Vancouver police chief Jim Chu was “disturbed” to see new video of Paul Boyd’s 2007 police-involved death and says he embraces a new review of the incident.
Chu spoke to the media for the first time Thursday since new video of the incident – in which Const. Lee Chipperfield was cleared of wrong doing – surfaced, showing an injured Boyd crawling on his hands and knees before being fatally shot.
“I was very disturbed to see the video,” said Chu. “I think I share the same reaction that many other police officers experienced when they saw that video. It’s very troubling to see a loss of life occur.”
Chu stood by the multiple investigations done to date into the incident that found there was insufficient evidence to lay criminal charges against Chipperfield.
While investigators, crown prosecutors, and the police complaints commissioner didn’t have the benefit of the new video, Chu said the reports were thorough and the department has compiled all of the public documents onto a new “Events in the Death of Paul Boyd” section of the VPD website.
The provincial government has re-opened the investigation into the shooting since the video evidence came to light and the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team has been put in charge of reviewing the case.
Chu vowed to back ASIRT’s findings, whatever the outcome.
“If the status of the case changes as a result of the current review, I promise the family today that our response will be appropriate and made without delay,” he said.
Chipperfield is no longer assigned to front-line police duty and is currently working in the forensic identification unit, according to the chief.
Boyd’s father, David, has said the video is a clear indication that his son – who suffered with bi-polar disorder – was not a threat to police when the fatal shot was delivered but isn’t holding his breath the new investigation will reach a different outcome.
Boyd had assaulted an officer with a bike chain and had already been shot six times by police before the fatal shot.
Chipperfield testified that he perceived Boyd to be a threat, but contradicted witness accounts that Boyd had been crawling on the ground.
Chu said he hopes the new investigation is properly concluded “as soon as possible”.