The handcuffs of the retired black judge reflect the false imprisonment of his brother 46 years ago
Vancouver Police Chief Public apology Selwyn Romilly, Justice of the Supreme Court of British Columbia, was arrested this week after his police detained and detained the first person in the province while looking for another half-year-old black. Black judge’s handcuffs.
This is not the first time that the department has had to make amendments for wrongly detaining black members of the British Columbia legal profession.
It’s not even the first time that VPD must apologize to Romilly.
About half a century ago, Selwyn Romilly’s brother Valmond won the verdict of three Vancouver police officers who were looking for black suspects who did not look like him. Drag him to a detention center and imprison him in a false manner.
Valmond Romilly, who later became a judge of the Provincial Court, told the police that he was a lawyer and they laughed at him. At the time he told the court that the whole incident made him feel “embarrassed, humiliated and frustrated.”
Newspaper reports of the trial indicated that although his testimony may reflect the fashion of the day, the central facts still apply to the situation that his brother faced 46 years later, when he was handcuffed by police officers who hunted suspects of the same color.
In 1975, Valmond Romilly told the judge: “White people with long hair and beards also look similar.”
“But they will not be arrested.”
“Doesn’t this look like you?”
The archives of the Vancouver Sun and the Provincial News detailed the story of Valmond Romilly’s arrest and subsequent defense.
This is a case promoted by the legendary columnist Jack Wasserman, and the story continues to repeat even then.
On the evening of October 12, 1974, Romilly left a restaurant and was walking on the Granville mall when two police officers approached him, looking for a man named Hughie Sanders ( Hughie Saunders), he was required to possess marijuana.
Saunders is five feet four inches tall, while Romilly is five feet eight inches tall.
Romilly testified that he told the officer: “Many whites cannot distinguish blacks, and you made a mistake.”
He told the officer his name and tried to walk away. When Romilly was unable to provide identification, he was placed in a police car and driven to the police headquarters.
When he arrived at the station, the police officer showed him a picture of Hughie Saunders and said, “Does this look like you?”
According to a report in the “Vancouver Sun”, Romily said that he smiled more at this time, and then handed back the photo.
He testified: “Everything I said is generally unbelievable and joyous in the room.”
Romily showed his business card and told the officer that he was a lawyer. He also suggested that they call his brother Selwyn, who was a provincial judge at the time.
The judge who heard the lawsuit was Judge EE Hinkson of the Supreme Court of British Columbia, and his son Christopher is the current chief judge of the court.
EE Hinkson discovered that when Valmond Romilly tried to leave and the third police officer blocked the door and said, “If you want to leave, you will have to pass me.”
When Romilly called Don Rosenbloom, the attorney, the officers finally let go.
Rosenbloom did not remember being the lifeblood of Valmond Romilly after contacting him this week. But he is a friend of the Romilly brothers. If the newspaper said it happened, he said it must have happened.
As it happens, Rosenbloom said that he spoke with Selwyn Romilly this week about his meeting with the police today.
Rosenbloom said: “This is really amazing.” Rosenbloom continues to have his own outstanding legal profession, perhaps most famously as a lawyer for the Polish government, investigating the case . The death of Robert Dziekanski In the hands of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in 2007.
It was this tragic experience that told him how dangerous it is when the authorities make a mistake.
He said: “Police’s misbehavior in this kind of thing may get out of control. Selwyn apparently remained calm, but I can understand the boy when he said he was humiliated.”
“In terms of my work experience 50 years ago, this is a very sad thing.”
This situation reminded him of another case in the 1970s-Rosenbloom represented Leon Bibb, a famous singer and civil rights activist, when the Vancouver police were looking for a suspected black burglary. Detain him.
In that case, the solution should always solve the problem.
“I think the suspect is also Black?”
After Bill Cosby opened at the Pacific National Fair, Leon Bibb moved to Vancouver in 1969. Born in Kentucky in 1922, he left to escape apartheid at the age of 19 and moved to New York, where he was known by the name of an actor and singer.
Bieber participated in the American civil rights movement very early.
He participated in a parade in Washington in 1963, where Martin Luther King Jr. gave a speech and moved from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama in 1965. Sing with Joan Baez and Harry Belafonte in the parade.
In 1971, on a Sunday afternoon near Kitsilano Beach, a Vancouver police officer stopped Bieber and asked him his name and address when he walked to the apartment. Bibb asked him why he wanted to know, and the police said he was looking for a robbery suspect.
“I think the suspect is also Black?” According to columnist Jack Wasserman, Bibb asked.
Bibb told the police officer that he would rather talk to a lawyer and then cross the road to a shop. The police then put him in a carriage and sent him to prison. Finally, when a senior military officer ordered him to return to the place where he first encountered him, he was released.
A lawsuit was subsequently filed.
“A classic study on the harm of racial stereotypes”
Bibb passed away in 2015 at the age of 93. Rosenbloom said the singer is often proud that this unusual transaction ended the court proceedings.
The lawyer gave Bibb a copy of his legal documents for his memoir, but he found a faded copy of Wasserman’s column while looking through the box this week.
Bibb is already a celebrity, he doesn’t want money. Instead, he asked whether Dr. John Hogarth, Chairman of the British Columbia Police Commission, could give a lecture on racism to recruits at the British Columbia Police Academy to resolve the dispute.
Wasserman wrote: “Hogarth took this idea a step further.”
He said: “The entire incident involving Bieber and the police provides a classic study of the dangers of racial stereotypes. He suggested that the evidence cited in the pretrial testimony will provide the basis for the manuscript.”
Bibb will play his own role, while the police can play other roles.
Wasserman wrote: “This episode will be filmed and become part of the academy’s training materials.”
The column was run on June 7, 1975. Nearly 46 years ago, the police handcuffed an 81-year-old judge who happened to share his skin color with a wanted criminal.
It is not certain whether any copies of this old training video are still nearby.
Obviously, they are still necessary.
For more stories about the experience of black Canadians-from anti-black racism to success stories in the black community-check out “Black Canadians”, the CBC Black Canadians project can be proud of. You can read more stories here.