Are Improvements Needed to the Vancouver Police Department’s Disability Awareness Training?

 

For Immediate Release:

DOES VANCOUVER POLICE DEPARTMENT NEED TO IMPROVE THEIR DISABILITY AWARENESS TRAINING TO THEIR OFFICERS?

December 09, In light of the assault charge against Vancouver Police constable Taylor Robinson, after video footage shows him pushing physically disabled Sandy Davidsen to the ground this past June, the Cerebral Palsy Association of BC (CPABC) would like to invite the Vancouver Police Department (VPD) to make disability awareness training mandatory for all of its officers.

The CPABC acknowledges that the charge against Constable Robinson shows the VPD’s willingness to work toward correcting this situation.

However, there remains the troubling fact that the ‘apology’ tendered by Constable Robinson is lip service, as he qualifies it by explaining that he thought Ms. Davidsen was reaching for one of the officer’s guns.  The awkward gait sometimes presented by cerebral palsy can be mistaken for impairment due to substance abuse, but it’s clear from the video footage that Sandy Davidsen has a physical disability.  And that the two officers who accompanied Constable Robinson that day stood by and did nothing while she was down.  They were officers who, according to Ms. Davidsen, knew her, which makes their inaction that much colder. Does Vancouver want to be known as the city whose policemen bully its most vulnerable citizens?

This incident highlights the need for real and lasting change within the VPD, especially for those policing the Downtown Eastside.

The CPABC strongly urges that the VPD provide its officers the education necessary to prevent this type of thing happening again.  An ounce of prevention is truly worth a pound of cure; just ask Constable Robinson.

We trust that justice will be served, and that the dignity of both Sandy Davidsen and the Vancouver Police Department will be restored.

The Cerebral Palsy Association of British Columbia works to assist those living with CP to reach their maximum potential and realize their place as equals within a diverse society. We would like to see this be an opportunity for awareness and education for the Vancouver Police Department and that appropriate actions take place so that an incident like this will not happen in the future.

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Our Mission
* To raise awareness of Cerebral Palsy in the community;
* To assist those living with Cerebral Palsy to reach their maximum potential;
* To work to see those living with Cerebral Palsy realize their place as equals within a diverse society.

For more information:
CONTACT:  Craig Langston, CPABC President
Cell: 604-614-4423
Fax: 604-408-9489
Toll Free: 1-800-663-0004

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