Native leaders in British Columbia are calling for a public inquiry into the death of Frank Paul after the release of disturbing video footage showing his last hours alive.
Chief Edward John of the B.C. First Nations Summit said the jailhouse tape troubles him. It shows Paul being dragged by prison officials out of Vancouver jail to a police wagon.
He died of hypothermia hours later after police allegedly dumped him in an alley drunk and soaking wet. John said Paul was treated with an appalling lack of compassion.
“In this day and age, no matter who the person is, no matter what colour their skin, they should never be brought on to the street and…left to die.”
The head of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs said he too supports a public airing of the Paul affair. Chief Stewart Phillip said the case raises the ugly spectre of racism still prevalent in too many Canadian police forces.
“Various policing agencies across the country have been taken to task for their very brutal treatment of First Nations people,” he said.
He said the Paul case is reminiscent of others in Saskatchewan, where police drove and dumped native men on the outskirts of town in freezing temperatures.
“There’s no place for that attitude in this country and it’s got to be stopped. And the only way…is to bring public attention to bear.”
Source: Vancouver Province