Independent Investigations Office
For Immediate Release
Surrey, B.C. – The Independent Investigations Office (IIO) of BC has concluded an investigation into a death in Castlegar.
On August 22, 2020 just before 2:00 a.m., police responded to a request for assistance to retrieve a vehicle as a man, the affected person, was near the vehicle and the owner did not wish to speak with him. The vehicle’s owner also expressed concern for the man’s wellness.
Police records reflect that two officers spoke to the affected person and determined there were no grounds to detain or apprehend him. In order to apprehend a person, an officer must be satisfied that the person is not only suffering from a mental disorder but is also currently acting in a manner likely to endanger that person’s own safety or the safety of others. While the involved officers are not required to provide a statement to the IIO, an indirect witness report indicates that the man assured the officers he was well.
Later the same evening, the man was found to have committed suicide.
The IIO was notified of the incident on August 25, 2020 and commenced an investigation.
The Chief Civilian Director has reviewed the available evidence, including statements from independent civilian witnesses, cell phone records, medical records and police reports (including reports of previous interactions between the affected person and police and medical authorities), and determined that there are no reasonable grounds to believe that an officer may have committed an offence. It cannot be said that the officers’ actions constituted a wanton and reckless disregard for the man’s well-being. 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.
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