B.C. police won't be charged in fatal shooting of masked man outside protest - InfoNews

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B.C. police won't be charged in fatal shooting of masked man outside protest

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November 17, 2016 - 6:00 AM

SURREY, B.C. - An investigation that clears RCMP officers in British Columbia of wrongdoing in the fatal shooting of a masked man says their response was measured.

The man was shot once after two police officers responded to a disturbance at the Stonebridge Hotel in Dawson Creek on July 16, 2015, where BC Hydro was holding a meeting on the Site C dam project.

The report by the Independent Investigations Office says officers outside the hotel saw a man in a Guy Fawkes mask with one hand behind his back.

When he was asked to show his hand, the man moved past the officers and they noted he was carrying a switchblade that was not open, the report says.

Witnesses told the investigators the man, who was not involved in the disturbance inside the hotel, opened the knife and lunged towards the officers.

The man was ordered to drop the knife and pepper spray was used, but it had no apparent effect, the report says. He was then shot once in the pelvic area by one of the officers.

The man who was killed is not identified in the report, but he has previously been identified as James McIntyre, 48. The mask he was wearing depicted a man who plotted to blow up Britain's parliament in 1605, and has become a symbol for the online hackers' group Anonymous.

Following McIntyre's death, the group threatened to escalate online attacks across Canada, and it claimed responsibility for temporarily disrupting the RCMP's main website the day after the shooting.

The police watchdog interviewed witnesses who described the man approaching the officers.

"The manner of his advance is described variously as approaching 'really fast'; 'coming at,' 'rushing towards,' or 'chasing' them: 'just a mad thing,' " the report says.

"There is no evidence that either officer did anything to provoke or justify these actions."

It says the threat to the police was "real and imminent."

"The officers’ response was, on the evidence, measured and appropriate. The officers told the affected person repeatedly to drop the knife (one witness even characterized them as 'begging' him to put it down). The affected person confronted two uniformed, armed police officers with guns drawn and he did not to comply or desist."

The officer who fired the fatal shot declined to be interviewed by the Independent Investigations Office or to provide notes or reports, which is his right under the charter. The report says it does not appear the officer has completed any reports or notes of his recollection of the incident.

The office says it has told the RCMP of the need for its officers to complete timely reports, advice it has given to the department before.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2016
The Canadian Press

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