Three consecutive vehicles shown in a YouTube video weaving through moderate traffic while running the same red light at Cambie Road and Shell were driven by police officers.
Uploaded by am0s.x, the video was captured and uploaded on Jan. 31. It was originally labelled as having happened in 2017, but that was subsequently corrected by the dashcam’s owner, who could not be reached for comment.
By Wednesday afternoon, the video had garnered just a few hundred views, but that changed overnight, eclipsing 50,000 views by Thursday afternoon after receiving widespread news media and social media coverage.
The video sparked outrage from many commenters
In a statement issued Thursday night by the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit, the anti-gang agency said the vehicles shown in the video were “actively engaged in surveillance of high-level targets.
CFSEU-B.C. Sgt. Brenda Winpenny said: “We want to reassure those concerned that we are committed to ensuring the public’s safety due to the risks of gang-related violence in our community.”
One early theory posted on the discussion website Reddit got it right.
DialecticalDualist referred to that Reddit post and wrote: “As a redditor pointed out, the 3 cars running the light are likely the RCMP’s Special O unit located in Richmond. It’s an elite undercover police unit that are involved in surveillance. Look how all three cars approach the intersection, angle to the right, then proceed after crossing at very high speed. They are clearly in control of their vehicles, not some bad driver who isn’t paying attention. It’s clear these people were trying to get somewhere very quickly, whoever they were.”
While many commenters blamed bad Richmond drivers, Jason Cheung offered: “Finally someone with critical thinking skills. Regardless if it was RCMP or not, those 3 cars were definitely in a group together in a rush. I’ve driven in the Lower Mainland all my life and this is the first time I’ve seen 3 cars run a red light in this manner. It’s usually your typical distracted and coast through a red light, or try to beat the amber red light runners.”