GlobalTV's Brian Coxford reports on no accountability at City Hall
CityCaucus.com welcomes 24 Hours columnist Leo Knight of the Prime Time Crime column.
The internal Vancouver Police Department report on the Game 7 riot is striking for a number of things - not the least of which is the thoroughness and the apparent transparency given the usual tight-lipped response from police agencies when their actions are questioned. Think of the Toronto Police Service in the wake of the G8/G20 events of 2010.
While the report states in an unequivocal manner, “There was no political or bureaucratic interference in VPD operations and deployment decisions,” it is also apparent the police felt pressure to pull off a big party hatched by the big brains at city hall.
The Live Site components were planned without involving the police until after the fact; the included timeline is proof of this.
On May 10: “City of Vancouver begins discussions with the Province regarding having a Live Site at Robson Square via email. The VPD was not included on this email chain at this point.”
On May 11: “City of Vancouver management states that they would like to have a Live Site at Robson Square despite the VPD not being likely to support the idea. City of Vancouver managers state that if the province provided security (read funding) it would not be an issue. EOPS (Emergency Operations & Planning Section) was copied on this email chain.”
There are other indicators that the city – in other words, the mayor’s office – was moving forward with the planning for this event over the objections of the police.
On May 26, “The VPD expresses concern with the crowd at the CBC Live Site. It is agreed that the VPD is to work with the Special Events Office (a department at city hall) on the logistical issues that arose at the CBC Live Site.”
Translation: Do what you’re told.
There is much more of this theme where the police raise an objection or ask for something and something else is “agreed” to in the meeting. Of particular note is the entry of May 30: “VPD EOPS notified through email from a City of Vancouver manager that bag checks to enter the Live site are not to be thorough.”
What? No bureaucratic interference?