Men deemed 'suspicious' for mall photos are visually impaired: Vancouver doctor

VANCOUVER -- Two men and a teenager labelled "suspicious" because they were taking photos of a Vancouver mall feared being attacked on the street after local media published their images, says their doctor.

See Full Article

Dr. Weidong Yu of the Wellspring Clinic for Holistic Medicine says the trio are visiting from Manchester, England, so that two of them can be treated at his clinic for a visual disability.

The teenager and young adult suffer from a disorder that restricts their field of vision, making their sight blurry, and they take lots of photos in order to zoom in later and see everything more clearly, he said.

"You look at a shop, you look at a mountain, you see it. They don't. So they take photos and then they enlarge the photo, and then they can see it."

Vancity Buzz, a news and culture website, posted an article Thursday night saying that police were looking to speak with the men after they were spotted taking photos of entrances and exits at Pacific Centre mall.

The article included surveillance photos of the trio and described them as "Middle Eastern," as did the internal police memo that was obtained by the publication.

The trio were immediately alarmed and feared going outside, Yu said.

"They were concerned that if they walk out on the street, some other pedestrians will ... knock them down and hurt them because they are viewed as terrorists," he said.

But he said they trusted Vancouver police and called them Friday morning from his clinic, where officers attended and conducted interviews in a "trained and professional" manner.

Vancouver Police Chief Adam Palmer said the internal memo, which labelled the men "suspicious" and included the surveillance photos, was never intended to be public.

Palmer said the description of the men as "Middle Eastern" was not racial profiling, and that details on race are always included in these kind of memos between police forces.

Police issued a statement on Friday afternoon that said officers had located and spoken with the men and were confident their actions were "completely innocent."

Vancity Buzz editor in chief Farhan Mohamed said shortly before police cleared the men that the outlet published the story because it was in the public interest.

He later said in a statement that he welcomed the news that the men had been located and their actions deemed innocent.

Despite the incident, Yu said the trio's opinion of Canada had not changed and they would come back again for treatment.

"They were treated very well by the police," he said. "I'm glad media have declared them innocent."



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Armenia votes in election triggered by war defeat

    World News CTV News
    YEREVAN, ARMENIA -- Polls have closed in Armenia's national parliamentary election that was held to try to resolve tensions over last year's defeat in fighting against Azerbaijan over the separatist region of Nagorno-Karabakh. Sunday's early election was called by Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan in a bid to ease public anger over the peace deal he signed in November, which set off months of protests demanding his resignation. Source
  • Biden to meet with Afghan President Ghani as violence surges

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- U.S. President Joe Biden will meet at the White House with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and the chairman of Afghanistan's High Council for National Reconciliation Abdullah Abdullah on Friday to discuss U.S. troop withdrawal amid a surge in fighting between Afghan forces and the Taliban across the country. Source
  • Ducharme feels 'helpless' watching Habs from home after positive COVID-19 test

    Canada News CBC News
    Dominique Ducharme felt helpless. The Montreal Canadiens interim head coach — hours after testing positive for COVID-19 — was sitting at home as his team battled in the third round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. And all he could do was watch. Source
  • Hot air balloon crash-lands outside Denver, injuring three passengers

    World News CTV News
    A hot air balloon crash-landed at Chatfield State Park outside Denver on Sunday morning, injuring several passengers, the Jefferson County Sheriff said. Three passengers were taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, and three others are doing OK, the sheriff said on Twitter. Source
  • 5-year-old girl in life-threatening condition after birthday party shooting in Toronto

    Canada News CBC News
    A five-year-old girl remains in life-threatening condition following a shooting during an outdoor children's birthday party in the Rexdale neighbourhood of northwest Toronto on Saturday evening, police say. An 11-year-old boy and a 23-year-old man who were also shot remain in non-life-threatening condition in hospital, said Toronto police spokesperson Const. Source
  • Taiwan welcomes U.S. vaccine aid, bolstering its COVID fight

    World News CTV News
    TAOYUAN, TAIWAN -- Taiwan welcomed 2.5 million COVID-19 vaccine doses from the United States on Sunday as help from a true friend, more than doubling the major semiconductor-producing island's arsenal of shots as it deals with a cluster of domestic infections. Source
  • Urgent reforms needed to military justice system to protect misconduct victims: Fish

    Canada News CTV News
    OTTAWA -- A retired Supreme Court judge is calling for urgent reforms to Canada's military justice system to prevent victims of misconduct, sexual and otherwise, from continuing to suffer. Morris Fish says the current system is rife with areas where the potential for interference in police investigations and courts martial from the chain of command exists, which is why action is needed now. Source
  • Sask. starts Step 2 of reopening roadmap

    Canada News CTV News
    REGINA -- Saskatchewan began the second phase of its reopening plan Sunday as certain public health measures loosened across the province. Step 2, which was triggered when 70 per cent of people age 30 and older got their first dose, will see capacity limits in stores lifted and restaurants will no longer have a limit on the number of people allowed to sit together at a table. Source
  • Tropical depression Claudette kills at least 12 in Alabama as storm lashes southeastern U.S.

    World News CBC News
    Tropical depression Claudette claimed 12 lives in Alabama as the storm swept across the southeastern United States, causing flash flooding and spurring tornadoes that destroyed dozens of homes. Ten people, including nine children, were killed Saturday in a two-vehicle crash, according to Butler County Coroner Wayne Garlock, who said the vehicles likely hydroplaned on wet roads. Source
  • Women twice as likely as men to continue wearing masks as Canada reopens: survey

    Canada News CTV News
    SASKATOON -- Women were more than twice as likely as men to say they’ll keep wearing masks in crowded places when their community reopens, according to a new survey by Nanos Research, with 32 per cent of women saying they would continue to wear face coverings compared to just 16 per cent of males. Source