Two Vancouver police officers who shot and killed an armed schizophrenic homeless man were justified in their use of deadly force, Abbotsford police concluded yesterday.
Michael Vann Hubbard, 58, was shot once as he approached two officers on Granville Street during a busy Friday night in Vancouver’s Downtown core.
He was waving an extended utility knife, yelling and swearing at the officers and telling them to shoot him.
Abbotsford police conducted the investigation because it involved Vancouver police officers.
More than 80 non-police witnesses saw the incident that was also captured on surveillance video.
Almost all witnesses offered versions of the incident that were consistent with Vancouver police.
Nina Purewal, a lawyer for Vann Hubbard’s family, read a short statement from his family. It stated that police should be held accountable for their actions.
The Pivot Legal Society said Vann Hubbard was no threat and that police used too much force.
They also alleged that the opinions of Chief Const. Jim Chu in an internal memo had tainted the Abbotsford police investigation. The memo concerned surveillance video of the incident and was leaked to a Vancouver newspaper.
Vann Hubbard’s family is launching a civil suit and has filed a complaint regarding the leaked memo.
Chu expressed his regrets to Vann Hubbard’s family but restated that his officer acted within the law and in defence of her own life and the safety of the public.
Abbotsford police also recommended charges of public mischief against Adam Smolcic, a Vancouver man who claimed to have recorded the incident on his cellphone only to have a police officer seize the phone and allegedly delete the footage.
Chu said — if Smolcic is found guilty of trying to dupe the public and discredit Vancouver police —he did not act alone.
He blasted the watchdog organizations who supported Smolcic and news organizations for repeating Smolcic’s allegations without skepticism or critical analysis.