Independent Investigations Office
For Immediate Release
Surrey, B.C. – The Independent Investigations Office (IIO) of BC has filed a report to the BC Prosecution Service for consideration of charges regarding IIO file 2019-201.
As described in the previous media release, on October 28, 2019 at approximately 1:30 a.m., police in Kelowna responded to a report of an erratic driver on Highway 97 near Lake Country. Officers attempted two unsuccessful traffic stops before the vehicle was successfully stopped in Malakwa. An interaction occurred when officers attempted to arrest the male driver, and he went into medical distress.
Emergency Health Services attended and transported the man to a local hospital for treatment. The man was pronounced dead the following day on October 29, 2019.
Upon completion of the investigation, Chief Civilian Director Ronald J. MacDonald, QC, reviewed the evidence and determined that reasonable grounds exist to believe that an officer may have committed a criminal offence through their use of force that may have contributed to the man’s death. As a result, and pursuant to Section 38.11 of the Police Act, the IIO has forwarded a report to the BC Prosecution Service for consideration of charges.
In order to approve any charges, the BC Prosecution Service must be satisfied that there is a substantial likelihood of conviction based on the evidence gathered by the IIO, and that prosecution be required in the public interest.
While the matter is with Crown, the IIO will not be making any additional comment about the facts of this case.
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.