End of year summary 2014

Posted December 30, 2014

INFORMATION BULLETIN
Independent Investigations Office
For Immediate Release
December 30, 2014

SURREY – The Independent Investigations Office of BC is providing updates to a number of cases under investigation.

Since the IIO became operational in September 2012, the Chief Civilian Director has sustained jurisdiction in 115 cases of officer involved incidents of death or serious injury.

Of these, 84 cases have been concluded. Fifty – three (53) resulted in the issuing of a public report (two are pending release) and 31 resulted in Reports to Crown Counsel. Thirty – one (31) cases remain under investigation.

The IIO has been heavily deployed over the past months. This includes directors and investigators from the operational teams, forensic and traffic collision specialists, the manager for services to affected persons and support staff.

The below updates are provided on cases that have received significant public attention as well as new cases where jurisdiction has been sustained. Additional information may be found at the IIOBC website.

IIO 14-000067 Vancouver Police Department (April 14, 2014)

Initial Information Bulletin – The Independent Investigations Office (IIO) confirms it has deployed investigators to an incident involving the Vancouver Police Department (VPD).

According to preliminary information reported by the VPD, at 10:30 a.m. this morning, officers attended a residence near Kingsway and Joyce Street in Vancouver. The 9-1-1 call concerned a report of a small child in distress and what appeared to be blood seen in the area.

When police arrived at the scene, they were confronted by a male who according to police, did not respond to their commands to drop a weapon. The male was shot by officers. He was subsequently transported to hospital.

At the scene, officers located a female who had sustained fatal injuries. A child also sustained injuries and was transported to hospital.

VPD Homicide will maintain jurisdiction over the parallel investigation.

Update December 30, 2014 – Investigators have completed the majority of tasks and are now waiting for the autopsy results.

IIO 14-000073 Nelson Police Department (April 25, 2014)

Initial Release – The IIO has deployed investigators to Nelson in response to a critical incident that took place on April 25, 2014.

According to police, at approximately 2:14 p.m., officers responded to a report of an Armed Robbery at the Nelson and District Credit Union. Officers pursued and located the male affected person on a bridge in the Bonnington Dam area. The affected person did not comply with officers’ commands to stop and subsequently jumped over the bridge landing approximately 30-40 feet below. The affected person sustained significant injuries. He was taken into custody and transported to the hospital for treatment.

The RCMP Forensic Identification Unit was also on scene to assist with the follow up investigation. The IIO was notified of the incident and have sustained jurisdiction. The Nelson Police Department remains responsible for all concurrent investigations into the actions of the affected person.

Update December 30, 2014 – Investigators have completed a significant number of interviews including speaking with the affected person. Investigators are in the final stages of reviewing the evidence.

IIO 14-000099 Burnaby RCMP (June 4, 2014)

Initial Information Bulletin – The IIO confirms it has deployed investigators to an incident that occurred this afternoon in Burnaby, B.C.

Shortly before 3:30 p.m., RCMP were responding to a complaint of a male who had reportedly accessed an apartment building through a plate glass door near Walker Avenue in Burnaby. According to the police, at the scene, officers were confronted by the male who was aggressive and non-compliant with their commands. A Conducted Energy Weapon was deployed without effect. A physical struggle ensued and while the male was being taken into custody, he became unresponsive. He was pronounced deceased at the scene.

Update December 30, 2014 Investigators have completed the majority of tasks and are now waiting for the autopsy results.

IIO 14-000104 Vancouver Police Department (June 10, 2014)

Initial Information Bulletin – The Independent Investigations Office (IIO) confirms that its investigators have been deployed to an incident in Vancouver on June 10, 2014.

According to the Vancouver Police Department (VPD), shortly after 11:00 a.m. officers responded to a report of a shooting in the Yaletown area. An adult male reportedly fled the area and was located by police officers near Science World, at which time an exchange of gunfire took place. The male affected person sustained gunshot injuries and was transported to hospital for treatment. A VPD officer also sustained injuries in the incident.

Update December 30, 2014 – The majority of tasks have been completed. Investigators are in the final stages of reviewing forensic reports.

IIO 14-000163 Valemount RCMP ERT (September 17, 2014)

Initial Information Bulletin – The Independent Investigations Office (IIO) confirms that its investigators have been deployed to a remote area near Valemount on September 17, 2014.

According to the RCMP, at approximately 7:00 p.m., Emergency Response Team officers were involved in an incident in which two adults sustained gunshot injuries. One male affected person died at the scene and one female affected person is currently receiving medical care.

The IIO was notified immediately. Five investigators, including a forensics specialist, have been deployed. IIO investigators are expected to arrive at the remote scene the morning of Thursday, September 18.

Update December 30, 2014 Numerous officers were involved in this incident resulting in 18 interviews being conducted to date. Additional interviews will be completed next week. Investigators are waiting for forensic analysis and autopsy results.

IIO 14-000176 Terrace RCMP (October 8, 2014)

Initial Information Bulletin The Independent Investigations Office (IIO) confirms that it has asserted jurisdiction over an incident in Terrace.

On October 8, 2014, the Terrace RCMP contacted the IIO to report an incident that occurred in May 2014. According to the RCMP, on October 8 they received a video that allegedly related to an incident where a male youth sustained injuries while being taken into custody. Upon viewing the video, the RCMP immediately reported the incident to the IIO.

The IIO has asserted jurisdiction over the incident and will conduct an investigation. The RCMP maintains jurisdiction over any concurrent investigation related to the affected person.

Update December 30, 2014 Investigators conducted numerous interviews with civilian witnesses and have spoken with the affected person. One subject officer has been designated.

IIO 14-000182 Slocan RCMP ERT (October 13, 2014)

Initial Information Bulletin – The Independent Investigations Office (IIO) confirms that investigators have been deployed to an area near Slocan.

According to the RCMP, at approximately 1:20 p.m. this afternoon, two Emergency Response Team officers located the adult male who had been the subject of an extended search. There was contact made between the officers and the affected person. The affected person sustained serious injuries and died at the scene. No officers were injured.

The IIO has deployed a team director and several investigators to the area; they are expected to be on scene at daylight tomorrow. The RCMP will ensure scene security until the scene can be turned over to IIO investigators.

An IIO team arrived in the area and confirmed that the affected person sustained a gunshot injury during an interaction with two members of the Emergency Response Team. In addition, a firearm was found at the scene. The IIO investigation is still in its early stages and investigators are expected to be in the area this week. IIO resources include a eam director, three investigators and a forensic specialist. In addition to this, the IIO will provide dedicated services to assist the family of the deceased affected person.

Update December 30, 2014 – Investigators have conducted a significant number of tasks and are now waiting for the results of specialized forensic testing and the autopsy.

IIO 14-000198 Victoria Police Department (November 1, 2014)

Initial Information Bulletin – The Independent Investigations Office (IIO) confirms that investigators have been deployed to Victoria.

According to the Victoria Police Department, at approximately 11:00 a.m. today, officers attended a residence in James Bay in response to a 9-1-1 call. They were confronted by one adult male, who was shot by police and died as a result of his injuries. The Victoria PD reported the incident to the IIO immediately.

The IIO has deployed several investigators to the scene, including a forensics specialist. The Victoria PD will ensure scene security until the scene can be turned over to IIO investigators.

Update December 30, 2014 – Officers were designated and were interviewed. Investigators conducted witness interviews and canvasses for video evidence. Next steps will be to review the forensic video analysis of the scene and autopsy results.

IIO 14-000208 Vancouver Police Department (November 22, 2014)

Initial Information Bulletin – The Independent Investigations Office of BC confirms it has deployed investigative staff to an officer involved shooting in Vancouver.

According to the Vancouver Police Department, at approximately 5:00 p.m. this afternoon, they responded to a complaint near East 41st and Knight Street in Vancouver. They encountered a male who appeared to be in distress. The male allegedly did not follow directions from police. Preliminary information is that he was shot and sustained serious injuries. He is in hospital receiving medical treatment.

VPD has secured the scene pending the arrival of the IIO. Investigators will be conducting standard investigative tasks including identifying and interviewing any witnesses and collecting any physical evidence from the scene.

Later that evening, IIO investigators learned that the male did not survive his injuries.

Update December 30, 2014 Investigators interviewed a significant number of civilian witnesses and returned to the scene a week after in hopes of identifying more. Officers have been designated. Radio and other data recordings have been obtained. Investigators are waiting for forensic analysis and autopsy results.

IIO 14-000214 Prince George RCMP (December 8, 2014)

Initial Release – The IIO confirms it has deployed investigative staff to Prince George in response to a serious incident that occurred on December 8, 2014.

According to police, at about 11:00 p.m., officers were dealing with several pedestrians in the area of 3rd Avenue and Dominion Street.

One of the pedestrians had several outstanding warrants for his arrest. While officers were taking the male affected person into custody, he sustained what appeared to be self-inflicted injuries to his neck. An officer was also stabbed. Both were transported to hospital for medical care. A knife was seized as evidence.

Update December 30, 2014 Civilian interviews have been completed. The affected person is recovering and will be asked for a statement.

IIO 14-000218 Vancouver Police Department (December 15, 2014)

Initial Release – The IIO confirms it has deployed investigators in response to a critical incident that occurred on December 15, 2014.

According to police, at 8:20 am, officers from the VPD responded to a complaint and came into contact with the adult female affected person. She was taken into custody and was transported to police cells in a police wagon. Once at the city jail, officers found her to be in medical distress.

First aid and CPR were initiated and EHS contacted. The affected person was taken by ambulance to hospital where she remained until her death on December 23, 2014.

Update December 30, 2014 – Investigators are waiting for information from the BC Coroners Service. Radio and other data recordings will be reviewed. Officers have not yet been designated.

IIO 14-000221 Vancouver Police Department (December 22, 2014)

Initial Information Bulletin – The Independent Investigations Office confirms it has deployed investigators in response to a serious injury sustained by an adult male on December 22, 2014.

According to the VPD, an officer responded to a complaint of a suspicious male in the area of 4600 Blenheim Street. There, he came into contact with the male affected person who reportedly fled from the officer. The male was subsequently taken into custody with the assistance of a police service dog. He was transported to hospital for treatment.

Update December 30, 2014 Investigators have spoken with the affected person and have requested medical records. Officers (s) have not yet been designated.

IIO 14-000222 Abbotsford Police Department (December 26, 2014)

Initial Information Bulletin: The Independent Investigations Office of BC confirms it has sent investigators to Abbotsford after being notified of an incident involving an off duty officer.

According to the Abbotsford Police Department (APD), at approximately 6:15 p.m. this evening, a 14 year old male youth was struck by a vehicle near the intersection of Mill Lake Road and West Bourquin.

The youth sustained serious injuries and has been transferred to hospital. The driver, who remained at the scene, has been identified as an off duty police officer from the APD. As such, the incident was reported to the IIO.

Update December 27, 2014 A.M. – The Independent Investigations Office of BC now confirms it is investigating a fatal motor vehicle crash that occurred in Abbotsford early yesterday evening.

The youth sustained serious injuries and in spite of being airlifted to hospital, did not survive his injuries. He died shortly before midnight last evening.

The driver, who remained at the scene, has been identified as an off duty police officer from the APD. As such, the incident was reported to the IIO and jurisdiction has been sustained.

IIO investigators deployed to multiple locations and spent the night identifying and interviewing potential witnesses, canvassing for video surveillance and seizing physical evidence from the scene. The investigative team includes the team director, collision reconstructionist, primary investigator and those providing support to the family.

Update December 27, 2014 PM – The Independent Investigations Office of BC now confirms investigators will be back at the scene of last evening’s motor vehicle collision between an off duty police officer and a 14 year old male youth. The youth sustained serious injuries and did not survive. He passed away shortly before midnight on December 26.

IIO investigators have completed preliminary investigative activities and will be at the scene of the crash hoping to locate additional witnesses, video surveillance and other independent evidence. While the investigation remains dynamic, early indications are that alcohol was not a factor.

To date, witnesses have come forward to provide statements that appear to place the driver of the vehicle at a controlled intersection southbound on the green light. Investigators are working to establish the specific positioning of the youth in the intersection and to confirm the report that he was riding a long board/skateboard at the time of the crash. Anyone who may have been in the area is asked to contact the IIO at 1-855-446-8477.

While we understand the significant public interest in this investigation, as with all IIO investigations, we balance the need for disclosure with the needs of investigative integrity and privacy for those individuals and families impacted.

Update December 30, 2014 IIO 14-000222 – The primary investigator and manager for services to affected persons have been back to Abbotsford and have met with the family. Two officers have been designated – one as a subject officer; the other as a witness officer. Several witness statement have been taken. Video evidence has been obtained and has been reviewed. A comprehensive timeline of the off duty officer’s actions (subject officer) during the day and prior to the crash has been developed. The BC Coroners Service is continuing with their death investigation and the IIO hopes to be briefed over the next 24-48 hours. A mechanical inspection of the vehicle is expected to be completed today.

IIO 14-000224 Transit Police Surrey (December 28, 2014)

Initial Information Bulletin – The Independent Investigations Office of BC confirms it is investigating an officer involved shooting that occurred at 8: 07 a.m. this morning in Surrey.

According to police, a male was at or near the Safeway Store at 104th and King George. He reportedly came into contact with officers from the Transit Police and was subsequently shot. He was transported to hospital for treatment however did not survive his injuries.

RCMP in Surrey has secured the physical scene pending the arrival of IIO investigators. Immediate activities will include identifying any witnesses, obtaining video surveillance and completing the next of kin notifications.

Update December 30, 2014 The BC Coroners Service is conducting the autopsy today and will remain responsible for the release of information related to the deceased’s cause of death and his identity. The IIO will continue to obtain and review all available evidence including video, 9-1-1 tapes and witness statements. Two officers have been designated. The IIO hopes to complete the notification of next of kin by the end of today.