Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Nov. 17/09 UPDATE from BCCLA

This is a development that adds information to the Northern Insights article Kinder, gentler mold.
The Vancouver Police Department has responded to BCCLA demands that it refrain from using their newly acquired LRAD sonic gun as a weapon against protesters by disabling the device’s weapons feature, according to a media release issued today.
“We’re glad to see that the VPD has recognized that purchasing a military grade weapon without public consultation or policy does not inspire confidence in their intentions in the lead up to the Olympics,” said David Eby, Executive Director of the BCCLA. “They’ve made the right call by taking this use-of-force option off the shelf.”
The BCCLA uncovered the secret purchase of the LRAD in a meeting with senior VPD officials, and the VPD thanked the BCCLA in a media conference for raising the issue publicly. Until today, despite assurances that they would not use the weapon capability, the VPD did not commit to disabling that function or take the option to use the LRAD as a weapon completely off the table.
“This was an appropriate response although there will surely be some difficult questions for the Chief at tomorrow’s Police Board meeting about why the weapon was purchased and introduced without letting the Police Board know about it, and without having guiding policy in place,” said Eby
The BCCLA thanks the VPD for correcting this oversight so promptly, and urges the Police Board to require all new weapon acquisitions to pass through formal Police Board oversight to avoid such a situation from arising in the future.
David Eby, Executive Director, 778-865-7997
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