- Posted December 16, 2013 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
The Senseless Death of Paul Boyd
Chances are that unless you are a die hard fan of animation you more than likely have no idea who Paul Boyd was. If you have children and they are fans of the Cartoon Network hit Ed, Edd N Eddy, or you have seen the Argh it's The Mr. Hell Show, you may have seen Paul Boyd's name. Paul Boyd was a successful animator that was gunned down in 2007 for no real reason other than an officer's ability for pulling the trigger.
It's important to understand what led to the incident in order to make an educated judgment. Paul Boyd was diagnosed with bi polar disorder early in his life and as a result could go into episodes of psychosis, as is the case with with people that suffer from this unfortunate mental illness. Apparently one day while seeking treatment at two clinics in Vancouver ,and suffering from a manic episode Paul's erratic behavior led worried individuals to call the police. It's been stated that Boyd was speaking loudly and would kneel to apoologize to strangers for his behavior. Ultimately this led to a confrontation with two uniformed officers, one of whom began shooting and ultimately fired a shot that killed Boyd. Let's look at some facts that have surfaced over the last six years:
- Two plain clothes officers had been in the scene prior and found Boyd to be calm, there was no assault and there was no argument.
- It was reported that at no point in the 30 minutes prior to the confrontation did Boyd ever threaten or harm anyone.
- The officer that shot Boyd, Constable Lee Chipperfield, fired his gun a total of nine times during an 80 second period.
- It was said that Boyd was waving a bicycle chain with a padlock attached that was about 22" and it was extremely light.
- The chain was never tested in order to verify whether or not Boyd used it.
- Within the first four or five shots Boyd was incapacitated and prior to the final, fatal, shot Boyd was unarmed and crawling on his hands and knees.
The case was looked into recently as a result of a video that surfaced in 2012, showing an unarmed and incapacitated Boyd crawling and Constable Chipperfield continuing to fire his weapon at the already wounded Boyd. The video led to the the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team looking into the case with new considerations in mind. As a result a special prosecutor was appointed in order to decide the next course of action. The prosecutor decided not to press charges against Constable Chipperfield stating that the only appropriate charge was 2nd degree murder. On top of that it was stated that it would be easy for Chipperfield to get off on a self defence because it would be very difficult for the prosecution to establish beyond a reasonable doubt that Chipperfield knew he was shooting an unarmed and incapacitated man that posed no threat to Chipperfield or anyone else. Let's look at some facts here again:
- Boyd was on his hands and knees
- The distance between Boyd and Chipperfield was not so great that Chipperfield could not clearly see if Boyd was in possession of a weapon.
- Chipperfield fired nine shots in a single direction, he saw Boyd go down and kept firing at a lower angle until eventually he killed Boyd at close range.
- The incident took place in front of multiple witnesses, many of whom stated that Boyd was no threat.
It seems like this whole case has been more about protecting police integrity rather than seeing justice served. How could a man like Chipperfield not know that he had wounded Boyd? If he was crawling on his hands and knees, it's fairly obvious that he was injured. If that fact that he was injured was blurred by the chaos of the situation wasn't obvious, the fact that something was really wrong had to have been clear. The plain clothes officers that responded to the initial call never said that Boyd was violent. It appears that Boyd tried to flee form the uniformed officers, which leads me ask a few questions:
- If there was a concern that he was mentally unstable, why shoot him?
- Why did Boyd feel so threatened that he felt it necessary to flee the scene?
- There was no forensic evidence that put a weapon on Boyd's hand at the time of the incident, So where was the threat?
- Wast it necessary to pull the trigger nine times? One shot is enough to incapacitate a person in order to handcuff them.
The amount of evidence that seems to have conveniently been left out of this case looks pretty overwhelming. In the end I can't imagine the level of guilt that Constable Chipperfield must be feeling. I read a statement where Chipperfield claimed he had " tunnel vision" during the incident. I don't think " tunnel vision" is enough of an excuse to pull the trigger nine times and ultimately kill a man execution style. This is a sad situation and it merits a better degree of closure than what it's been given so far.
Hopefully this case will see one more degree of exposure and it will allow justice to be served. In the end, there is no justice in the death of a man whose level of threat was never even established let alone proven.