A member of the Surrey Police Board was photographed posing with two full-patch members of the Hells Angels at a 2018 memorial service.
The photos of board member Harley Chappell and White Rock Hells Angels Brent Milne and Douglas (Doc) Riddoch were posted on a Facebook tribute to Carla Newman, who died in 2018. Newman was a relative of David (Clap) Newman, who is a former member of the Angels’ White Rock chapter.
Another ex-member is Chappell’s father, Philip, who left the club in 1992.
On his own Facebook page last year, Harley Chappell posted a birthday tribute to his dad that included an old photo of Philip Chappell wearing his “colours” — the vest and the patch indicating membership in the Angels.
Harley Chappell, the elected Chief of the Semiahmoo First Nations, didn’t return phone or text messages Wednesday asking him about the photos. But he issued a statement to Postmedia News via email later Wednesday that said he attended the August 2018 funeral service for Newman because she is “the mother of a childhood friend.”
“Members of the Hells Angels were also present. Any photos taken of me were with my father’s friends from his past,” Chappell said. “It has been well-documented and disclosed many times over the past 20-plus years that my father was a member of the Hells Angels.
“He left the club in 1992 when I was a child and I have never been associated to the club in any way,” the statement said.“To this day I have had no relationship or association with the Hells Angel club in any way. I have never denied or had any reason to deny my father’s history, nor does this impact my personal values or ethics as a First Nation leader or a Surrey Police Board member.”
Chappell said he has moved forward in positive and progressive ways to better both the Semiahmoo First Nation and the larger community.
“My childhood experiences do not define me as an adult,” he said. “I have used my life experiences to become the person I am today; a father, a husband, a community leader.”
Surrey Police Board executive director Melissa Granum emailed this statement from board chairman and Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum when asked about the issue of a board member posing with Hells Angels:
“The Surrey Police Board is made up of nine members. The city has two positions, the mayor as ex-officio chair, and city council appoints one board member. Up to seven members, one of which is Harley Chappell, are appointed by the provincial government,” the statement said.
The B.C. government announced the board appointments last June as part of the transition in Surrey from the RCMP to the new municipal force. A news release issued by the B.C. Public Safety Ministry said at the time that the seven community appointments came after “an extensive assessment and screening process.”
“Members were chosen by aligning individual skills, competencies and attributes with the needs and responsibilities of the board, and to reflect the diversity of the community,” the release said.
Last month, McCallum and other police board members introduced Norm Lipinski as the new Surrey Police Services chief constable.
Milne, a longtime Hells Angel, pleaded guilty in April 2013 in Surrey provincial court to possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking. He was later sentenced to two years.
A civil forfeiture case filed against him claimed he had purchased his Aldergrove home in 1999 in part with “proceeds from the trafficking of cannabis and cocaine.” The lawsuit said that over 13 years Milne built his equity in the property with drug profits, something he denied in his statement of defence. The civil suit was settled by consent in 2018 with an order that Milne pay $33,500 to the Civil Forfeiture Office.