IIO Files Report to Crown Counsel for Consideration of Charges Regarding October 2020 incident in Williams Lake (2020-285)Case: 2020-285 Incident Date: October 25, 2020 Agency: RCMP Location: Williams Lake Detachment: Williams Lake Incident Classification: Serious Harm Case Status: Closed - Referral to Crown Counsel (RTCC)
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 2020-285.
As described in the previous media release, on October 25, 2020, a man was arrested following a lengthy incident of alleged dangerous driving between Kamloops and Williams Lake. The man’s vehicle was eventually stopped on Highway 97 near White Road in Williams Lake, and he exited the vehicle and went down a nearby embankment before stopping. Two officers followed and an interaction occurred before the man was taken into custody.
The injuries the man sustained do not meet the required threshold for serious harm, as defined by the Police Act. However, given the significant public scrutiny generated by video captured of the arrest, the Director of Police Services ordered an IIO investigation pursuant to s.44 of the Police Act at the request of the RCMP.
Upon completion of the investigation, Chief Civilian Director Ronald J. MacDonald, QC, reviewed the evidence and determined that reasonable grounds exist to believe that one of the involved officers may have committed an offence in relation to the use of force during the arrest. 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.