WEST VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – West Vancouver police are denying allegations of racial profiling of a volunteer for the Royal Canadian Legion.
Local soccer coach Desmond Tachie claims he was followed and questioned by West Vancouver Police while collecting donations in Park Royal for veterans. He was with a young player when he says he was followed by a police officer who asked what they were doing with the money.
“There was something that he deemed suspicious. We were the only two people of colour collecting money for the Legion at that time,” he tells NEWS 1130. “A couple of my friends, my coach, who were all collecting money in different locations in Park Royal, but we were the only two who got followed.”
Tachie says he believes he was questioned because of the colour of his skin.
“He saw myself and the player I was with way before I noticed him,” he says. “At any point, he could have come up and had a conversation with us.”d
But according to Const. Jeff Palmer from West Vancouver Police, this had nothing to do with race.
“They had what appeared to be poppy donation collection boxes. The officer didn’t know anything to indicate that either of the males were associated with the Legion, so that is what drew the officer’s attention,” he says.
Palmer says the officer was being cautious because of a number of donation box thefts in the area.
So far no formal complaint has been filed.