No charges against Princeton cops after excessive force complaint

PRINCETON – Two RCMP officers from Princeton accused of using excessive force to subdue a drunk driving suspect earlier this year won’t face criminal charges, but the man who went to hospital still faces assault allegations.

Following an investigating by the Independent Investigation Office, the Criminal Justice Branch declined to pursue criminal charges.

Based on the evidence collected, “there is no substantial likelihood that the officers…  would be convicted of any offences,” Neil MacKenzie with the Criminal Justice Branch says in a media release.

The accusation of excessive force arose from an incident in a school parking lot in Princeton at about 3 a.m. on March 22, 2014.

According to the Justice Branch report, the RCMP officers were checking out a pickup truck parked in the lot with the engine running and suspected the driver had been drinking.

There was a “physical altercation” when police arrested the man.

“After being placed in the back seat of the police cruiser, the driver fell unconscious and was taken to hospital where he received medical care,” the report says. The driver was released from hospital later that day and didn’t need any further medical treatment.

The report includes no detail about the “excessive force" used by the officers, but crown counsel concluded their explanation for the force used was reasonable.

The branch will only release limited information on the incident because the driver has been charged with assaulting a police officer.

To contact the reporter for this story, email Howard Alexander at or call 250-491-0331. To contact the editor, email or call 250-718-2724.

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