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3 "Suspicious" Men Identified


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http://www.vancitybuzz.com/2016/01/three-men-in-pacific-centre-video-footage-identified/

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Vancouver Police have identified and spoken to the three men who were seen taking 360 videos and photos of exits and entrances of downtown Vancouver’s Pacific Centre shopping mall on the evening of January 12.

According to a police statement, investigators have determined that the men’s actions were “completely innocent,” adding that the three men cooperated with investigators and had a “very logical explanation regarding their behaviour”.

However, police have not provided any further details and reasoning on the actions of the men at the time.

The men were recorded on CCTV security footage capturing photos of the mall, including the Dunsmuir Street entrance of the complex. Pacific Centre staff deemed the incident suspicious and reported the incident to police, which initiated an investigation on what it also termed as “suspicious” activity.

Vancity Buzz acquired an internal police bulletin through a tip on Thursday evening. The details of the bulletin were confirmed and discussed with police prior to the publication of the article.

“Vancouver remains a very safe city and the public should have no concerns about shopping at Pacific Centre or attending any other public place,” the statement continues.

Businesses are encouraged to report suspicious activity through Operation Securus, a joint-law enforcement agency program designed to help address and prevent potential public safety threats.

 

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Maybe they were location scouts for a movie.

This doesn't mean the VPD were automatically wrong or jumping to conclusions, they were just looking for further information and they got it and I'm glad they did their jobs. I fully supported the investigation from the beginning and it sounds like it was handled well and a good outcome for everyone involved.  Except for the racists who seek out any whiff of bad behaviour by immigrants to paint all with the same brush.

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1 minute ago, etsen3 said:

Maybe they were location scouts for a movie.

This doesn't mean the VPD were automatically wrong or jumping to conclusions, they were just looking for further information and they got it. Sounds like a good outcome for everyone involved.

Oh, I wasn't criticizing the VPD at all. It absolutely should have been looked into.

Just a particular user that immediately labeled it as a "terror threat".

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While this may appear to be a case of racial profiling at its proverbial worst.

The fact of the matter is their body language and their actions were entirely too suspicious to not be investigated.  The security of the mall and the RCMP did in fact do their job and do them right.

Without question these men will be apologized too and rightly so, but it does not absolve them of the fact that in a climate of fear right now they did indeed put themselves in a  position to be judged.

 

Also, this original thread got shut down because it was resolved and because of the behaviour and nature of the posts from some.  Let's just walk away from it now, shall we

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6 minutes ago, 48MPHSlapShot said:

Oh, I wasn't criticizing the VPD at all. It absolutely should have been looked into.

Just a particular user that immediately labeled it as a "terror threat".

Edited my post but anyway wasn't addressed to you specifically, just that some will take this as an opportunity to bash the VPD for simply doing their jobs.

I'm generally a hard critic of the police for things like police brutality and racial profiling, but this sounds like it was handled well.

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6 minutes ago, SILLY GOOSE said:

I knew it.  Probably 3 dudes doing work for a geography class or something.  

http://www.cbc.ca/beta/news/canada/british-columbia/vancouver-mall-video-men-1.3406619

One of the three people who raised security alarm bells by taking photographs and video inside a downtown shopping mall says he was travelling to Vancouver with his son and a friend, who are getting treatment for vision impairment.

"I bought my son a little phone he brought with him just to take pictures of anything he can remember, take it back home and show his family and his friends," said Mohammed Sharaz, from Manchester. 

"My friend, when he looks at anything head on, he doesn't see like me and you do. So he'll take a picture or a movie and then later on when he gets back he zooms into it and he watches stuff," said Sharaz. "He takes pictures of anything and everything."

Pacific Centre Mall men

Vancouver police say men who were seen taking photo and video of the exits and entrances of Pacific Centre mall had a completely logical explanation. (VPD)

Sharaz said he didn't think much of it until he saw reports of himself, his son and his friend. He said he immediately phoned police, but didn't get through to anyone until after he had dropped off his son and friend at the Wellspring Clinic for Holistic Medicine where they were seeking treatment. 

"I got through to a lady. I explained everything to her," he said.

Police confirmed their identities later that day, when plain-clothed officers finally came by to meet with them late in the afternoon and took them to the police station through the back door.

"Obviously they didn't feel threatened by us or anything," said Sharaz. "I haven't heard from them since."

Sharaz said he had no issues with how police treated the situation. What concerned him more was that the information had been leaked, potentially putting him, his son and his friend at risk of harm from vigilantes. 

He said the three of them have stayed inside since they found out the photo of the three of them was circulating on social media and the internet. 

"My son's got a disability. My friend's got a disability. We're the last people who are going to be hired by some terrorist organization to take video of stuff," he said. 

Dr. Weidong Yu from the Wellspring Clinic for Holistic Medicine confirmed that two of the men are his patients. 

"They need to take more pictures than most other people because of their vision impairment," he said.  

He wouldn't specify their diagnosis, but he said he saw them for treatment on Friday morning. He confirmed the father phoned police when he heard they were looking for him. 

'Completely innocent'

Earlier today police said they had spoken with the men and they are "completely innocent" of any wrongdoing.

The men were identified after a firestorm of interest when their images were released by a media outlet following a leak from an internal police bulletin.

The Vancouver Police Department said it had no intention of going public with its investigation.

"All three men were cooperative with investigators and they had a very logical explanation regarding their behaviour," said media relations officer Const. Brian Montague in an written statement.

"The investigation has conclusively determined that their actions were completely innocent."

Police said security at Pacific Centre mall alerted them to what was described as "suspicious behaviour" on Tuesday night. The men were taking photos and video at the mall entrances and exits.

Montague said the public should have no concerns about shopping at Pacific Centre or any other mall in Vancouver, which he said remains a safe city.

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1 hour ago, Warhippy said:

While this may appear to be a case of racial profiling at its proverbial worst.

The fact of the matter is their body language and their actions were entirely too suspicious to not be investigated.  The security of the mall and the RCMP did in fact do their job and do them right.

Without question these men will be apologized too and rightly so, but it does not absolve them of the fact that in a climate of fear right now they did indeed put themselves in a  position to be judged.

 

Also, this original thread got shut down because it was resolved and because of the behaviour and nature of the posts from some.  Let's just walk away from it now, shall we

This matter has not been resolved and should have never been locked.  It raised a completely different issue and the thread shouldve been renamed to what we have here.

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1 minute ago, Bob.Loblaw said:

This matter has not been resolved and should have never been locked.  It raised a completely different issue and the thread shouldve been renamed to what we have here.

It wasn't resolved? To my knowledge the 3 "suspicious" men came forward to police, identified themselves, and offered a logical explanation for their actions which the police have agreed is plausible and harmless. I'm not seeing the lack of solution here.

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Just now, Wild Sean Monahan said:

It wasn't resolved? To my knowledge the 3 "suspicious" men came forward to police, identified themselves, and offered a logical explanation for their actions which the police have agreed is plausible and harmless. I'm not seeing the lack of solution here.

Because they were needlessly put under public suspicion.  Apparently this information was leaked and people subsequently freaked out.  Why was it leaked?  Why did people freak out?  Because if their ethnicity had ANYTHING to do with what happened, there is a problem that deserves address.

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