Harley Chappell is on the left in this photo which appeared on a Facebook tribute page in August of 2018. Facebook photo

Harley Chappell is on the left in this photo which appeared on a Facebook tribute page in August of 2018. Facebook photo

‘No association with Hells Angels’ – Surrey Police Board member under fire for 2018 photos

Images inspire flak for Semiahmoo First Nation Chief Harley Chappell

Photographs taken with Hells Angels members have come back to haunt Semiahmoo First Nation Chief Harley Chappell, a member of Surrey’s newly-struck Police Board.

The pictures – from a two-year-old Facebook post, and brought to the attention of news outlets this week – show Chappell with two full-patch members of the White Rock Hells Angels chapter.

The presumed association has led some opposed to the transition of Surrey’s policing from the RCMP to a municipal force to question whether Chappell’s appointment to the board might be tainted by connections to the club.

But in a statement to media, including Peace Arch News, Chappell denied “relationship or association with the Hells Angel club in any way.”

He noted that it has been “well-documented and disclosed” that his father, Philip, was a former member of the club, until 1992.

“He left the club when I was a child, and I have never been associated to the club in any way,” Chappell said.

Surrey Coun. Jack Hundial – a former RCMP staff sergeant and outspoken critic of Surrey’s ongoing transition from the RCMP to the Surrey Police Service – said the fact that Chappell is the son of a former Hells Angel raises questions about how thoroughly provincial appointments to the new board were vetted by B.C. public safety minister and solicitor general Mike Farnworth.

“What was the vetting process put into place?” he said.

“That’s a good question not only for Farnworth but I think also for (new SPS chief) Norm Lipinski because he’s now the man that has to work with the police board.”

READ MORE: ‘A clean canvas’: Norm Lipinski named as Surrey’s police chief

READ MORE: New chief for Semiahmoo First Nation

Chappell said the pictures, originally shared on Facebook in 2018, were taken in August of that year at the funeral of Carla Newman, who he described as “the mother of a childhood friend.”

In the pictures, Chappell is seen standing with four other men, two of whom have been identified as White Rock Hells Angels Brent Milne and Douglas Riddoch. Newman has been described as a relative of former White Rock chapter member David Newman.

In his statement, Chappell said “any photos of me were with my father’s friends from his past.”

On his father’s birthday, in November of last year, Chappell posted a Facebook tribute to Philip that included an old photo of his father wearing his Hells Angels vest and colours.

“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 commented.

Hundial stopped short of saying he thinks Chappell should resign from the police board.

“I think there needs to be some clear transparency around it,” he said.

“It was a rushed process. When you’re responsible for having input not just for leadership in your local community like on the reserve, but for all of Surrey, I think it requires a higher level of scrutiny not just for Harley but for everyone on the police board.”

Chappell also noted that he feels his childhood experiences don’t define him as an adult.

“I have moved forward in positive and progressive ways to better my community both of Semiahmoo First Nation and the larger community,” 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 chair Melissa Granum was not available for comment as of Thursday afternoon.

– with files from Tom Zytaruk

First NationsSurreysurrey rcmp

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Westbound Highway 1 traffic near Herrling Island is backed up a long way following a vehicle incident. (Photo/Trish Dunbar)
Pedestrian killed in crash near Agassiz

Woman in her 50s struck by moving van

A nurse holds vials of AstraZeneca vaccine against COVID-19 during a vaccination campaign at WiZink indoor arena in Madrid, Spain, Friday, April 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Manu Fernandez
Hope residents 40 and older can now get vaccinated at participating pharmacies

Remedy’s RX pharmacist said the response from the public was immediate following announcement

Future Finlandia Lion Ian Heagy with his biggest fan, mom Jen Heagy. (submitted photo)
Chilliwack hockey player Ian Heagy defies the odds to land at Finlandia

Having never played a minute of rep, Heagy is making the jump from house to NCAA Div 2 hockey

The Abbotsford Centre has the ability to host AHL level games if the Vancouver Canucks or any other NHL team chose to move its affiliate to the arena. (File photo)
Abbotsford Centre ready for AHL if right opportunity presents itself

Building recently upgraded glass and boards, schedule would allow for AHL tenant

In 2012, police in Abbotsford placed surveillance cameras near the Dhaliwal home in the 2500 block of Bradner Road after there were two drive-by shootings in the area. Harb Dhaliwal, 31, has now been identified as the victim of a fatal shooting April 17 in Vancouver. (Abbotsford News file photo)
Abbotsford man named as victim of fatal weekend shooting in Vancouver

Harpreet Dhaliwal, 31, killed outside of Cardero’s restaurant in Coal Harbour

In this image from NASA, NASA’s experimental Mars helicopter Ingenuity lands on the surface of Mars Monday, April 19, 2021. The little 4-pound helicopter rose from the dusty red surface into the thin Martian air Monday, achieving the first powered, controlled flight on another planet. (NASA via AP)
VIDEO: NASA’s Mars helicopter takes flight, 1st for another planet

The $85 million helicopter demo was considered high risk, yet high reward

A man has died after being shot at Coquitlam’s Town Centre Park the evening of Monday, April 19. (Twitter/IHIT)
1 man dead after shooting at Coquitlam park: IHIT

The gunman is still at large, according to the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team

(Photo by Mojpe/Pixabay)
Canadian kids extracting record amounts from Tooth Fairy

Our neighbours in the U.S. receive slightly less from Tooth Fairy visits

Dr. Bonnie Henry gives her daily media briefing regarding Covid-19 for the province of British Columbia in Victoria, B.C, Monday, December 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Toddler marks youngest British Columbian to die related to COVID-19

Child one of eight people to die from virus this weekend

Families of two of three workers killed in a train derailment near Field, B.C., in 2019 have filed lawsuits accusing Canadian Pacific of gross negligence. The derailment sent 99 grain cars and two locomotives off the tracks. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Families of workers killed in Field train derailment allege negligence in lawsuit

Lawsuits allege the workers weren’t provided a safe work environment

(New Westminster Police)
4 youth arrested after 30-person brawl in New Westminster leaves 1 seriously injured

Police are looking for witnesses who saw the incident take place

South Surrey’s Paul Cottrell, who works with the DFO, tows a grey whale out of Semiahmoo Bay Sunday. (Contributed photo)
Dead whale floating near White Rock towed to shore for necropsy

Animal has been dead since at least April 15

Most Read