Independent Investigations Office
For Immediate Posting
Surrey – The Independent Investigation Office of B.C. will be forwarding a report to the B.C. Prosecution Service for their consideration of charges.
IIO 2017-083 This investigation relates to an in-custody death in Prince George involving the RCMP.
RCMP reported that at approximately 10:32 p.m. on July 18, 2017, officers responded to a call of a male “casing vehicles” in the 1000 block of Central Street West in Prince George. A struggle ensued and OC (pepper) spray was used in the process of apprehending the male.
The male appeared to be having trouble breathing and police requested medical assistance. Police say once the ambulance arrived, the man was taken out of the police vehicle and collapsed. He was pronounced deceased shortly after.
In this case, the Chief Civilian Director of the IIO has completed his review of the investigative file and, pursuant to Section 38.11 of The Police Act, will be forwarding a report to B.C. Prosecution Service for consideration of charges. This is done when the Chief Civilian Director finds there are reasonable grounds to believe an offence has been committed.
In approving charges, the B.C. Prosecution Service must be satisfied there is a substantial likelihood of conviction based on the evidence gathered by the IIO and that the prosecution is required in the public interest.
The IIO is forwarding this matter to Crown for consideration of charges in relation to issues surrounding the use of force during the struggle with the male and in relation to allegations of obstruction of justice in relation to the deletion of video from a civilian phone.
As the matter is currently with the Crown, the IIO will not be making any additional comment about the facts of the case at this time.
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.