Vancouver Police Board told to change handcuff rules after arrest of Indigenous man

Police told to change rules

The Vancouver Police Board will hear a report Thursday recommending the force change its handcuffing policy after the arrest of an Indigenous man and his 12-year-old granddaughter at a bank in 2019.

The police board says it launched a review of the department's protocols when Maxwell Johnson and his granddaughter were handcuffed after trying to open an account at the Bank of Montreal using their government-issued status cards.

The board report says it was later determined there was no criminal activity involved and it began revising its handcuff policy after the arrest and subsequent media attention.

The new policy recommends that handcuffs be used when reasonable, proportionate to the risk and necessary to fulfill a legitimate policing objective when the officer believes using cuffs is necessary.

Johnson filed a complaint with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal last year alleging the bank called 911 over an identification issue because they are Indigenous, while it accuses the police of racial profiling leading to their detention and the use of handcuffs.

The police department issued a statement after the rights case was launched saying the circumstances were "regrettable" and understandably traumatic for Johnson and his family.

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