Two Vancouver police officers will have their conduct investigated after one was filmed taking pictures of the other next to a dead body found in Stanley Park Wednesday.
The local man who caught it on video, Zachary Ratcliff, was incensed after witnessing the “young officers” make light of the situation.
Police confirm they were called to Third Beach at around 8:30 a.m. on Feb. 24. The death did not appear suspicious but responding officers had to wait for the BC Coroners Service to arrive.
Ratcliff, 48, recorded what appears to be one officer laughing after striking poses for the other’s cellphone camera.
“To me, there was no good answer for me as to why he was laughing,” Ratcliff told Black Press Media, “That poor individual laying on the beach was not respected, cared for, or served by these officers.”
To Ratcliff, what was most surprising, was the officers joking around in plain sight: “they weren’t hiding anything. Other people walking by saw what I saw.”
Ratcliff did acknowledge the difficulty of policing, and said there are “two sides to every story.”
“I just hope the officers realize that if they wouldn’t do something in front of a camera then they shouldn’t do it in front of the public,” he said.
Public affairs director Simi Heer with the Vancouver Police Department (VPD) said the footage will be reviewed by the Office of the Police Complaints Commissioner.
“There will be a Police Act investigation into the conduct of the officers in the video. The status of the officers is also under review,” Heer told Black Press Media in an email.
Heer said, “the VPD does not condone, and strictly prohibits officers taking photographs without an authorized purpose.”
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