News outlet won release of documents that outline evidence police sought, including video surveillance of the disputed event.

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Statements in court documents related to Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum’s mischief trial appear to refute the mayor’s version of an altercation with opponents on Sept. 4, 2021 in a Surrey Save-On-Foods parking lot.

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McCallum reported a hit-and-run to Surrey RCMP outside the Save-On-Foods store on 152nd Street and gave a statement to police that he was “pinned between” two vehicles, according to the documents, which were released to Global News.

The mayor was later charged with public mischief for his statement to police over the altercation, which was with members of a group collecting signatures on a petition that opposes one of McCallum’s pet political projects.

In the statement, McCallum told police the driver of the vehicle, a prominent member of Keep the RCMP in Surrey, a citizen’s group opposed to the mayor’s plan to transition Surrey to a municipal police force, had pulled up to him after he had parked his car.

McCallum told police that driver then “floored” her car to leave and ran over his foot as she pulled away, according to the document.

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However, the police document, an information to obtain evidence through search warrants, filed as part of the investigation, notes that “video surveillance shows that McCallum was not pinned up against a vehicle,” when the other driver pulled up to him.

Instead, it said the video shows that McCallum had been walking across the parking lot and shows that “McCallum turned around and walked over to (Debra Johnstone’s) car.”

Ivan Scott of Keep the RCMP in Surrey and Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum, right, have a heated conversation in a grocery store parking lot on Saturday in South Surrey.
Ivan Scott of Keep the RCMP in Surrey and Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum, right, have a heated conversation in a grocery store parking lot on Saturday in South Surrey. Photo by Keep the RCMP in Surrey photo /PNG

As for McCallum’s statement that she “tore” away, the video “shows Johnstone slowly roll through the right hand turn and then proceed at a normal speed through the parking lot,” the police document said.

Global News successfully challenged a court order that sealed the information-to-obtain documents over the risk that disclosure “would jeopardize the conduct of the investigation.”

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Last week, a judge granted Global’s application to unseal a redacted set of documents, which the news outlet embedded copies of in its coverage of the story.

Media lawyer Dan Burnett, who represented Global News, told the outlet that releasing such documents was a matter of public interest in a high-profile case.

The case, which is set for trial Oct. 31, two weeks after the next municipal election, hasn’t been proven in court, but in the information-to-obtain evidence, investigators seek a search warrant to obtain the running shoe that McCallum was wearing to examine for physical evidence.

Then there are six production orders to obtain surveillance video from Save-On-Foods, the mayor’s rewards-points record at Save-On-Foods, surveillance video from Peace Arch Memorial Hospital, medical records from the hospital and raw video from two media interviews McCallum granted after the event as well as statements provided to other outlets.

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McCallum has refused to comment on the matter, but the case has been a source of acrimony in Surrey.

The mayor refused to step down as chair of the Surrey police board while the matter was before the courts and citizens have petitioned to try to stop the city from picking up McCallum’s legal fees during the matter.

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