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Vancouver Police Board settles over handcuffing of Indigenous man, granddaughter

Police board settles

An Indigenous man and his granddaughter have reached an agreement with the Vancouver Police Board to settle a human rights complaint stemming from their handcuffing after they tried to open a bank account in 2019.

A statement from the Heiltsuk Nation says the "unique and impactful" settlement involves an apology for discrimination, undisclosed damages to Maxwell Johnson's family and a $100,000 payment to fund the nation’s restorative justice department.

It says the police board will hold an apology ceremony at the Heiltsuk’s big house in Bella Bella on B.C.'s central coast next month, and develop a plan over two years to improve police training on anti-Indigenous racism, "cultural humility" and competency.

The statement says the police board will also hire an anti-Indigenous-racism officer to review complaints.

Johnson and his minor granddaughter were detained and handcuffed outside a Bank of Montreal branch in Vancouver after they tried to open an account for the girl in December 2019.

Police had been called because a bank employee suspected they were using a fake Indigenous status card as identification.

Johnson announced in May that they had reached an agreement with the bank that included an undisclosed payment from BMO, a private apology and a pledge to update the bank's policies on how status cards are handled.



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