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

  • Kids born to opioid-addicted moms seem to fare poorly in school

    World News CBC News
    Neonatal abstinence syndrome occurs when addictive drugs such as opioids or sedatives pass through the placenta during pregnancy. (Torsten Mangner/Flickr) Children exposed to addictive drugs in the womb may be more likely to perform poorly in school, Australian researchers report. Source
  • Ethics watchdog investigates Trudeau's vacation in the Bahamas

    Canada News CBC News
    Canada's ethics commissioner has launched an investigation into Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's family vacation to the Aga Khan's private island home in the Bahamas. In a letter to Conservative ethics critic Blain Calkins that is stamped "Confidential" and was obtained by CBC News, Mary Dawson said she is "satisfied" the issues he has raised about Trudeau's travel meet the requirements for an investigation. Source
  • New Brunswick university establishes new cybersecurity institute

    Canada News CTV News
    FREDERICTON -- The University of New Brunswick opened a new cybersecurity institute Monday in hopes of establishing an educational hub for one of the most pressing issues in the information age. University officials, industry partners and members of the federal and provincial governments announced the launch of the Canadian Institute for Cybersecurity in Fredericton. Source
  • World’s 8 richest men own as much as 3.6 billion poorest

    World News Toronto Sun
    DAVOS, Switzerland — The gap between the super-rich and the poorest half of the global population is starker than previously thought, with just eight men, from Bill Gates to Michael Bloomberg, owning as much wealth as 3.6 billion people, according to an analysis by Oxfam released Monday. Source
  • Average house price in Canada rises at slowest annual pace in 2 years in December, up 3.5%

    Canada News CBC News
    The average price of a Canadian home continues to move higher, but there are signs of a slowdown, according to figures from the Canadian Real Estate Association. CREA said Monday that the average sales price in December was $470,661 — 3.5 per cent higher than the same month a year earlier. Source
  • Woman who blasted Trudeau gets online threats [Photos]

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    The woman who told Prime Minister Justin Trudeau she could barely afford to eat after paying her carbon tax and hydro bills now says she’s been receiving threats online. Kathy Katula, the 54-year-old mother of four and grandma of three, said after she was featured in the Toronto Sun about her Peterborough townhall appearance with Trudeau on Friday, trolls and haters have been flooding her Facebook wall with negative comments. Source
  • Ivanka Trump to continue working on women's issues

    World News CTV News
    DES MOINES, Iowa -- She may not be working in the White House, but that doesn't mean Ivanka Trump is staying out of politics. Although she has said she will have no official role in her father's administration, Ivanka Trump has been quietly laying the groundwork for an effort that could make her perhaps the best-connected policy advocate in Washington. Source
  • Police: 5 killed in shooting at nightclub at Mexican resort

    World News CTV News
    CANCUN, Mexico -- A gunman killed at least five people and wounded more than a dozen others Monday at a nightclub in the Caribbean coast resort of Playa del Carmen, police said. The shooting occurred in the early morning hours outside the Blue Parrot nightclub, which was hosting an event that was part of the BPM electronic music festival. Source
  • Canadians among dead in Mexico nightclub shooting

    World News CTV News
    CANCUN, Mexico -- A shooting attack at an electronic music festival in Mexico's Caribbean coast resort of Playa del Carmen on Monday left five people dead, including two Canadians, an Italian and a Colombian, authorities said. Source
  • 2 Canadians among 5 dead after Mexican nightclub shooting

    World News CBC News
    Two Canadians, an Italian and a Colombian are among five people dead following a shooting and stampede at an electronic music festival in Mexico early Monday, authorities say. Miguel Angel Pech, the attorney general of Quintana Roo state, says several of the dead appear to have been part of the security detail at the 10-day BPM electronic music festival. Source