The conduct of two New West police officers who opened fire at a stolen car in a McDonald’s drive-thru will be the subject of a public inquiry, the province’s police complaint commissioner announced Thursday.
In an effort to stop an attempted getaway, constables Josh Hooker and Gerald Lau fired eight times at the stolen Acura last January, after the car attempted to ram officers. One of the vehicle’s five occupants suffered a gunshot wound to the shoulder as a result of the incident.
The two responsible officers now face the possibility of being disciplined under section 77 of the B.C. Police Act, which mandates punishment for police proven to have “intentionally or recklessly used unnecessary force” in the course of duty.
Though none of the car’s occupants filed an official complaint with police, New West officials nevertheless instigated a disciplinary investigation of the incident last April.
A review by Vancouver police in July found there was insufficient evidence that the two officers had abused their authority or neglected their duties.
But later in the summer the Office of the Police Complaints Commissioner sought the opinion of an independent use of force expert and determined that public hearing was needed to restore public confidence.
Retired judge William Stewart will adjudicate the hearing, the date of which has not been set.