On December 5, 1998 Frank Joseph Paul, a 47-year-old Mi’Kmaq man from New Brunswick, was arrested in the Downtown Eastside by two Vancouver police officers for being intoxicated in a public place. He was transported to the Vancouver Police Department’s jail facility. Police video footage captured Frank Paul being dragged through the Vancouver lockup, placed into a police van, and left in an alleyway in East Vancouver. Mr. Paul’s body was found at the same location the following morning. The coroner’s report stated Paul had died of exposure, due to intoxication and hypothermia.
In 2000 the Vancouver Police Department concluded disciplinary proceedings against two officers. One officer was suspended for two days for discreditable conduct, and the other officer was suspended for one day for neglect of duty.
After years of opposition to a Public Hearing under the Police Act by the Police Complaints Commissioner, the Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General announced a public inquiry into Frank Paul’s death on February 22, 2007. However, in this case, prosecutors decided not to charge the police officers although video clearly showed appalling misconduct and the public inquiry condemned their behaviour.