Independent Investigations Office
For Immediate Posting
Surrey. B.C. – The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. has concluded its investigation into a police-involved incident in Ridge Meadows.
RCMP reported that on September 20, 2019 at approximately 12:31 p.m., it was reported to police that a male was on the wrong side of the railing at the Pitt River Bridge. Officers attended the scene and located the male walking along the side walk. Officers engaged in conversation to assess his condition. At approximately 12:46 p.m., as a marked police car arrived on the scene, the male turned and vaulted over the railings into the river.
Officers observed the male swimming and requested a search boat, helicopter and Emergency Health Services before losing sight of him. The male was not located and RCMP therefore notified the IIO.
The IIO gathered video evidence indicating that officers were communicating with the male and did not attempt to arrest or detain him. Footage clearly shows, the male making a conscious decision to jump over the railings in the river. At no time did the police place hands on the male or deploy any use of force.
The Police Act requires the IIO to investigate incidents where there is serious harm or death as a result of police action. Our investigation has determined that the male’s decision to jump off the bridge did not arise from the actions of police. As a result, the investigation is being concluded at this point.
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.