Judge sets deadline in trial of transit cops 0
The Scott Road SkyTrain Station. (CARMINE MARINELLI / 24 HOURS)
A provincial court judge has given the Crown until Thursday to specify why two Transit Police officers, both currently facing one assault count each, were charged with fabricating evidence in July.
Transit Police Const. Bruce Shipley and Const. Alfred Wong are both charged with fabricating evidence and misleading investigators after a man’s arrest in front of the Granville SkyTrain Station last year.
In addition, they each face a count of breach of trust.
Vancouver police, who investigated the case, said the officers initially approached a man in distress on Feb. 9, 2012. The alleged victim, however, was pepper-sprayed as he walked away from the officers.
The Crown’s allegations are the officers misled other investigators by claiming the victim obstructed justice, resisted arrest and physically assaulted police between Feb. 9 and March 11, 2012, according to the judge.
Both officers pleaded not guilty to all counts Monday morning, when their trial was expected to begin. Defence lawyers argued evidence can’t yet be prepared for the case as they’re still unsure of what exactly the officers fabricated.
Defence lawyer Kevin Woodall told the court, in the case of an allegation that photographs were fabricated, the Crown hasn’t provided those photographs.
“It would be very simple to say, ‘These were the photographs’ … I believe these would be photographs of the accused’s injuries, but I’m not sure,” Woodall said.
The officers also made numerous statements and interacted with other Transit Police officers multiple times prior to being charged, and the defence’s viewpoint is that they don’t know what statements to look at, or who the statements were made to.
Crown lawyer Lionel Yip told the court he would be providing a written report to specify the charges when the trial resumes Thursday.
On Monday, he said the case “comes down to differences in police reports from February” and statements made a month later.
Yip added the defence is requesting is seeking more information than “ordinarily” provided at trial opening.