Family of mentally ill man shot by Vancouver police sues city
Phuong Na Du was shot after police heard reports of a distraught man on a bus carrying a two-by-four
The family of a Vancouver man who died in a fatal encounter with police in 2014 has launched a civil suit against the City of Vancouver and the police officer involved in the shooting.
Phuong Na Du, or Tony Du, who had schizophrenia, was shot dead after police were called to a scene at Knight Street near East 41st Ave. in November 2014.
Witnesses said they saw a distraught man waving a two-by-four.
Pivot, a legal and activist group, announced the lawsuit Thursday, shortly after the Crown said the Vancouver police officer involved in Du's death would not be charged.
At the time of Du's death, police told reporters that the man refused to comply with officers' directions during the encounter on Knight Street.
Died in hospital
Two officers arrived on the scene. One used a bean bag shotgun to attempt to disarm Du before another officer shot him using a firearm.
Du was taken to hospital where he died of his injuries.
The province's Independent Investigations Office was called in to investigate and submitted its report to the Crown last fall.
Pivot lawyer Douglas King said that report revealed that Du was killed between 18 and 25 seconds after police arrived on the scene — not long enough for police to to initiate a conversation with Du or establish his mental condition.
"We saw a very intense and rapid escalation of that interaction and we have some serious concerns about that, " King said.
But B.C.'s Criminal Justice Branch said in a statement that the evidence gathered did not meet the criteria for approval of charges in connection with the shooting death.
It said the the officer who shot Du believed his fellow officer's life was in danger. He fired his pistol "at the suspect's center of mass," the report said.
"He continued firing until the suspect was no longer a threat."
The statement of claim launched by Du's mother, Thu An, was filed last November in B.C. Supreme Court.