Checking on possible domestic assault victims a legal obligation, says VPD in light of police brutality allegations
Vancouver police say it’s their legal and moral obligation to check up on the well-being of a potential victim in cases involving possible domestic assaults after a Vancouver man was badly beaten two weeks ago.
Vladimir Tchaikoun, an engineer who came to Canada from Ukraine in 1998, says Vancouver police officers knocked on his door in the evening of March 13 and asked for his wife. When he hesitated, they forced their way in. The confrontation escalated to involve his wife and son.
Vancouver police acknowledge that Tchaikoun was injured. But their version of events is different. VPD spokesperson Brian Montague says he can’t comment on the specifics of the case, because it’s now before the courts. But in cases involving alleged domestic disputes, Montague says, police officers have to confirm that everyone is OK.
“We don’t have an option of walking away. If someone just says, ‘there is no problem here,’ we can’t simply walk away,” he says. “When we are refused entry into a home, we have to get into that house. If someone chooses to be combative with our officers, unfortunately, we have to react to their actions. We never have to use force when someone is compliant.”
Two Vancouver police officers ended up in the hospital as the result of the altercation. Montague says one of them is still off duty, recovering from his injuries.
“This was a significant battle,” says Montague. “Our goal at the time was to simply speak with everyone in the house, make sure everything was OK and walk away. But if we walk away from a home and a homicide is committed after police were there, we have a lot more questions to answer.”
Tchaikoun, his son and wife were arrested and all three have been charged with assaulting a peace officer. Tchaikoun is now hiring a lawyer.
Montague says the professional standards office is aware of the arrest, but he does not believe there has been an official complaint made.
-With files from Jon Azpiri