On January 12th at about 6:30pm, 3 men, that seemed to be of Middle Eastern descent, were seen taking videos and pictures of specific entrances and exits at Pacific Centre mall in Vancouver. The Vancouver Police Department are seeking the help of the public to find and identify these 3 men to maintain public safety. Mall security had tried to locate the men once being informed of the suspicious behaviour, but were unable to do so.
The men had been seen taking a 360 video of the entire Pacific Centre mall, and taking pictures of certain entrances and exits, specifically Dunsmuir Street exit.
While these men have not committed a crime, the Vancouver Police Department wishes to speak to them about their activity and behaviour in the Mall.
Pacific Centre is one of Vancouver’s biggest shopping with over 100 shops and close proximity to Skytrain’s. It is located in the Central Business District in the heart of Vancouver, and is home to many daily Vancouverites.
Vancouver Police Department had issued a statement on Thursday evening in regards to these events:
“There is no information to believe that these men have committed a crime. Nor do we have information to believe that the public is currently at risk.
Police are interested in speaking with them about their activity in the mall.
Public safety remains our top priority and we are working with mall security and management to ensure the safety of visitors and staff.
Anyone with information about these men is asked to call the Vancouver Police Department at 604-717-3235
The Vancouver Police Department had been searching for 3 men that showed suspicious behaviour at the Pacific Centre shopping mall on January 12th/2016. The men have now been identified and Police have issued a statement saying that investigators have determined that the men’s behaviour was “completely innocent” and that the 3 men were very cooperative and provided a “very logical explanation regarding their behaviour”.
At this time, Police have not provided any further details regarding this matter.
“Vancouver remains a very safe city and the public should have no concerns about shopping at Pacific Centre or attending any other public place,” Police continued to state.
While this matter has been dealt with, many are pointing fingers and claiming that this was a case of racial profiling. While the men could have been tourists taking pictures of a mall, contractors taking pictures of location spaces, it seems like there was added fuel by using the term “Middle Eastern”. Constable Palmer reiterated in a press conference this morning, that this was not a case of racial profiling. He also mentions that the use of ethnicity is relevant in all cases of identification, but there is still much skepticism to this. Many question whether the same protocol would have been followed had it been 3 Caucasian men instead of Middle Eastern.