Friday, January 25, 2008


Oldtown News
Vancouver, BC


The public inquiry regarding, Frank Paul, a Micmac from New Brunswick who allegedly died as a result of Vancouver police department negligence, is today, hearing from Senator Larry Campbell, who at the time of Mr. Paul's death in 1998, was the Chief Coroner responsible for investigating his death.

Mr. Paul was so intoxicated while in police custody that he couldn't properly care for himself. He had longstanding alcoholism disease and while in custody and upon his release, he could neither stand or walk. On police surveillance cameras, Mr. Paul is shown crawling on the floor. Mr. Paul was removed from the police cell and driven to an isolated location and propped up against a wall. It was extremely cold outside and Mr. Paul succumbed to misadventure death as a result of hypothermia and I allege, negligence.

The question whether the police were in some way responsible for the death of Mr. Paul is the focus of the public inquiry, which is now taking place a decade after the Paul death.

Mr. Larry Campbell, at the time of Mr. Paul's death, was requested to hold a public investigation. The regional coroner at the time, Ms Jeannie Robinson, a rank below Larry Campbell has stated under oath at the Inquiry that she requested a public investigation be undertaken over Mr. Paul's death. Ms Robinson states that Mr. Campbell over-ruled her and no public investigation took place.

Mr. Campbell at the time said that Mr. Paul wasn't in police custody and therefore, the VPD wasn't responsible and no public investigation was warranted or necessary.

What is shocking about the now Senator's response is that a decade earlier, as regional coroner, he visited the Downtown Eastside resulting from the murder of Aboriginal sex trade worker, Cheryl Ann Joe. At that time, he stated that the Coroner is the last advocate for the dead.

Its really tragic that Mr. Campbell didn't heed his own supposed beliefs
regarding the Frank Paul death. Mr. Campbell as chief coroner, was completely indifferent to the death of Mr. Paul and subsequently displayed an affront to the dignity rights of the deceased.

I was planning on going to the Inquiry today to hear what Senator Campbell might say but I thought it would just be a waste of time since, Mr. Campbell is prone to flippancy and arrogance. I doubt whether, he would shed any light in his own culpability regarding the tragic death of Mr. Paul.

While the Vancouver police made a huge blunder in its mistreatment of Mr. Paul and abandoning their duty of care to him, adding insult to injury was the reckless response of Mr. Campbell who carelessly dis-regarded the human respect and dignity rights which should have been accorded to Mr. Paul, even in death.

Mr. Paul deserved way better Senator Campbell. You should hang your head in shame.

Jamie Lee Hamilton