Bank of Montreal, located on Burrard Street in downtown Vancouver. (Google Maps)

Probe ordered into B.C. arrest of Indigenous man, granddaughter trying to open bank account

Maxwell Johnson and his 12-year-old granddaughter were trying to open an account at the Bank of Montreal

The Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner has ordered an investigation after cops arrested an Indigenous man and his granddaughter at a Vancouver bank.

In a Tuesday news release, the agency said the information it received about the December arrest from the Vancouver police lead it to open the probe.

Maxwell Johnson and his 12-year-old granddaughter had been at a Bank of Montreal branch on Dec. 20 to open an account for the girl, according to a news release issued Friday by the First Nations Leadership Council.

Bank staff called police to report a fraud in progress because of concerns over Johnson’s Indian Status card and identification, the council said.

Johnson and his granddaughter put in handcuffs and detained in a police car, then released an hour later.

The commissioner’s office did not go into detail as to why it was investigating the officers’ actions, but said it was looking into whether their actions “constitute misconduct.”

The Delta Police Department will handle the investigation. The officers in question were cleared by an internal Vancouver police probe.

The incident raised concerns about racial profiling.

At the time, the president of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs said he stood in solidarity with Johnson.

“Indigenous peoples continue to face the debilitating and destructive effects of a colonial legacy of discrimination and violence,” said Grand Chief Stewart Phillip.

A Vancouver police spokesperson said the force “recognizes that this entire situation has been upsetting and distressing for the two individuals.”

READ MORE: First Nations leaders slam handcuffing of elder, 12-year-old granddaughter at bank


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A second wave of COVID-19 is probable, if history tells us anything

B.C.’s top doctor says that what health officials have learned this round will guide response in future

Snow expected to hit West Kootenay passes overnight on Thursday

Up to 15 cm of snow could fall on Highway 3 between Paulson summit to Kootenay Pass by Friday morning

Former Grand Forks fire chief suing city for wrongful dismissal

Dale Heriot was fired in July 2019 after his department was investigated for safety, bullying issues

Regional District of Kootenay Boundary seeks online feedback on transit, housing

Surveys on the RDKB’s website are asking for input to help plan for the future

School District 51 staff iron out plan for return to classrooms

Teachers are looking for a comprehensive health and safety plan to be in place before June 1

Kelowna man charged with harming a hamster

The 20-year-old Kelowna man faces several animal cruelty charges

High tech fish transport system set up to ‘whoosh’ salmon past Big Bar landslide

Fish will spend roughly 20 seconds inside the system, moving at roughly 20 metres per second

Trudeau to seek 10 days of paid sick leave for Canadian workers, says talks are ongoing

Paid sick leave is key to keeping COVID-19 spread under control, prime minister says

Snowbirds jets will not be leaving Kamloops, just yet

The Snowbirds have been in Kamloops since May 17 when a plane crashed killing Capt. Jennifer Casey

COVID-19 checkpoints ‘up to them,’ Bonnie Henry says of remote B.C. villages

Support local tourism economy, but only if you’re invited in

Vancouver Island hasn’t seen a new homegrown case of COVID-19 in two weeks

Island’s low and steady transmission rate chalked up to several factors

Eight people arrested in Victoria homeless camp after enforcement order issued

Those living in tents were given until May 20 to move indoors

Andrew Weaver says he was ready to defeat John Horgan government

Independent MLA blasts B.C. Greens over LNG opposition

Most Read