Updated: November 8, 2009
The justice system failed Frank Paul, a Mi'kmaq man living in Vancouver who died in an alley after not being treated like a human being by the police.
Here are some of the conclusions contained in the Interim Report of The Davies Commission.
- Sgt. Sanderson wrongly refused Frank Paul access to the Jail's sobering cell, and Cst. Instant wrongly left him exposed to the elements, when he was incapable of caring for himself and where there was obvious risk to his health and safety. Sgt. Sanderson's explanations for refusing Frank Paul admission to the Jail are wholly unpersuasive and I reject them in their entirety.
The arresting officers were correct to conclude that Mr. Paul was severely intoxicated and unable to care for himself, and they were acting within existing departmental policy in referring him to the sobering cell of the Jail.
Frank Paul's condition at the Jail without question justified his admission to the sobering cell, and also justified an immediate assessment as to whether he also required medical assistance. He made no resistance and offered no objection to people caring for him, and he did not in any way cause or contribute to being left exposed to the elements in an alleyway on a winter's night. He was not left in circumstances similar to those in which he lived on the street-he was arrested under the cover from the rain afforded by an awning on the street front where he was found, but was left exposed to the wet and the rain in the alleyway.
It is not the case that the risks to his health and safety were the same where he was left as they were in his daily existence.
- The Aboriginal community quite understandably became concerned about the actions of the police officers involved, and became suspicious of the adequacy of the investigation. However, in my view, some of that community's more grave concerns can now be laid to rest. Specifically, Frank Paul did not die in the police wagon-the witness Patrick Lewis saw Frank Paul alive at least two hours after Cst. Instant left him in the laneway. I am also satisfied that neither ethnic discrimination nor overt hostility motivated Frank Paul's arrest, and that his Aboriginal status was not a factor in Sgt. Sanderson treating him with callous indifference.
FOR THIS MEMORIAL, We will meet outside the First United Church.. and walk down to the alley way where Frank was brought in & out of. You are invited to bring a bag or box of fruit, juices, sandwiches, warm clothing, sleeping bags etc to hand out...
CONTACT: (604)682-3260 EXTENSION: 7718
Added by Coast Salish Mama on August 12, 2009