Independent Investigations Office
For Immediate Release
Surrey, B.C. – The Independent Investigations Office (IIO) of BC is investigating an incident in Williams Lake.
On October 25, 2020, officers arrested a man for several offences following an alleged lengthy dangerous driving incident as the man drove from Kamloops to Williams Lake. When officers succeeded in stopping the man’s vehicle on Highway 97 near White Road near Williams Lake, the man reportedly exited the vehicle and went down a nearby embankment before stopping. A struggle with officers ensued and the man was taken into custody without sustaining serious injuries. Since the threshold for serious harm as defined by the Police Act was not met, IIO notification was not required at the time the incident occurred.
However, video captured of the incident at varying times, particularly that of the man’s arrest, has attracted significant public scrutiny. In light of this, the RCMP requested that the IIO consider seeking direction from the Director of Police Services for an independent investigation of the incident. On November 17, 2020, the Director of Police Services ordered an IIO investigation into the incident, pursuant to section 44 of the Police Act. The IIO investigation will determine whether any officer may have committed an offence during the incident and arrest of the man.
The IIO is asking any person who saw, heard or recorded the incident to contact the IIO Witness Line toll-free at 1-855-446-8477 or via the contact form on the iiobc.ca website.
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.