A Vancouver man who claims police erased his cellphone footage of an officer shooting a man on a downtown street will likely find out today if the alleged video can be recovered.
Adam Smolcic, 25, took his phone to data recovery experts Sherlock Forensics yesterday, and said he’s confident they can retrieve his footage.
“I saw pretty much everything,” Smolcic said of the shooting of 58-year-old Michael Vann Hubbard, who police said was a suspect in the break-in of a van nearby.
“(The officers) asked the gentleman to search his (bag), at which time he slowly backed away shaking, as if he had Parkinson’s (disease). He reached into his bag and slowly pulled out an X-Acto knife.”
Smolcic said he recorded as the officers ordered Hubbard to drop the weapon and then shot him.
Shortly later, Smolcic said another officer asked to see his cellphone. When Smolcic got it back, he said the video was gone.
David Eby, a Vancouver lawyer and acting executive director of the B.C. Civil Liberties Association, said while he “isn’t jumping to any conclusions,” he’s met with Smolcic to talk to him about his legal rights.
“Even if this allegation proves not to be verifiable, the public loses confidence in the police force,” Eby said. “That’s why it would benefit the VPD to be able to turn this over immediately to a civilian team.”
As for Smolcic, he said he’s apprehensive about testifying against the police.
“If there was a civilian panel I’d definitely provide testimony to that, but I don’t know about the police,” he said. “It’s risky business.”