•• This story was updated at 12:40 p.m. Monday, Sept. 12
A coach with the BC Lions football team accuses Surrey RCMP of racial profiling, but the detachment’s Officer in Charge says the officers involved acted “very reasonably.”
“Literally pulled over for zero reason and when asked got zero explanation. Called 4 police officers for one black male by himself & after all the madness I still have zero explanation of why,” Phillips posted to social media.
“I’m beyond aware of the violence that’s been happening in surrey. But the way @SurreyRCMP just acted was beyond unlawful & ridiculous. When I expressed myself as a black male from the states that I felt profiled they decided to handcuff me like they’re the victim or threatened.
“If the @SurreyRCMP thinks this is over and my voice won’t be heard they have another thing coming. I have seen them do it to players and now to myself. It’s a complete jerk and abuse of power. PERIOD.”
In a statement Monday (Sept. 12), Surrey RCMP Assistant Commissioner Brian Edwards called Phillips’ allegations “serious,” and sought to clarify police actions, “for the purpose of maintaining public confidence in policing in Surrey, and the actions of our officers. This can be a delicate balance but I feel it is necessary in this instance,” Edwards stated.
“Observing provisions of the Privacy Act, I am limited as to the details I can provide in response to this social media posting.
“I will clarify that a traffic stop was initiated due to one of our officer’s observing erratic driving behaviour over several blocks. I’m confident that the documentation served by police to the driver at the time outlines the reasons for the stop and any processes for dispute.
“The file is well documented and based on what I have reviewed, I am satisfied the officers acted very reasonably and met RCMP service standards in this interaction. They were executing their duties to ensure public safety in the City of Surrey. Again, I cannot provide additional details as the driver remains entitled to his privacy in relation to this matter.”
Edwards went on to say that any person who believes the standard of police service has fallen short “is strongly encouraged to report their concerns to us, so they can be fully reviewed and examined. There are several processes to ensure that a full and transparent review is conducted. This includes independent oversight through the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission for the RCMP, an independent agency that is not part of the RCMP.”
Phillips, born in Seattle, was a defensive back with the Lions from 2005 to 2016.
Surrey is home to the Lions’ training facility, located in Whalley.