The Mayor of Vancouver apologizes for handcuffing the first black Supreme Court judge in British Columbia
VANCOUVER-Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart apologized and condemned systemic racism, which was described by the city’s police department as a case of misidentification.
Vancouver police said that after receiving multiple 911 calls from a man attacking a stranger in the area, police were dispatched to the seawall near English Bay at around 9:15 am on Friday.
The police said in a press statement: “It was reported that the suspect appeared to be walking normally, but then suddenly started kicking, punching and spitting at people.”
The police said that the police quickly found a person they believed was similar to the suspect’s description and “detained him briefly for investigation.” The detention included handcuffing the man, who was described by the police as “compliant” and claimed to have retired.
Although the police did not specify the person they were detained in the statement, Stewart’s statement identified him as Selwyn Romilly, The first black person to be appointed as a judge of the Supreme Court of British Columbia.
The police said they removed the handcuffs from the man “quickly” and “only allowed him to move on when it was clear that he was not a suspect and did nothing wrong.”
The police said they found the real suspect within a few minutes and arrested him. He added that a supervisor from the Vancouver Police Department had contacted the retired judge to apologize and explain the procedure for filing a complaint, if the man was willing to do so.
Vancouver CTV News has contacted Romilly to obtain more information about his experience, but has not received any response.
Stewart said in the statement: “I am shocked by the incorrect handcuffs and detention of retired Justice Selwyn Romilly, and have apologized to him.” This kind of incident is unacceptable and cannot continue. occur.
The mayor’s statement went on to say that no one should be unlawfully detained by the police, and emphasized that such incidents can be “very harmful”, especially for indigenous people and blacks and other people of color, who “have faced multiple obstacles and discrimination.” “
Stewart said: “As a person who continues to benefit from colonialism, I recognize my privileges and how they affect my life and navigation in the government and daily life system.” “I have contacted the chief (Adam) of the (VPD) ) Palmer and members of the Vancouver Police Department to inform them of my views and actions.”
Stewart said the board (with him as chairman) will review the incident “at the next available opportunity.”
Stewart concluded: “I want to say it again. All our institutions are based on colonialism and are therefore systematically racist.” “This includes the City of Vancouver and the Vancouver Police Department. We must continue to recognize this reality. And try our best to combat racism, especially in our government agencies.”