Over the long weekend 11 Vancouver police officers were injured or attacked with multiple officers sent to the hospital.
The Vancouver Police Department (VPD) says frontline officers were attacked during a variety of unrelated incidents. At least one officer is off work due to one of the incidents.
“Policing is a tough job, and every day our front-line officers put their own safety at risk,” says Sgt. Steve Addison in a press release. “Unfortunately, we continue to see officers getting hurt while trying to do their jobs and keep others out of harm’s way.”
The weekend's injuries follow a trend seen throughout the year, the VPD notes, with 108 officers assaulted between January and July; that's a 68 per cent increase from 2018.
The violence over the weekend included a 21-year-old woman (who was suspected of stabbing a man and taking his bike) spitting on the arresting officer while being read her rights. The officer was taken to the hospital due to concern of infectious disease.
Another incident also involved spitting. A man in a Kitsilano grocery store was causing a disturbance. When police arrived it got physical and three officers were hurt. One received cuts, another injured their ankle (and is off work now) and a third had blood spat on him.
Officers were also injured when a patrol in East Vancouver spotted a man with a B.C.-wide warrant for a violent offense. He fled, but officers were able to arrest him. During the chase one officer was injured to the point of needing to go to the hospital for stitches.
In another incident, officers responded to a call from a woman whose ex-boyfriend had threatened her and thrown a rock through her window. When police arrived the suspect ran and resisted arrest. As the officers fought with the man his brother tackled one officer and elbowed another in the head. Both men were arrested and taken to jail.
“Every police officer understands the dangers and risks associated with their work,” adds Addison. “However, we’re concerned by the number of people who now seem emboldened and feel entitled to assault officers and put their lives at risk.”