By Þórólfur Björnsson
While the majority of police forces in the developed world professionally and efficiently fulfill their mandate and duty to serve and protect their citizenry, police departments in British Columbia, Canada (besides the RCMP) are a noticeable exception.
A combination of hiring practices that favor ethnicity and gender over skills, an overall emphasis on feelings and political correctness, as well a complete lack of independent oversight have created a situation where the very people the Vancouver, Victoria, and Saanich Police Departments are supposed to serve and protect often end up as victims of abusive and unduly violent officers.
The main emphasis of the recruiting strategy of BC Police Forces is "diversity", as in favoring female over male candidates, as well as alleged visible minorities (Caucasians have now become a minority in the metro Vancouver area, with well over 50% of the population further not speaking English as their first language) over white applicants. The result is that a female or non-white candidate whose skills and suitability may be otherwise lacking will be selected over a much more qualified individual not deemed to be part of a "visible minority". The consequence of this approach is a police force that is increasingly unqualified and lacking the psychological profile required of law enforcement professionals.
The hiring practices of the Vancouver, Victoria, and Saanich Police departments also promote a culture of political correctness, sensitivity and offense, where officers will unreasonably view an increasing number of situations as being abusive or a threat to their safety, leading them to simply disengage or unnecessarily use lethal force.
A lack of independent oversight - any complaint against a BC police force is investigated and adjudicated by a partisan body and the involved police force itself - also ensures that the vast majority of BC Police egregious abuses of force and power not only go unpunished, but sadly, unaddressed.
This perfect storm has led to unprecedented police misconduct in British Columbia among other Canadian provinces and even G20 countries. BC Police forces have been getting away with murder, as in the case of Myles Gray, actually beaten to death by 6 Vancouver Police Officers, or Naverone Woods, shot dead by a female officer who felt threatened by his mere breathing. Vancouver, Victoria and Saanich Police Departments routinely and frequently refuse to file reports, let alone investigate, crimes against white males, including law enforcement officers from other jurisdictions, simply because of an utter lack of ethics and the inability to exercise professional judgement.
When any matter of police abuse is brought to the Office of Police Complaint Commissioner of British Columbia (OPCC), an agency that completely lacks any independence and works in collusion with the police forces it is supposed to investigate, the government agency will, in over 99% of the cases, dismiss the complaint without any action. Or investigation.
The incompetence and lack of objectivity of the OPCC was best demonstrated on March 17, 2017, when Dave Quail, investigative analyst, summarily dismissed a complaint against Saanich Police as inadmissible, while referring to another police department, Vancouver Police. A glorious display of a truly thorough investigation where the investigator cannot even make the difference between two police departments not even located on the same continent (see letter below)
The people of British Columbia better fear their local police forces indeed. Many of BC Police Officers are not qualified to do their job, are not performing the duties expected of a professional police force, nor are they serving and protecting citizens. All with the blessing of the Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner that insures, as a matter of policy, that Police Officers in British Columbia consistently get away with murder. Literally.