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.

Just Posted

Retro game hangout opening in Duncan

New hangout features 30 board games, seven different video game consoles, ping pong and foosball

Saanich resident pushes for colourful road murals, cites traffic-calming benefits

Road murals are the ‘nexus of placemaking and road safety,’ says the resident

Family-run corner store in Parksville closes after 42 years

This weekend marked the last day for Shopper’s Grocery Mart on Alberni Highway

PQBeat podcast: Parksville-Qualicum MLA Michelle Stilwell

Listen: Latest installment covers politics, athletics and more

In 1976, competitive skateboarding took off in B.C.

‘California had excess skateboards and they dumped them here, in Canada’

How to beat Blue Monday, the most depressing day of the year

Multiple factors can play a role in seasonal depression, says Fraser Health psychiatrist

B.C. forest industry grasps for hope amid seven-month strike, shutdowns, changes

Some experts say this could be worse for forestry than the 2008 financial crisis

Northern B.C. RCMP investigating alleged sexual assault in lingerie store

One person was transported by ambulance to hospital following RCMP investigation at Sedaz

UBC, Iranian-Canadian community create memorial scholarship in honour of victims

The Jan. 8 crash killed 176 people, including 57 Canadians

Disrespectful that Horgan won’t meet during northern B.C. tour: hereditary chief

Na’moks said he was frustrated Horgan didn’t meet with the chiefs

Canucks extend home win streak to 8 with 4-1 triumph over Sharks

Victory lifts Vancouver into top spot in NHL’s Pacific Division

BC Green Party leader visits northern B.C. pipeline protest site

Adam Olsen calls for better relationship between Canada, British Columbia and First Nations

Most Read