Earlier today, a business became concerned about an elderly client.

She had arrived for an appointment with a black eye and didn't look well.

They were unsure if she had fallen or been assaulted, so they called police to do a wellness check.
She peered through the sidelight of her front door in answer to my knock.

She was spritely for an octogenarian and she shuffled down her hall, seemingly happy to have a visitor.

I followed her into the kitchen, and it was there I saw the terrible, dark swelling in her face.
She said it was cancer. She had been diagnosed months ago. It was causing her pain, and her teeth and jaw hurt.

I asked her what her doctor recommended, but she just waved her hand and wouldn't look at me.

So I pressed on.
Finally, she answered, said she hadn't been back to a hospital because she wasn't welcome.

My expression must have belied my confusion, and in her broken English, she added,

"Because I am Chinese. People say I bring the virus with me. They say I spread it. So I don't go."
My breath stilled in my chest.

A few silent moments passed.

I reassured her that she was welcome at the hospital, and radioed for an ambulance.

Inside, my rage was a slow boil.
The paramedics who arrived were patient, calm and full of compassion.

They encouraged her to seek medical attention, that a doctor could help with her pain.

There was a battle going on within her.

Much like the battle within myself.
In the end, she accepted the offer of help and the paramedics escorted her to the waiting ambulance.

I wished her well and saw her off. I waved good-bye but she didn't notice.

Then I got in my car, and went to the next call.

And from there, to the next.

Hate crime has consequences.

I don't know if this woman experienced hate directly, or if she absorbed it through witnessing it in others. But the consequence for her was she didn't seek life saving medical attention.

And that is just not okay.

#VPD #patrol #COVID19BC

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24 Oct
#BBLStories #D4

It's 2008.

I'm in the Canine Unit and respond to a domestic dispute to cover another unit.

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5 Dec 19
#BBLStories #VPD #DTES

Her laugh was big and infectious.

You heard her before you saw her, and she is the person I think of first when I look back on my time as a BC Corrections Officer.
She was in prison, serving a federal sentence at the Burnaby Correctional Centre for Women (BCCW) where I was a guard.

Her crime wasn't important but her story is.
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