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

Dog dies, Victoria man arrested after incident in Oaklands

Police called to ‘incident between a man and a dog’ Monday afternoon

Booms go up in Gorge Creek after hydrocarbon spill

The source of the spill is being investigated

Put away the shovels, week of rain ahead for Greater Victoria

Environment Canada calling for wet weather until Sunday

Warm ‘blob’ could be behind mass starvation of North Pacific seabirds: Study

Unprecedented death toll raises red flag for North American marine ecosystems

Supreme Court determines bext phase of Victoria’s plastic bag ban on Thursday

The Supreme Court of Canada will decide whether or not it will hear the appeal

VIDEO: Greater Victoria mom shares ‘insane’ experience of viral dinosaur video

Tabitha Cooper filmed her costumed sons meeting their grandma at the Victoria International Airport

Ski dies at Fernie Alpine Resort

It’s the second person to die in a tree well at a ski resort in B.C. in the past week.

Power lines cut as thieves strike Vancouver Island veterinary hospital

‘Thankfully there weren’t any animals or staff in the clinic when this happened’

Vancouver Island home to one of Canada’s largest private skateboard collections

Eric Pinto owns hundreds of boards, spanning multiple decades

ICBC to bring in ranking system for collision, glass repair shops

Change comes after the much-maligned auto insurer has faced criticism for sky-high premiums

Surrey’s ‘Pink Palace’ being used for Stephen King horror shoot

New web series based on King’s The Stand novel

‘It was just so fast’: B.C. teen recalls 150-metre fall down Oregon mountain

Surrey’s Gurbaz Singh broke his leg on Mount Hood on Dec. 30

Vancouver Island Pride weekend returns to Mount Washington Alpine Resort

Building on the success of last year’s family-friendly pride festival on Vancouver… Continue reading

Scarlett Point lighthouse keeper wins a million bucks playing the lottery

“I usually just get a quick pick, so I didn’t expect to win a big prize”

Most Read