Independent Investigations Office
For Immediate Release
July 7, 2014
SURREY – Chief Civilian Director Richard Rosenthal of the Independent Investigations Office (IIO) has made a report to Crown Counsel with respect to an officer-involved incident that took place in Courtenay on January 31, 2014.
At approximately 12:31 p.m., RCMP officers from Comox responded to a complaint of an alleged assault in the Fanny Bay area. When officers arrived at the scene, the alleged suspect had left the area in a vehicle.
Over the next hour, police attempted to locate and stop the vehicle and driver. At 1:48 p.m., with the assistance of a police service dog, officers located the adult male and took him into custody.
While being taken into custody, the male affected person sustained dog bites. He was transported to hospital for treatment.
The IIO asserted and sustained jurisdiction. The Comox RCMP maintained jurisdiction for the concurrent investigation involving the affected person.
In this case, standard investigative activities were conducted including interviews, identification of witnesses and a review of the physical evidence obtained at the scene. The investigation was concluded and forwarded to the Chief Civilian Director for his decision. In examining the evidence, he determined that an officer may have committed an offence and as such, has sent the file to Crown Counsel.
The Chief Civilian Director does not make a recommendation on whether charges should be approved or what charges Crown Counsel should consider. Under the Crown Counsel Act, the Criminal Justice Branch has jurisdiction over the charge assessment and charge approval process.
In approving charges, the Criminal Justice Branch must be satisfied not only that an offence may have been committed, but that the commission of an offence can be proven in court beyond a reasonable doubt. Criminal Justice Branch policy provides that in making this assessment Crown Counsel will apply a two-part test:
- There must be a substantial likelihood of conviction based on the evidence gathered by the investigating agency.
- A prosecution must be required in the public interest.
Under these circumstances, no public report will be issued by the IIO and no further information will be provided.
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