Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism.
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); } //

B.C.’s police complaint watchdog is opening an investigation into a confrontation between officers and Trans Mountain pipeline protesters occupying the downtown Vancouver offices of an insurance giant backing the infrastructure expansion.

The Vancouver Police Department had started its own probe of how officers broke up the sit-in Friday at the AIG Insurance Company of Canada’s downtown office, which ended with four people being arrested for mischief and obstruction.

Andrea Spindler, British Columbia’s deputy police complaint commissioner, told The Globe and Mail that the VPD may continue with its review or another municipal department may take over the investigation, but a civilian analyst from the Office of the Police Complaints Commissioner will be actively involved.

Story continues below advertisement

“The Commissioner has already made the decision, based on the limited information that we have received, that there needs to be an investigation,” said Ms. Spindler, whose agency monitors police conduct, but not to the criminal standard of the Independent Investigations Office.

Under provincial law, OPCC investigations must be done within six months, but roughly a third of cases were granted time extensions last fiscal year, she said. During that same period, about 24 per cent of all misconduct allegations were substantiated, she said.

Ms. Spindler said she did not yet know how many officers might be subject to this review.

The protesters, led by a group of Indigenous youth called Braided Warriors, issued a statement Monday alleging their peaceful demonstration was broken up aggressively by the VPD. Their statement published the badge numbers of five officers they allege acted improperly.

“We were violently thrown to the ground, dragged across floors and down stairways, pulled by the hair and braid, thrown to a surface covered in glass, strangled in a chokehold, or dragged face down on concrete,” the statement alleged. “Our ceremonial items including drums, abalone shells, feathers, and red dresses to remember MMIW [Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women] were desecrated, thrown, stepped on, and broken.”

The statement also alleges some of those arrested were not given immediate medical attention for their injuries.

The group had also temporarily occupied the office tower complex Wednesday and Thursday as part of its campaign to get insurers to end their support for the expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline, which terminates in neighbouring Burnaby.

Story continues below advertisement

Vancouver police spokesperson Sergeant Steve Addison said protesters dispersed peacefully when asked the previous two days. But the demonstrators refused to negotiate when officers attempted to clear a path through the office tower’s barricaded front entrance on Friday, he said.

Extra officers were brought in, Sgt. Addison’s statement said, when several protesters “became physically and verbally confrontational with police.” He added that a video circulating on social media that shows one police officer grabbing the hair of a protester only shows part of Friday’s interactions.

The four people arrested were released on a promise to appear in court on May 19 and the VPD is forwarding a recommendation to Crown counsel that they be charged, Sgt. Addison stated.

“Vancouver Police prepare for and monitor hundreds of protests each year,” his statement said. “We strive to provide an environment conducive to lawful and peaceful protest, and public safety is always our top priority.”

We have a weekly Western Canada newsletter written by our B.C. and Alberta bureau chiefs, providing a comprehensive package of the news you need to know about the region and its place in the issues facing Canada. Sign up today.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow the author of this article:

Follow topics related to this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies