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IIO investigating after pedestrian hit by police cruiser in DTES

Editor’s note: This story contains graphic content

British Columbia’s police watchdog has been called in after a pedestrian was hit by a VPD cruiser on the Downtown Eastside early Tuesday morning.

In a statement, the Independent Investigations Office of B.C. says one man was seriously injured in the incident. It notes information it has received from the Vancouver Police Department shows that at about 3:20 a.m., a police vehicle driving east along East Hastings Street near Main Street was involved in a collision.

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In a video shared with CityNews, a person appears to be standing in the middle of the road motionless and hunched over when a vehicle driving in the middle lane fails to stop before hitting the pedestrian, sending them forward and out of frame.

Warning: Graphic content

Vancouver police told CityNews Tuesday that “a man was walking in the middle of East Hastings Street early this morning and was struck by a police car. His injuries are not life-threatening and our Collision Investigation Unit is investigating.”

Suggestions online that the man had been killed are incorrect, police said, adding, “It’s false and typical of the misinformation campaign that anti-police activists continue to engage in on the Downtown Eastside to undermine trust in the police.”

Speaking to CityNews, Vince Tao with Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users says the video is “extremely disturbing and dismaying for the community.”

“We were lucky – hate to say it – to get some footage of it,” he explained. Tao says the police driving the vehicle had “very little care” for the person they hit.

Tao wants to know what happened and says the community wants the truth.

“This kind of thing happens all the time on the Downtown Eastside. This time, we got evidence of it,” he said.

Unclear how fast the police cruiser was going at the time of the incident, the speed limit along that part of East Hastings is 30 km/h.

CityNews has reached out to the VPD for further comment on the surveillance video.

The IIO is asking for anyone with information about what happened to contact the Witness Line toll-free at 1-855-446-8477 or via the contact form on the iiobc.ca website.

With files from Kier Junos

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