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From: Chu, Jim 

To: All VPD Civilian Staff - DL; All VPD Sworn Staff - DL 

Sent: Sat Mar 28 12:23:19 2009

Subject: Shooting Incident 



To All VPD Staff: 



The recent shooting death of Mr. Vann Hubbard is tragic.  We have expressed our condolences to his family. 

At the same time, we must recognize the toll this exacts on the VPD officers involved in this incident.  We have extended our support and are providing them with every assistance. To a lesser extent, this also affects all of us who are subjected to the opinions of armchair quarterbacks who presume to know how a situation will unfold in advance, and never think about how the wrong decision could mean death or serious injury for a police officer or bystanders.  

As you know, it is our practice to limit our comments on investigations that are current.  And in this case we actually have fewer options because of pending legislation that will require police involved deaths to be investigated by an external agency.  We respect the intent of this pending legislation and so asked the Abbotsford PD to take control of this investigation.  Further, it would not be appropriate for me to prejudge the findings of the external investigation by commenting on my view of the evidence I am familiar with.  However, I do believe it is appropriate to advise you of that evidence which is incontrovertible, as it was captured by good quality video.



The video shows our members approaching Mr. Vann Hubbard, who was in the area of a theft from auto shortly after it occurred, and was in possession of a black backpack similar to the one stolen.  The interaction for approximately 1 minute is uneventful.  Suddenly Mr. Vann Hubbard produces what we know now to be a utility knife with the multi-section blade fully extended and the officers immediately back away and draw their pistols.  For the next 1 minute and 40 seconds, Mr. Vann Hubbard is confronted at gunpoint by the officers, but repeatedly advanced on them and they repeatedly backed away.  During this minute and 40 seconds, the officers are also waving at bystanders to warn them they are in harms way.  Finally, before cover arrived, Mr. Vann Hubbard advanced more quickly toward one officer and she fired a single shot, regrettably killing Mr. Vann Hubbard.  



I have spoken to many members over the past few days and I know many of you feel demoralized and frustrated by the way some in the media have characterized this incident.  The media have provided a platform for people like the self-described marijuana activist who says his cell phone video was deleted by a Vancouver police officer.  We have urged this witness to come forward and speak with the investigators and would welcome his testimony in any inquiry or inquest.  The videos we have seen do not reveal his presence and without his cooperation it has been very difficult to verify his claims.  If the video does exist, we would welcome it being produced to show a fourth angle of what we’ve already seen from the other three videos that have been retrieved as evidence.  



It is unfortunate that there are those who are willing to mislead the public to exploit an opportunity to advance their own agendas. This must also be adding tremendously to the pain and confusion that is obviously being felt by the family of Mr. Vann Hubbard.



I share your frustration but encourage your patience and tolerance. I know our community deeply appreciates every one of you and the extraordinary things you do on a daily basis to make Vancouver a better and safer place to live.



Chief Constable Jim Chu 

Vancouver Police Department 

2120 Cambie Street 

Vancouver, B.C. 

V5Z 4N6 

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