VPU urges appeal of 'abuse of authority' by Police Complaints Commissioner



    VANCOUVER, Feb. 10 /CNW/ - After carefully reviewing Police Complaints
Commissioner Dirk Ryneveld's latest "Notice of Public Hearing" and his reasons
for ordering it, Vancouver Police Union President Tom Stamatakis will urge a
judicial review of what will likely be the last major decision by the outgoing
commissioner.
    With just days to go as Commissioner, Rynveld has called a public hearing
into a police pursuit that happened two and a half years ago and that has
already been investigated three times; once by Richmond Police, once by a
coroner's inquest and once under a Police Act investigation Rynveld himself
ordered in June, 2007.
    None of the previous investigations assigned any fault to the Vancouver
police officers involved nor did any of the recommendations of the coroner's
inquest suggest any fault or lack of attention to duty.
    "Enough is enough. I believe that ordering a fourth investigation is a
clear abuse of authority; it is outrageous, unprecedented and amounts to a
smearing of our members who were acting properly in the line of duty," says
Stamatakis.
    "In his last days in office, Mr. Rynveld seems to be desperately looking
for one last shot at publicity and one last chance to cause our members
unnecessary and unwarranted stress," says Stamatakis.
    "It also displays a complete lack of sensitivity for both his successor,
who assumes the commissioner's duties days from now, and for the public purse:
Mr.Rynveld's vendetta will cost hundreds of thousands of dollars and will
likely come to the same conclusion the three previous investigations did: that
our members acted properly," predicts the VPU President.
    On August 1, 2006, Vancouver police officers pursued a suspect in a
stolen car in Vancouver. That pursuit was quickly terminated because the
suspect was driving erratically. When the car entered Richmond, the Vancouver
police informed Richmond RCMP.
    "Our members informed the Richmond RCMP that a known drug user, likely
intoxicated, was driving a stolen vehicle and was heading into Richmond; this
was very consistent with the public's expectation that the police both protect
them and try to prevent crime."
    A pursuit was initiated in Richmond by the RCMP and ended when the
vehicle was involved in an accident which tragically killed an innocent victim
in another vehicle.
    Stamatakis has met with the four VPU members who have been named as
respondents, to assist them. This will include seeking a judicial review of
the Commissioners decision.





For further information:

For further information: Tom Stamatakis, (604) 312-7737

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VANCOUVER POLICE UNION

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