BCCLA calls for independent review in VPD shooting

The BCCLA is calling for a special prosecutor to review the decision not to lay criminal charges against the Vancouver Police Department officer involved in the Paul Boyd shooting. Boyd was shot eight times during the incident on Granville Street in August of 2007 and the inquest into his death concluded last week.

“Police officers may only use lethal force when someone presents a risk of grievous bodily harm or death to them or other people,” said David Eby, Executive Director of the BCCLA. “The scientific and physical reconstruction evidence presented at the inquest strongly supports the witnesses that say Boyd was shot the eighth and final time in the head, 23 seconds after he hit the ground, while he was in a crawling position.”

New evidence revealed at the inquest included a second-by-second reconstruction by the VPD of bullet timing based on audio captured in police radio and 911 calls. In a report not mentioned in the CJB summary of why they didn’t lay charges, the attending pathologist confirmed that the track of the final bullet, the only shot that was immediately fatal, went through Boyd’s face and into his heart. The bullet track showed that Boyd had been most likely on hands and knees, with his head up and looking at the shooting officer.

“This police officer had 23 full seconds to pause, see and consider what other witnesses said they saw: that Boyd was bleeding, disarmed, crawling and had already been shot seven times,” said Eby. “The inquest evidence revealed there is no question about which bullet was fatal, when it was shot, and what Boyd was doing at the time.”

The BCCLA is calling for a special prosecutor to review the file. Special prosecutors are lawyers who are independent of the Criminal Justice Branch and do not work with police on a regular basis. They are regularly appointed when government is in a conflict of interest on a file.

Click here to read the BCCLA’s letter to the CJB, and the detailed summary of the inquest evidence

Robert Holmes, President, 604-681-1310
David Eby, Executive Director, 604-630-9752