UPDATED 22/04/14 12:32. According to Pastor Ward Draper, who has been talking about what he claims (and other witnesses confirm) to be an incriminating video taken on April 16 when Roy Roberts was gunned down with rubber bullets, the deal he made with Global News won’t allow him to share the video with local news media or the public until after Global News views it and decides what to do with it.
Draper didn’t say why he had negotiated an exclusive deal with the television network, nor why he didn’t just post it to his Facebook page where he spent hours yesterday talking about it.In addition to having the public and the local media wait for Global TV to go through the video and decide whether or not to air it, Draper showed the video to the Abbotsford Police Department (APD) early this morning allowing the APD time to prepare a communications response before the public has even had a chance to see the video.
Draper has told several people he intends to run for a seat on Abbotsford Council in November’s municipal election.
Abbotsford Today has been trying to get a copy of the video to share with the public since Sunday when we were made aware of it but were beaten to it by Pastor Draper who has since kept anyone but Global and the APD from seeing the video.
Abbotsford Today has asked the APD for a copy of the video but was told they will not be distributing it at this time. Draper has not indicated what he intends to do with the video if Global doesn’t decide to air it.
UPDATE: Did APD Use Excessive Force?
UPDATED 22/04/14 07:16 – By Mike Archer. Pastor Ward Draper of The 5 and 2 Ministries today posted an accusation against the Abbotsford Police Department (APD) in their treatment of Roy Roberts who was gunned down with rubber bullets last Wednesday.
Cover Photo: Roy Colin Roberts is a DWS member and grew up in Abbotsford . Photo by Bas Stevens
“At no point did Roy have a weapon in his hand while surrounded by the APD at 2:15pm Wednesday April 16th 2014. It was inside a backpack three to four feet away. They also were not calling him by his name they were calling him John,” says Draper.
He later added, “I received info about 30 minutes ago that a person working at the incident location was assisting Roy load his Bike. The individual saw weapon in his bag then apparently everything spiralled (sic) downwards from there.”
When challenged about his assertion on Facebook, Draper responded, “Video I have shows APD member opening the bag and removing knife from inside, then lies it on the ground.”
Draper has told Today he intends to release the video Tuesday.
According to witnesses who have seen the video, Mr Roberts, after being helped by a bystander with his bicycle, is apparently heard yelling “What did I do? What did I do?” as he is taken down by police with multiple shots of rubber bullets. It thenclearly shows the officer removing the knife from the backpack and dropping it on the ground.
Through a contact, Today spoke to a retired police officer who agreed to discuss the case on the condition of anonymity about the manner in which Roberts was shot. The officer told us that, when faced with a situation such as the one presented by Mr Roberts, especially when the individual is known to police, the use of rubber bullets is not standard procedure.
“There are a number of other procedures which are indicated,” he said. “The one which comes to mind in this circumstance would be to use two plain clothes officers, with a rope, to sneak up behind the man and trip him up, allowing for the officers to remove the knife and subdue the individual.”
If, as Draper is alleging, Roberts didn’t have a weapon in his hand, the whole approach of the APD comes into question as it is unclear why the officers were afraid of Roberts.
Draper says he is seeking legal advice and is trying to contact the APD before releasing the video. Today has been approached by one other individual claiming to have seen video of the incident which backs up Draper’s accusation, but that individual says they are too afraid to make the video public.
Roberts was taken down by police in a hail of rubber bullets Wednesday in what police described as an incident whereby they responded to reports of “a man yelling and brandishing a large knife.”
The APD also made an urgent appeal for anyone with videos coverage of them gunning Roberts down saying, “We would like to appeal to all witnesses to come forward. A number of witnesses were observed with smartphones in hand and the APD is requesting a copy of images and video of the incident to ensure that our investigation is complete and comprehensive.”
From April 19: [DWS founder Barry] Shantz said that the DWS has been very concerned about Roberts for weeks as the the City and the police have been harassing and bothering him several times a week to try to get him to move and give up his possessions.
“We pleaded with the City, and warned them, that if they kept harassing Roy, something bad was going to happen. It seems they didn’t heed our pleas,” said Shantz.
In December 2013, a BC Supreme Court Judge referred to the APD as “A Place Time Forgot” because of its treatment of a paraplegic man.
What Do You Think? Considering Roy Roberts mental illness and the high stress authorities have been putting him under against the advice of the Abbotsford Chapter of the BC/Yukon Drug War Survivors. Use the comments box below or send us an email at email@example.com
Note: Mr. Roberts makes his first court appearance Tuesday morning. Today will have reports from the courthouse and during the day on this developing story.