Vancouver Police Chief Adam Palmer says he condemns the actions of the Memphis, Tennessee, officers who beat Tyre Nichols to death during a traffic stop after footage of the incident was released. Nichols died three days after the January 7th confrontation and the five officers, all of whom are Black, were charged with second-degree murder and other crimes. Fo Niemi, the executive director of the Centre for Research-Action on Race Relations, says the footage showcases the need for all officers to wear body cameras, and is now calling on all departments across Canada to implement them. Timothy Bryan, an associate professor of sociology at the University of Toronto, says the case also highlights the need to focus less on individual racism of officers and more on the institution and culture of policing.
An inquest into the 2019 suicide of a Vancouver police officer, whose family says she died during a mental health crisis that stemmed from a co-worker blackmailing her into a sexual relationship, is expected to conclude today. VPD members who attended Nicole Chan’s condo after her death, and the chief of an outside police force that was investigating allegations she had made against a fellow officer, are expected to testify. BC’s coroner said the point of the inquest is to determine the facts related to Chan’s death, make recommendations and ensure public confidence that the circumstances in the death won’t be overlooked, concealed or ignored. The jury can’t place blame, but can make recommendations.
Advocates are predicting this year’s Metro Vancouver Homeless Count will be higher than that of previous years due to lingering impacts from the pandemic, job losses and inflation. A spokesperson for Union Gospel Mission says she’s predicting there will be more people experiencing homelessness once the results from the count are published. Rachael Allen says UGM can’t keep up with demand for shelter space. The last count was done in 2020, prior to the pandemic, and showed three-thousand-634 people experiencing homelessness in Metro Vancouver, with Black and Indigenous people disproportionately overrepresented.
The return of drag story time at Kelowna’s downtown library sparked a large protest this weekend, drawing hundreds in support of both sides. The library hosted a drag storytime, featuring performer Freida Whales, where she read children’s books to kids. Some protested against the event saying they deemed the drag story time inappropriate while drag queen allies advocated for the event. Inside the library, hundreds of parents were in full support of the reading.
The pandemic student housing rent freeze at the University of British Columbia is over, as officials have announced the price to live on campus will be increasing in May. The university says the price hike will vary from different housing facilities within a range of 3.5 to 8 per cent. This could add up to several hundred dollars to student housing bills. UBC student Munira Abdulwahid says she thinks many students will be looking elsewhere for accommodation in the coming months.
A Merritt woman who recently won 125-thousand dollars from a scratch-and-win game plans to use some of the money to replace what she lost when catastrophic flooding hit the city in the fall of 2021. The BC Lottery Corporation says in a news release that Cindy Petroczi was shocked when she realized she had won the top prize. Petroczi says she is grateful that she’ll be able to use some of her prize to replace items that were lost in the floods and to help her family. She says she also plans to use some of money to take a vacation.