Woman pushed to ground by officer gets rights hearing
The Human Rights Tribunal has tossed out an application that could have derailed a discrimination complaint lodged against a Vancouver police officer.
The tribunal has dismissed the claim by Const. Taylor Robinson, who argued the complaint against him was unlikely to succeed.
The ruling means a full hearing will be held into the complaint by Sandy Davidsen, a small woman who suffers from cerebral palsy and multiple sclerosis.
Davidsen filed her complaint after video showed her being pushed to the ground by a police officer as she tried to walk between three constables who were patrolling the sidewalks of Vancouver's Downtown Eastside.
Robinson has said he didn't know Davidsen was disabled and thought she was reaching for his gun.
"She really just wants her day in court," said Scott Bernstein, Davidsen's lawyer. "She wants justice to be done, and she wants this done in a public manner."
The Vancouver Police Department has declined to comment on the case.
Assault charges against Robinson were stayed and the officer wrote an apology — one Bernstein says was insincere.
He says the complaint focuses not just on Robinson, but on a system that led a rookie officer to think he could shove anyone — disabled or otherwise.
"I think there really needs to be some explanation about why that happens and what about the police culture allowed that to happen," Bernstein said.
With files from The Canadian Press