The B.C. Ministry of Justice has announced that no formal criminal charges will be brought against a Vancouver police officer for the shooting death of 39-year-old Paul Boyd in 2007.
In a detailed report released Monday, the ministry's Criminal Justice Branch said that special prosecutor Mark Jetté concluded "that there is no substantial likelihood of conviction on a criminal charge."
The report went on to say that after reviewing all of the available evidence, including a previously unseen video of the shooting that surfaced in May 2012, there is not sufficient proof "beyond a reasonable doubt that the shooting of Mr. Boyd constitutes a culpable homicide within the meaning of the Criminal Code of Canada."
Paul Boyd, a mentally ill illustrator from Vancouver, was shot eight times — including once in the head— by Const. Lee Chipperfield on Aug. 13, 2007, near the intersection of Granville Street and 16th Avenue, after police responded to a report of an assault in the area.
According to accounts of the incident, Boyd was initially calm when officers arrived but became increasingly hostile, allegedly assaulting officers with a lock on a chain. Initial reports suggested that the fatal shot was fired after another officer on the scene had instructed Chipperfield to cease firing and disarmed Boyd.
B.C.'s Criminal Justice Branch previously reviewed the case twice, concluding both times that "there is insufficient evidence to establish that the officer's use of force was excessive in the circumstances."
But in May 2012, a video emerged that captured the final moments of Boyd's life, including the last three shots fired by Chipperfield. The new evidence prompted the Criminal Justice Branch to hand the case over to the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team for external review.
The Alberta investigators produced a report on their findings, which special prosecutor Jetté incorporated into his final conclusions.
Vancouver police Chief Jim Chu issued an official statement Monday afternoon, saying, "As I have from the beginning of this tragic incident, I would like to once again extend our sincere regrets and condolences to the Boyd family for their loss."
"No police officer ever comes to work with the intent of taking a life. This incident was difficult and sad for everyone involved."