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Vancouver police officers seen posing with dead man reassigned to desk jobs

Two VPD officers were videoed laughing and photographing themselves in front of a body lying face down near the waterline at Third Beach in Stanley Park.

A VPD officer takes a photo of a colleague posing in front of a dead man found on Third Beach in Stanley Park. (Submitted by Zachary Ratcliffe)

The two Vancouver police officers who were videoed posing for photos in front of a dead man lying on Third Beach have been reassigned while investigations into their conduct take place.

“As of yesterday [Monday] morning, under Section 110 of the Police Act, the VPD has reassigned the two officers to non-deployable, administrative positions while the [Office of Police Complaint Commissioner] investigation is ongoing,” said Simi Heer, VPD director of public affairs.

“Any change in this status, will depend on the outcome of the OPCC investigation,” she said. 

Videographer Zachary Ratcliffe came upon the scene of the officers laughing and taking photos with the body of the dead man in the background around 10 a.m. PT Wednesday.

Watch | VPD officer poses for the camera:

Two VPD officers were caught on video posing with a dead man lying in the sand at Third Beach in Stanley Park. (courtesy Zachary Ratcliffe) 0:37

“I can’t really explain why these officers were doing this, but to see them laughing and clearly not understanding the gravity of the situation, and not providing the dignity and respect a deceased person would deserve, it struck me as an insensitive act,” said Ratcliffe.

The VPD later said the man’s death was not considered suspicious and that the two officers were at the beach to secure the scene for the coroner. 

Ratcliffe said he shared the video because he felt it needed to be seen.

“I think that the VPD should be concerned that officers feel that emboldened to act in such a way that clearly shows no respect for whoever this was,” he said.

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