Saturday, January 23, 2010

Vancouver police contradict their story of beaten man resisting arrest

The National Post is carrying a story about Yaowei Wu, a 44-year-old man whose face was left swollen and battered after he was arrested by Vancouver police in a case of mistaken identity.

Police were called to a Vancouver house at 2 a.m. by a woman who called 911 and reported that her husband had hit her and that she was concerned for her baby’s safety. But the police were unaware there were two suites in the dwelling and the complaint had come from Mr. Wu’s tenant, who lives in a separate suite.

The police, apparently, administered a severe unprovoked beating to the innocent Mr. Wu, who received bruises to his head, waist and knees and fractured bones around his left eye. I saw him on television last night and one of his eyes was swollen shut and other bruising was visible. The poor fellow was a mess.

The real story here is not that the police beat up someone—that happens frequently enough in Canada and is sometimes actually deserved—but the fact that the Vancouver police lied on Thursday when they claimed Mr. Wu had “resisted by striking out at the police and trying to slam the door, but the officers persisted in the belief that there may be a woman and child inside who could be in danger.” That was an outrageous lie, and yesterday police said in a statement that Mr. Wu did not resist the police officers.

What is it with our politicians, public officials and spokespersons for our public institutions? Whenever they have a public relations issue, their very first inclination seems to be: tell a lie. Its a knee-jerk reaction. When in doubt, lie. Lie first, apologize later, but only if necessary.

There is also a growing tendency for ordinary citizens to lie to police and other authorities without regard to consequences of which generally there are few.

There was a time when the majority considered their word to be their bond. Regrettably, this is another old-fashioned tradition that has gone by the wayside.

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© 2009 Russell G. Campbell
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  1. What went through the minds of these police officers that they would administer so severe a beating to this man?

    Did they react instinctively or did they actually think about what they were about to do?

    The thought that one of the officers would instinctively take their clenched fist and drive it into someones face with such force that bones are broken is truly frightening.

    So is the thought that they would think about it first and then deliver the blow(s).

    In either case they failed to gather all of the information necessary before acting.

    They said he was resisting arrest but why would they be arresting him without investigating the situation first?

    Did the man,an immigrant,display fear when he saw the uniformed officers at his door?
    Was that all it took for the police to assume the role of judge and jury,determine that he was guilty and then administer a severe beating as his punishment?

    Should I be afraid if a police officer shows up at my door too?
    This looks very bad not only for the Vancouver Police but for police everywhere.

  2. Should I be afraid if a police officer shows up at my door too?

    You should be afraid of your wife, actually. Because all she has to do is call and claim that you hit her (or even threatened her) and the police will come and remove you from your home. If you refuse, they *will* arrest you...and that's probably when you'll receive the beating.

    That's it. No proof, no evidence, no explanation required. You are automatically guilty, and there is absolutely nothing you can do about it.