Independent Investigations Office
For Immediate Release
Surrey, B.C. — The Chief Civilian Director (CCD) of the Independent Investigations Office (IIO) of BC is responding to the Clear Statement published by the BC Prosecution Service (BCPS) regarding IIO investigation 2018-056.
The Clear Statement published by the BCPS today correctly identifies that, “without clear evidence that the (subject officer, or SO) did not objectively fear for his life and safety or that he had a reasonable means of escape, the Crown cannot disprove the justification provisions under sections 25 or 34 of the Criminal Code.”
“While I found that there were reasonable grounds to believe that an offence has been committed, the BCPS determined that the evidence was not clear enough for them to reach the conclusions suggested by my office,” said CCD Ronald J. MacDonald, KC. “However, the Clear Statement does not transparently outline for the public important evidence the IIO presented on these issues.”
In particular, the evidence the IIO presented included video evidence, analyzed by an expert, that was relevant to where SO went when he left his car, and whether he had in fact moved out of danger, and then moved back toward the affected person’s (AP) vehicle as it moved forward, at which time SO discharged his firearm. Although the IIO acknowledges the position of the BCPS that the video is not clear enough to support a prosecution, their Clear Statement does not refer to the nature of this video evidence, which challenges other evidence received about the SO’s location, and whether SO had objective grounds to fear for his life and safety or took advantage of a reasonable alternate means of escape.
The IIO promotes practical transparency around decisions made about whether a particular police use of force is justified under the law. The purpose of this release is to provide the public with information about the significant issues at play in this matter in an effort to ensure full transparency about the IIO investigation.
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.