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

First responders continue to rally in support of Kelowna health care workers

Pandosy Street was packed with supporters for the second night in a row

COSAR assists first responders with injured hiker in K.L.O. Creek Park in Kelowna

This is the second incident COSAR has responded to in 24 hours

Vehicle goes up in smoke in Kelowna garage

Fire department on-scene in 200 block of Poplar Point Drive near Knox Mountain

COSAR rescues two lost hikers from Okanagan Mountain Park

Two male hikers were overdue from a hike they left for on the morning of March 28

Evening world update: U.S. restrictions extended 30 days; NY deaths near 1,000

Comprehensive world update, with the latest developments in the COVID-19 crisis

‘It’s up to us: Recently-returned B.C. couple urges Canadians to take COVID-19 seriously

Garrett Kucher and Tory Apostoliuk make it home after almost a week of lockdown in Spain

‘Nothing concrete’: Tenants, landlords lack details after B.C. unveils COVID-19 rental aid

Single mom in Golden says she’s already going to the food bank after being laid off

Canada will make sure masks sent by China meet quality standards: Trudeau

Chinese Embassy tweeted that China was sending 30,000 medical masks along with gowns, gloves and goggles

B.C. issues guidelines about distancing, reusable bags to grocery stores amid COVID-19

Hand sanitizer and markers to keep lines two metres are apart are needed, province says

No plans to call in military right now to enforce COVID-19 quarantine: Trudeau

Trudeau unveils $7.5M for Kids Help Phone, $9M for vulnerable seniors amid COVID-19

Okanagan women spending quarantine making masks

Group at Predator Ridge, and a colleague in Vernon, keeping busy making surgical masks for others

QUIZ: How much do you know about the Olympics?

Put your knowledge to the test with these 12 questions

Most Read