By Mike Archer. A video released this evening by Pastor Ward Draper of the 5 and 2 Ministries promises to cause the Abbotsford Police Department (APD) some real problems in resuscitating it’s battered image.
The video, first reported on the weekend by Abbotsford Today, was taken last Wednesday, April 16th, and shows Abbotsford citizen Roy Roberts being taken down in a hail of rubber bullets by APD officers while screaming “What did I do?”
Sources who know Roy say he was upset because someone stole his money.
The video, (see below and on Today homepage) also clearly demonstrates an APD officer calling Roberts, whose first name is Roy, by the name ‘John’, a tactic sometimes used to disorient people in confrontations with police. Why a police officer would deliberately try to disorient a man in crisis, who suffers from mental illness, while repeatedly shooting him, is a question some Abbotsford residents are finding hard to deal with tonight.
The APD have confirmed with Today Media that they have had more than 200 interactions with Roy Roberts (who is homeless and suffers from mental illness) in the last decade, and know him well.
Draper was on Global TV’s Unfiltered show tonight with DJ Larkin of the Pivot Legal Society and neither one could explain why, in a City facing a worldwide reputation for it’s mistreatment of its homeless citizens, the police would respond this way to someone they know as well as Roy Roberts.
A fully trained, qualified and certified Hostage/Crisis Negotiator told Today “I see one huge, glaring error in this incident. As a negotiator, our role is to calm, build rapport and gain compliance. None of this is possible if the individual suspect is not being called by his usual name. How can APD expect Roy to listen and comply if they are calling him “John”. How many interactions have they had with him? It is no wonder that Roy was upset and non compliant. This is even more so with a person who suffers from mental illness.
These revelations come just months after a BC Supreme Court judge described the APD as ‘The Land Time Forgot’ for its mistreatment of a paraplegic man in their custody, and after a number of admissions of guilt and payments to homeless Abbotsford men and women after it was found they had been pepper-sprayed, had their belongings taken from them or had them destroyed.
Mr. Roberts was also the victim of the City of Abbotsford this weekend. While he was in hospital after Wednesday’s traumatic events at the hands of the APD, the City moved in and took all of his belongings and took them to the dump. This despite assurances to 5 and 2 Ministries and the Abbotsford Chapter of the BC/Yukon Drug War Survivors (DWS) that his property would be stored for safekeeping.
The DWS had warned the City and officials from the APD that, what the DWS referred to as their campaign of harassment of Mr. Roberts in recent weeks was going to end badly. City, APD and mental health authorities had been visiting Mr. Roberts repeatedly every week for several weeks, attempting to make him move from his camp opposite the Abbotsford Community Services (ACS) building.
Mr. Roberts’ next court appearance is scheduled for Thursday morning. We will be updating as this story progresses.