Independent Investigations Office
For Immediate Release
Surrey – The Chief Civilian Director (CCD) has released jurisdiction over an officer involved incident that occurred in Victoria. After the CCD’s review of the preliminary investigation, he has determined there was no relationship (or nexus) between the death of the affected person and the actions of the officers (2015-108).
On July 17 at 2 p.m. Victoria Police Department responded to a complaint that an adult female with children was causing a disturbance on a local beach. Two officers attended and spoke to the mother. While the behavior of the mother was unusual, there was not sufficient information or risk to cause the officers to take any action.
At approximately 7:35 p.m. that evening officers responded to a disturbance complaint at a local chapel involving the same woman. It was reported that she presented herself in a reasonable manner, was cooperative and answered the questions of the attending officers. The officers reported they did not have grounds for any further intervention with the family.
The next day, officers responded to a complaint at a local hotel on Douglas Street in Victoria. It was reported that a female guest of the hotel was causing a disturbance. Upon gaining access to the room, officers found the same woman in distress. The officers located an infant (the affected person) in a bed. The infant was found to be in medical distress and an ambulance was dispatched. Unfortunately, despite efforts to revive the infant, he was pronounced deceased.
It was later determined that the infant died of natural causes that the illness became severe over a short period of time. The severity would not have appeared to the officers when they initially responded to the incident on July 17. See the BC Coroners Service Information Bulletin dated August 4, 2015.
The IIO investigation found no nexus between the death of the infant and the actions of the officers. In order for the IIO to sustain jurisdiction, the Chief Civilian Director must be satisfied that a person died AND that there was a relationship (or nexus) to an officer’s actions. In this case, that test was not met and as such, the CCD has released jurisdiction and has no further interest.
Independent Investigations Office: