11 Vancouver police officers assaulted over Labour Day long weekend

The Vancouver Police Department says 11 of its officers are recovering after being injured or assaulted over the Labour Day weekend.

Sgt. Steve Addison wrote in a statement Wednesday that the officers were injured while on duty.

“Every police officer understands the dangers and risks associated with their work,” Addison wrote.

“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.”

Addison detailed three incidents including one involving a 21-year-old woman Monday, who was arrested near Knight Street and East 54th Avenue in connection with a stabbing and robbery.

Incidents of note

The woman allegedly spat in an officer’s face and hair while she was being read her Canadian charter rights. Addison said the officer had to be taken to hospital to assess the risk of infectious diseases from the woman’s saliva.

That same day, two more officers were injured when the brother of a suspect involved in a domestic dispute on Dundas Street tackled one of the officers and elbowed another in the head. 

Later Monday, several officers were patrolling on Powell Street when they spotted a man who had a B.C.-wide warrant for a violent offence.  Three officers were injured during the arrest, one of whom required hospitalization and stitches, Addison wrote.

Troubling trend

On Sunday, police responded to a grocery store in Kitsilano when staff reported that a man was acting violently. All three officers were hurt, one of whom suffered cuts and scratches, another had blood spat on him, and the third is now off work with an ankle injury.

Vancouver police say the spate of weekend injuries follows a larger trend of increased violence against police.

The department says between January and July of this year, 108 officers were assaulted in Vancouver, which, it says, is a 64 per cent increase from 2018.

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