Tuesday, August 31, 2010

VPD Assault 65 yr. old Woman Over Eight Cent Tomato

Years ago, a native guy told me, "People think the police are goody goody but they're not, you know." After living for years on the Downtown Eastside, I do know. I have seen enough to know that the police are abusive with Downtown Eastsiders. Here's a message we got from Audrey Laferriere, a Downtown Eastsider who ran in the last civic election and got a lot of votes for an independent:

"You might want to write up about what happened to me on Saturday at 5:00 p.m. But first phone Sunrise-Soya to confirm. I was beat up by the security guard for Sunrise and the VPD for alledgedly stealing a eight cent tomato. I might have just forgotten what happened if it wasn't for the fact that I am still in pain from the use of excessive force by the authorities. After the police harmed me, charged me for theft, then after they searched me they found the receipt for eight cents. I am an old woman (65) and I do not appreciate being treated like a rag doll being flung in a backroom against a mountain of produce boxes over a eight cent tomato. And the worse part was no one apologized after the incident."


Anonymous said...

glad to see you are still alive and kicking dtese. Seems to me that Audrey should seek out a competent lawyer - as no crime had been committed seems to me a strong case for assault, forcible confinement etc - the store can not base its defense on saying it was a mistake. Do you feel this was a random incident or somehow connected to Audrey’s political activism eg keeping the heat on DERA and raising questions about PHS? Well keep reporting things as they are in Canada’s most notorious ghetto - in contradistinction to all the propaganda and puff pieces (Theresienstadt was publicized for its rich cultural life!)

audrey jane laferriere said...

To the DTES engquirer. Thank you for posting what happened to me on Saturday. And you must keep up your blog. Could you not create a email so that others like me can tell you of their experiences. The only way to change those that are bullies is to shame them. Are you going to go to the DNC meeting tomorrow. You should and you should post on it. So far the DNC seems to enjoy banning independent activists from participating.

Audrey Jane Laferriere said...

Was Theresienstadt a nazi concentration camp for the jews with education and culture.

concerned-from-windsor,ON said...

I'm sure you all know the VPD on Main and Hastings have their own reality show on OLN. It's called 'The Beat'.


I wonder how many officers are living in mansions now.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you had a receipt for your tomatoe purchase as age is no excuse for anyone to steal, sorry.

Get well!

reliable sources said...

concerned-from-windsor, ON,

Thanks for the tip about the VPD having their own reality show on OLN.

It's an odd turn of events, since the VPD have a reputation for assaulting citizens who videotape them or take still photographs of them as they work. There have been a number of cases of assault in the last couple of years. The VPD was sued in Feb. of this year for seriously injuring a young woman who videotaped them with her cell camera as they arrested a man outside the No. 5 Orange Pub on Main St. She made the mistake of saying out loud that she intended to put the video on Youtube.

Rachel Davis said...

Yes, thank you, Reliable Sources, for putting this up in a post. Audrey tells me that someone from the Georgia Straight has contacted her about doing a story on this incident. She is still suffering from her bruises. She went to the cop shop to get them to take pictures of them and was refused.

To me, the most amazing part about her story was when they threw her up against the boxes in the hall because she was trying to get to the cashier that had served her in order for her to corroborate that fact that Audrey had just paid for her four separate items, one of which was an .08 cent tomato!
They could have figured it all out right there! But nooo............They had to detain her, handcuff her, question her, and go through her pockets looking for contraband....And that is when they find the receipt for the cash she paid for the bloody tomato.
An apology, at least, would seem to be called for at that point, and would be offered in any other part of the city, but that would not be policy in Stalag DownTown....

reliable sources said...

Audrey's chances of getting an apology from Chief Chu might improve if she were Chinese.

When a Chinese man by the name of Wu got beaten by the VPD, Chief Chu couldn't get over to his house quickly enough to apologize and pave the way for a settlement. Chu retracted the VPD's initial statement that the victim had resisted arrest (a stock defense by police accused of excessive force). And he apologized for the false arrest. Chu doesn't seem to have the same eagerness to apologize to other races, even when the evidence of police abuse is on tape.

I wonder if Chu's white wife has ever gotten an apology from him.

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry this has happened to you Audrey, I hope you are feeling better.
I agree with poster #1 is it possible that this behavior has any connection to your current activism, IYHO.