DeWitt–Van Oosten to review a report prepared by the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team, which usually looks at cases of injury or death involving Alberta police.

      That report was ordered by then–B.C. attorney general Shirley Bond after new video evidence of the shooting surfaced in May 2012 that appeared to contradict evidence given at a December 2010 coroner’s inquest by Chipperfield.

      The B.C. Civil Liberties Association claimed that the new evidence clearly showed that Boyd, an animator who had bipolar disorder, was no threat to police as he had already been shot several times and was on his hands and knees when Chipperfield shot him in the head. Chipperfield fired a total of nine shots at Boyd within a period of 80 seconds; eight of the bullets found their target.

      (Chipperfield had testified at that inquest that he believed Boyd was still armed with a metal bike chain he had been swinging minutes earlier and standing almost upright when he fired the final shot; according to evidence and the video, another officer picked up the chain prior to the fatal bullet being fired.)

      Originally, in November 2009, the branch concluded that Chipperfield would not be charged as there was no substantial likelihood of conviction in the shooting case. The branch stated in a news release at that time: "An exhaustive review, involving senior prosecutors within the Criminal Justice Branch, has resulted in the conclusion that there is insufficient evidence to establish that the officer’s use of force was excessive in the circumstances."

      Previous to the branch’s 2009 decision, the police complaint commissioner ruled that the constable had been affected during the shooting by "inattentional blindness", which, along with conflicting eyewitness accounts, meant that there would be no internal disciplinary action taken.

      In the latest clearing of Chipperfield, Vancouver lawyer Jetté’s "clear statement" overview said: "After considering all of the available evidence as presented by the investigators, including new video evidence that surfaced in May 2012, the Special Prosecutor has concluded that there is no substantial likelihood of conviction on a criminal charge. In other words, it is his assessment that the evidence is not sufficient to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the shooting of Mr. Boyd constitutes a culpable homicide within the meaning of the Criminal Code of Canada."

      The shooting came one day before current Vancouver police Chief Jim Chu started his job as chief constable. This special prosecutor's review was seen as the first high-profile challenge for Minister of Justice and Attorney General Suzanne Anton, a former Crown prosecutor, since her June 7 appointment by Premier Christy Clark.



      yorak hunt

      Oct 28, 2013 at 9:02pm

      wow they give out the death penalty for swinging a chain


      Oct 28, 2013 at 10:03pm

      Government death squads displaying their full force of power with impunity.
      Fear your government.

      Now we know that we aren't truely 'free'.


      Oct 28, 2013 at 11:28pm

      The victim was disarmed, had already been shot several times, and was on his hands and knees. How could he possibly be a threat to the police officer? Even if he had been a threat to the police officer, the threat was from a chain. A bullet to the head is hardly the appropriate way to apprehend a suspect with a chain. Apparently police officers can shoot people in cold blood with legal impunity.

      Police State

      Oct 29, 2013 at 7:20am

      Welcome to the police state. This incident was particularly egregious but incidents of police "over-reaction" happen every day. It is incumbent on police to act with even more restraint than one might normally allow, given their position of power.


      Oct 29, 2013 at 10:32am

      They shot him in the head while he was crawling on the ground shot a few times already...How was he "still a threat" when all he had was a piece of chain to begin with?

      cops = gang

      Oct 29, 2013 at 1:43pm

      cops are the worst at there job of all the public serves .They are bullies and cowards , I have seen elderly people with no back up and weaponry dealing with community problems and violence with more skill than most any cop . It has to change , but it won't because they are a gang of thugs and the culture of this tribe is ignorance for power . There are many ways that do work and skills that are proven to deal with violance and it's root causes , but cops in general are poorly trained bullies ( I know it's a generalization , but generally true ) . This situation is a also a social reflection of the petroleum capitalists , we have many alternatives to oil , but there gang will not allow for change as well because power is money .


      Oct 29, 2013 at 4:54pm

      I guess the lesson here is when the police trying to handcuff you, don't swing a chain at them or you might get shot.


      Nov 1, 2013 at 2:19pm

      Until we make them change, this sort of thing will continue. I'm stilling trying to believe this happened in our country in one of our cities...but at least they gave that bully cop two days without pay for his smack down on that disabled women in the DES.