Independent Investigations Office
For Immediate Release
Surrey, B.C. – The Independent Investigations Office (IIO) of BC has concluded investigation 2022-292 into an incident in Duncan where one man went into medical distress.
At about 3:15 p.m. on November 4, 2022, a man was arrested without incident in relation to an ongoing investigation, and he was lodged in North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP detachment cells at about 3:40 p.m.
Just before 1:00 p.m. on November 5, the man attended his bail hearing and learned he was to be remanded and transferred to a correctional facility. At 3:40 p.m., officers entered the cell to begin the transfer, and the man was found to be in medical distress.
Emergency Health Services attended and transported the man to the hospital for treatment, where he subsequently made a full recovery.
The Chief Civilian Director has reviewed the evidence – including medical information, video footage, forensic information from the scene, and police records – and determined that police actions and/or inactions did not contribute to the man’s condition. The evidence suggests that after he was remanded the man ingested substances he had hidden on his person. Under the law, police did not have grounds to conduct a “strip search” when the man was initially placed in cells which may have found those substances. Police appropriately conducted regular wellness checks while the man was in custody, and there were no indications prior to the man’s distress that should have alerted officers to the need for intervention earlier than it was provided.
The IIO investigation is now concluded.
The IIO is the independent civilian oversight agency of the police in British Columbia. It investigates all officer-related incidents that result in serious harm or death, whether or not there is any allegation of wrongdoing.